Hampi, India

The overnight bus from Goa to Hampi was miserable (but not as bad as our second one would be). It’s not that it’s all that uncomfortable in the bunk, it’s just impossible to sleep when it feels like you’re on a Mars landing mission with a drunk driver. Alas, we made it to Hampi in one exhausted piece.

Hampi, is a relatively popular destination for travelers in India, especially young ones it seems. In Goa there were lots of old, Russian couples, but here it seemed to be a younger type of visitor; maybe it’s remote location was prohibitive to the elderly vacationers. Hampi is basically a tiny village that’s built right into 15th century ruins of Vijayanagara (from what I’ve read, there’s actually a bit of struggle between conservationists and the communities that live among the ruins). There are ruins spreading throughout the surrounding area for miles, and allegedly there are over 1,000 temples scattered throughout dense jungles and boulder ridges.

The topography of the place is insane. It’s this sort of valley that’s filled with lush, green jungle, and surrounded by huge boulder formations. We took a bike tour with a really friendly and informative guy named Hanuman. He rode around on a motorcycle while the three of us and an older German couple beasted out the Tour de Hampi behind him. It was brutally hot and actually a pretty challenging bike ride at points. It was a really nice way to get a lay of the land and see lots of the ruins with some interesting stories peppered in.

Later that evening, Sascha and I climbed up to a temple at the highest point in the area – the top of a boulder mountain – and watched the sunset. Up there we ran into a big group (family?) of Indian folks who delighted in taking pictures with us; after each shot they hurried around the camera to look at the picture and laugh about it, it was really fun.

Franklin didn’t join us on that hike to the top, but the afternoon before he went beast mode on some boulders and reached lands where only the monkeys had previously inhabited.

Lots of photos to follow, I’ll do my best to put each in context with captions.

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Virupaksha Temple that stands over the current small village.

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Street in the village, notice the monkey invaders.

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Another street in the village; cows are everywhere.

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Lots of little rooftop restaurants on the narrow streets. This is where Sascha and I witnessed a monkey guerrilla warfare attack.

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Maxin out sippin on a banana lassi.

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The village is sort of built into the rubble/ruins of the old civilization.

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The main homies posted up outside the temple.

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Our first walk took us over to some old bazaar ruins that were totally empty of people. Pretty awesome.

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The temple over the rocks.

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The only other person we saw took this picture. He was Russian and spoke zero English haha.

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You never know I might have written a poem right after this picture was taken…

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Now on the bike tour – a temple in the hills.

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Find the kama sutra sculpture!

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Same same but different.

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The area is surrounded by incredible boulders.

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The Queens Bath.

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Our guide Hanuman. He was great.

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He told us a really long story explaining the narrative of all these sculptures but I was so hot and tired I tuned out.

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Franklin and Sascha looking into the water pool.

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This water pool was awesome.

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I thought he looked like Garfield kinda.

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Elephant stalls.

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Gorgeous landscape. Really crazy breathtaking.

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Our hike up to the temple on top of the mountain.

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They were loving this!

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The sisters close-up.

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Mama close-up.

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Looking down off the temple. Photography contest anyone?

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Yeah I have my shoes off. #Respect

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Sunset from the top.

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Look at that cow… Oh yeah, and there’s some animals in the background too!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


5 Reactions

  1. Gautam

    Great! I guess you would be hitting Bangalore/Mysore too.

  2. Laura

    Some of your best photos yet. I love that there is kama sutra sculpture on the temple–no demonizing of sex like some cultures. The camera is magic, Vince (combined with the skill of the photographer, of course).

  3. Pedro Fenjves

    Franklin, just spoke with Rick and he turned me on to your blog. Caught up with your trip so far and have enjoyed both the writing and the pictures. Danny is in Mumbai (his blog: http://www.nothingbutnext.com) . Cheers!