Finally after living for almost an year in Bangalore, did our first trip within Karnataka ! The train to Hampi (Hospet) from Bangalore is very convenient for a weekend trip. The three tier Ac sleeper was very comfy and the train left b'lore at 10:20 pm (as scheduled) and reached Humpi at 7:40 - What should we call this train I wonder, 10 hrs for 350 Kms, ' TVG' - short for Thallu Vandi Gaddi (literally meaning pushed vehicle...), as it is pretty damned slow... Anyway, had a decent sleep and reached Hampi, by a rikshaw for rs100 The only hotel in Hampi is the Kamlapuram, KSTDC Mayura Bhuvaneshwari Was not too bad. The AC worked and so did the hot water. So had a decent shower and left for the travels.
Hampi has lots of Rickshaw guys, who try to sell you a tour guide/chauffeur services... BUT if you have a good pair of shoes, and do not mind walking about 10 Kms a day... its worth doing that.
Took a rickshaw to the main bazaar and walked from there along the river to Vittala temple This temple is the best preserved and amazing. Do get a guide (only rs 30) to show you the musical pillars, that resonate to play the various Indian musical instruments You have to hear it to believe it! The best thing about hampi is the ruins that are everywhere and you can wander around. The three or four main ones have a lot of crowd... The rest is abandoned and you can have it to yourself, especially if you walk, as the auto wallas don't come her :-) The other sensational place is the Anjeneya Hillin Anegundi. This is supposed to be the birth place of Hanuman. Aptly there are lots of monkeys but not a great bother. The views from here are sensational.
The restaurants on the virappa gaddi side are unusual with very 'backpackers' cuisine and the spellings for the dishes are really imaginative Should try a one or two of these We went to 'Smiling Budha' which is a place to eat and lounge. They also have thatched roof cottages to stay in . Had a really nice walk on boith days on both sides of the river .
The other resturant I loved was called Mango Tree It is on the path ging to the boat stand behind Virupaksha temple If you follow the track behind the temple there are bill boards showing the way. This place is inside a banana plantation and the walk itself is beatiful. The resturant is unique with a swing from a mango tree and seats on a terraced side of the hill, over looking the river. Food (we had the thali) was sensational.
Absolutely worth a visit to Hampi. The hotel is not too bad though a bit dear at Rs1600 for a very simple no frills AC room. On its plus side it was reasoably big . The resturant food was very ordinary, I would eat somewhere else if possible.