Hampi is vast. Its ancient empire stretches quite far and on our second day in Hampi, C and I took a step back in time and pretended we were kings and queens.
We met our guide extremely early in the morning, around 6:00 a.m.and set off on our Hampi heritage site tour.
It gets really hot in Hampi, even in December when we visited, so the earlier you do your site seeing, the better!
Our first stop was at the Laxmi Narasimha Temple. The temple is famous for its statue of Narasimha, which is one of the ten forms of Vishnu, carved out of a single boulder, dating back to 1528 AD. Just standing next to it makes you feel small, and in awe of the sheer magnitude of the carving.
Do I blend in?
Next stop was a quick breakfast at a local restaurant, that our tour guide knew off the beaten path. I’m assuming it was owned by a family friend.
That’s me drinking this potion from a tree thats supposed to give you a temporary high. It didn’t work…
BUT, the food, as always was delicious, and very filling! Most of the food we ate in Hampi was vegetarian, and as a meat eater, I did not miss meat AT ALL. The spices and ingredients used in the dishes are so yummy that there really is no need for meat.
We lounged and hung out with new found friends. Enjoying ourselves and replenishing our energy for the rest of our journey.
Our next stop, and my personal favourite was the Vijaya Vittala Temple, which is the temple dedicated to Vittala, an aspect of Vishnu. The temple resembles a sort of town, with many hallways, buildings and towers.
In the middle of the temple you can find a stone chariot, which is one of three famous chariots in India. The chariot is actually a shrine dedicated to the Eagle god, Garuda.
I wanted to test my strength and see if I could move it. No such luck 🙁
C doing what resembles yoga?
The temple is exquisite! Everywhere you turn you will find carvings and images depicting a different story. We noticed that there are many Kama Sutra positions depicted and carved into many of the buildings. India is often described as a mystical land of seductive images, and that statement really rings true here in Hampi.
If you ever wondered what it was like to take a bath as a Queen in ancient India, the Queen’s Bath is the place to go. Majestic, is the word that I describe it as. YA, ok it’s not super original but I think it fits. Everything is grande, the doors, the actual pool (at least the remains of it), is huge.
Last stop on our tour were the Elephant Stables. Another example of the grande architecture of ancient India. The building consists of 11 stables and if you look up to the ceiling you can see the hooks that held the elephants in each of their chambers.
We almost forgot a C in there.
The Hampi Heritage Site tour is a must see when in Hampi. I definitely recommend a guide. They will show you the most important structures and buildings and give you the history lesson to go along with the sites.
Our guide was fluent in quite a few languages and university educated. He also was very involved in charities helping the children of Hampi. Specifically the Hampi Children’s Trust aimed at promoting and improving the educational prospects of children (aged 4 to 16) who do not currently receive any education. Most of the time these children are banned from education from their parents and forced to go begging from tourists. If you want to help and donate, I’m sure our tour guide and most importantly the children will thank you! The trust also has volunteer opportunities, so if you are planning a trip to Hampi and would like to do some philanthropy work, than this option is amazing! They even pay for your accommodation and food!!
The last few hours in Hampi were spent relaxing and immersing ourselves in the culture. We went back to the Mango Tree for our dinner. The above picture is me on the walkway to the restaurant.
After dinner, we decided to go back to the hill we watched the sunset the day before, to experience it one last time.
Hampi is amazing! I thinks I’ve said that a couple of times already? But IT IS! I have not seen any place like it before and it was such a great introduction for me to India and Asia in general. I cannot wait to go back!
My favourite part about Hampi was that you could just plop yourself on a bench, carved out of stone thousands of years ago, and sit there for hours, talking, watching the sunset, and no one tells you to get off. It’s really something special!
Have you been to Hampi or India? What was your favourite part?