Category Archives: india

Hampi, our favorite place in India

India. Just saying the word India makes me think of people, million of people. And million of cars, motorcycles and bikecycles. Loud honkings . Pollution. Street vendors. Cows. Dirt and garbage. Makes my head spin. That’s what India is making to you. She makes your head spin. But there are some places in India that make inside of your head calm. Places that are so peaceful. Making your heartbeats beating slow. One of those places is Hampi.

 

Hampi. Just by saying the word Hampi makes me think of beautiful boulders, millions of boulders. Stacked on top of each other. Looking like someone very strong and bored has stacked them artistically for us to wonder how they got up there. So many of them as far as the eye can reach. So much energy oozing out of them, if you belive in that kind of thing. If not, you will feel it! These boulders what make Hampi so special.

 

Hampi. The people. Not millions but only hundreds. Smiling and waving people. And very kind people. And people who loves to have a photo taken. Kids that run towards you when they see you and making you feel like home.

 

Hampi. The colors. The color of the sunrise and sunset hitting the boulders. The color from women’s sari. Makes me think of green. Green from the rice paddies and palmtrees that blend in so well with the blue sky and the reddish boulders. Making a perfect match for the eyes to see.

 

What to do in Hampi 

If you are getting bored of laying on the hammack on your hostel and do nothing then Hampi has a lot of things to offer.

1. Sanapur Lakes

There are two clean and peaceful reservoir where you can swim with beautiful surrounding. You can rent a scooter or a bikecycle to get there. You will see a sign where it’s written ” No swimming, crocodile!” just ignore it. There’s no crocodile.

 

2. Bouldering

The best way to really take benefit of the boulders are doing some bouldering. There are several places where you can rent the shoes and the mattres. If you are a beginner you can hire someone to show you where and how to climb and get around the boulders. Most of the time you won’t get higher up more than 4-5 meters but it can be more tricky than it looks like. David wears 47-48 size in shoes and the biggest they had was 42. He was in very much pain!

3. Visiting the temples and the ruins

You can ride a bike or scooter and visit the sites or negociate with a tuk-tuk driver to drive you around. Best time to visit the beautiful ruins and the temples are the early morning or late afternoon. Our favorite is the Monkey temple.

4. Explore the area

We really loved our days on scooter exploring the nearby area. It was never ending boulders.

 

5. Sunset

Don’t ever miss the sunset in Hampi. There are many places in Hampi from where you can see a sunset; Matanga HillHematuka Hill and Malyavanta Hill. Or just climb on one of the many boulders and enjoy!


6. Movie nights

Just walk along the “hippie road” where there are most of the hostels and you will see some of the restaurants and hostels organise movie nights. We saw ” Life of Pi” in one of the restaurant.

 

7. Bathing Lakshmi the Elephant

Lakshmi the elephant of Virupaksha temple is quite famous and you can find the elephant taking bath in the Tungabhadra riverfront early morning around 7’o clock. Apart the Elephant you get to see the locals getting themself ready for the day. Some are bathing in the river and some are washing the clothes.

8. Meet the locals

What make Hampi so lovely are the locals. India has great people everywhere but we feel that people in Hampi are genuinely friendly. Really friendly. Talk with them. Expecially the kids. They love hanging out with you.

9. Dress like the locals

Sari is my favorite traditionel wear because of the colors. When the owner of the hostel where we were stayed at told us about his daughter coming over to visit I asked him if it was ok if she could help me to get dress in one of her sari so I could walk around and feel  beautiful. No problem he said!

 

10. Taking a boatride

The exact name of this bowl or a floating basket is Coracle. One of these can transfer between 15-20 person!

Where to stay in Hampi

We stayed at the  “hippie” side of Hampi, Anegundi. It’s other side of the river from the main village Hampi where all the ruins are. Along the main street of the “hippie road” you can find many hostel and restaurant. I can’t remember the name of our hostel but the restaurant itself gave me nausea with all the psychodelic images.

So where is your favorite place in India? 

11 do’s and don’ts in India

This list is inspired by our experiences we had from our three month backpacking in India in 2014. Please read the list with a sense of humor but don’t get suprised if any of these things happens to you to!


1. DO NOT ask the locals for direction! If they don’t know or are not sure they will send you to the wrong side of the town! If you are still going to ask someone for the direction DO please remember that:

"I told you so"!


2. DO NOT get your ears cleaned by a street because if you do they will put wax in your ears and they will ask around 30$ to take it out for you. If you did let someone touch your ears and realised that he just put 1kg of wax in them, DO stay calm! The wax will eventually melt away in a couple of days.



3. DO NOT get angry when you stand in line for buying a train ticket, for exemple. The Indians don’t make a queue but instead they make a cluster. May the best man get first to the counter! When you are in there DO use your elbows to viciously defend your spot!

4. DO NOT even try to buy the biggest balloon when you are in Mumbai (you will know what I’m talking about when you are there). The street vendor will promise you that you will get the biggest one because that is what you have pay for, right? Wrong! If you did buy one DO try not to get annoyed because after all the balloon you got is still very big!



5. DO NOT eat a chocolat cake! But if you do, DO check before eating that there is no cockroach in it…still alive!

6. DO NOT sleep alone in the train if you are a women! But if you are going to…please DO wear a pair of sock! The men will see a pair of feet with painted toenails and they will start to massage them. ( unless you like that)



7. DO ask where your clothes will be washed before handing your laundry to someone when you are in Varanasi. DO NOT belive when that person says that your clothes will be washed in a machine!



8. DO ask for the price before buying something. DO NOT buy if the price is not clear!
Exemple:

He: Fried fish, 1…50rp.

We: 1 for 50?

He: Yes, 1…50rp.

We again: 1 fish for 50rp?

He goes: YES, 1…50rp!

And when the bill comes :  2 fish x 150rp = 300rp…what? He said that he was sure he said 1 fish is 150rp.

(and look of the size of the fish)



9. DO visit the Taj Mahal because it’s beautiful. DO NOT go when that place has been closed  in the morning for whatever reason!


10. DO NOT ask any tourist for help if you happen to get a stomach flu on your way to the train station in Varanasi. DO ask the street kids for help because they will do everything they can to help you!


11. DO say yes if an Indian wants to take a photograph with you. DO NOT say yes if he ask if he can bring his family to be in the photo. You risk to spend an hour posing with everyone of them.

 

Please for those who feel offended by this post I apologize. This post is not meant to harm anybody but only share with other what has happen to us while traveling in India. We chose to laught about it.

 

How about you guys, did any of these happend to you or perhaps something else?