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In Photos: Life in Hampi, Karnataka.

Nothing could have prepared me for the boulder-strewn landscapes, majestic ruins, pristine lakes, and lush greenery that surrounds Hampi. Staying in a community-run retreat in the village of Anegundi, on the other side of the Tungabhadra River, we rode in coracle boats, swum in village lakes, and drove amid the remains of the 14th century Vijaynagar empire. Luckily for us, we beat the crowds, witnessed the monsoons, and captured a glimpse of real village life in and around Hampi:

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1. CORACLE BOATS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF HAMPI
and used as the main mode of transport and fishing on the Tungabhadra River. Mechanized boats are slowly replacing them on certain stretches, to be able to ferry motorbikes and more people.

coracle boat, Tungabhadra river, Hampi photos

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2. A PANDIT (HINDU PRIEST) WALKS ALONG THE BOULDERS
to the ancient temples built by the Vijaynagar empire in the 14th century. People from the surrounding region come to worship in large numbers.

Hampi photos, Hampi Karnataka, Hampi travel

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3. A WOMAN OVERLOOKS THE BOULDER-STREWN LANDSCAPES OF HAMPI
from across the Tungabhadra River.

Hampi boulders, Tungabhadra river, Hampi photos

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4. A WOMAN FARMS ON THE RICE PADDIES OF ANEGUNDI
in the backdrop of the boulder-strewn hills. The soil is fertile and rainfall aplenty to cultivate rice, banana and coconut.

Anegundi, Hampi boulders, Hampi photos

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5. LOCALS UPHOLD OLD TRADITIONS IN HAMPI
like tying their wishes in the form of rocks to the branches of this ancient tree, and piling up stones to express their desire for a new house. There were no signs to explain this sight, but I inferred this from the various explanations shared by people on my Facebook page!

Hampi, Hampi pictures, Hampi India

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6. WOMEN WASH CLOTHES IN THE TUNGABHADRA RIVER
using the boulders as washing boards. They have adapted their daily chores to the unusual terrain that surrounds them.

Hampi, Hampi images, Hampi India

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7. A MAN TOUCHES UP HIS CORACLE BOAT
on the shores of the river.

Hampi, Hampi photos, Hampi Karnataka

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8. ANOTHER FERRIES US ON HIS CORACLE BOAT
across the river from Hampi. These boats are made within the region, and can carry upto 15 people at one time!

coracle boat, Tungabhadra river, Hampi photos

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9. A MAN TAKES SHADE IN THE RUINS, MAKING A FISHING NET
near the river.

Hampi village, Hampi ruins, Hampi pictures

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10. MANY LOCAL FISHERMEN CAN BE SPOTTED IN THE RIVER
and its smaller tributaries, looking for fish.

Anegundi, coracle boat, Hampi photos

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11. WE WHIZZ AROUND THE ROADS OF ANEGUNDI
and the boulders, precariously perched upon one another, never cease to amaze us. Nor does the greenery that lies interspersed among them, especially in the monsoon.

Hampi, Hampi Karnataka, Hampi India

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12. DEEP IN THESE HILLS, SHEPHERDS TAKE THEIR CATTLE GRAZING
and walk from boulder to boulder with their goats.

Hampi, about Hampi, Hampi boulders

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Have you been to Hampi? What did you love most about it?

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Practical Information

Hampi is well-connected by buses to the rest of Karnataka, and is an overnight bus ride from Bangalore. The closest bus stop is Hospet if you stay in Hampi, and Gangavathi if you stay on the other side of the Tungabhadra River. Hampi itself was the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire and is home to the ruins of ancient temples. The villages across the river have fewer ruins, but much more greenery, forming a stark contrast against the boulder-strewn landscapes of the region. Winters are the most popular time to visit Hampi, but if you want to beat the crowds and witness the rains, go in August or September.

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Also see:

Lakshman Sagar: Add it to Your Bucket List

In Photos: Bhap Village, Rajasthan

In Photos: Majuli Island, Assam

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24 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a charming place !!!! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site :)

    September 14, 2013
    • Indeed! Yes, and for good reasons. Not seen anything like those ruins and landscapes!

      September 16, 2013
  2. Ann #

    I went to Hampi last October & really enjoyed it. Beautiful landscapes & a very relaxing environment.

    September 14, 2013
    • Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Ann! I’m hoping to go back soon enough :)

      September 16, 2013
  3. Isn’t there any structure which has the location information of each rock in the structure so that even if the structure is destroyed, it can be rebuild using the info on the rocks… I recall reading this in school text book…

    September 15, 2013
    • Hmm, I don’t recall coming across any such structure, but having a backup would be a good idea. Although rebuilding it might not have the same charm.

      September 16, 2013
  4. Refreshed my memories of my visit in last october. I loved riding bicycle among ruins, seeing thousands of rocks from top of Hanuman temple and also enjoyed having lunch in mango tree restaurant while sitting on the floor and enjoying the open rocky views :)

    September 16, 2013
    • I liked the meal at Mango Tree too, but even more so at the Laughing Buddha!

      September 16, 2013
  5. Absolutely stunning pic-story!! Now I long to go there and see these sights myself…

    September 16, 2013
    • Thanks Sangeeta, hope you visit it soon :)

      September 16, 2013
  6. Kanchan #

    Where did you stay in the village? Are the locals open to the idea of homestays?

    September 16, 2013
  7. I went to Hampi on a school trip almost almost half a lifetime ago (doesn’t that sound fancy :P), so technically I can check it off my list. I don’t remember much of it, but looking at your post, I think it’s time to re-visit it.

    September 16, 2013
  8. Sounds fascinating! I have never had the chance to visit Hampi, though I live so close to it. :(

    September 17, 2013
  9. Pallavi #

    Lovely pictures Shivya .

    As always, your posts are so inspiring! :)

    Pallavi

    September 17, 2013
  10. Wow amazing place…

    September 19, 2013
  11. How I would love to visit the ruins of Hampi. Going to Bangalore this November to celebrate Diwali with family. Do you reckon that will be a good time to visit Hampi or will it be touristy as in crowded?

    September 21, 2013
    • pavan #

      Hampi is not as crowded as it used to be. Hospet a nearby town about 11kms from Hampi has lots if hotels where you can stay.

      September 27, 2013
  12. pavan #

    Hi, I like travelling and have been following your blogs for a while. I was very excited when I first saw your blog title on Hampi. But when read your blog and saw the pictures, i am disappointed. You have not wrote anything about the world famous Vijya vitthala temple which has musical pills and every pillar produces a different musical note, or about Anjanadri parvata,the birth place of lord Hanuman. Or the hazarrama temple whic h has entire Ramayana carved on the walls on temple on over01000 roIks.next time when you visit Hampi please see all the historic places and help spread the glory of Vijayanagar Empire.btw I was as born and brought up in Hospet near Hampi. I like your blogs, keep travelling and keep writing. Cheers.

    September 27, 2013
  13. I am planning to visit this place on 6-9th Dec. So, looking for information. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing this valuable info.

    November 26, 2013
  14. Zehra #

    very beautiful pictures… i am going there on the 17th december 2013 :), please suggest some good guest house in hampi or anegundi.

    November 28, 2013
  15. pulkit agrawal #

    I have heard of an Israeli settlement somewhere near Hampi. Do you have any idea?

    December 2, 2013
  16. Wonderful photographs and the captions are remarkable!
    How long were you in Hampi for?!

    I spent less than 24 hours :( http://giveforgranted.com/2014/09/hampi-india-in-24-hours-map-it-out/

    But still managed to see a lot! :)

    October 1, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 6 Offbeat Experiences Near Hampi. | The Shooting Star
  2. Hampi: Photos and Stories from South India | Happily Globalized

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