If you’re a Hampi noob or a veteran, we’ve got a few secrets about the hamlet that might interest you. For those who’ve only gone to relax at Hampi, this time around, head off and be an adventurist this time around. But if all your previous visits have been an adrenaline rushes, just wallow by the river, and be/see a sloth bear.
Sloth Bears To Coracle Rides: 6 Things To Do In Hampi That Are NOT Temple Runs
Cross The River On A Coracle
If you’re up for a lazy float down the Tungabhadra river, then you cannot miss this one. There are three spots where you can get onto the coracle, and bob across the river. One is right near the Virupaksha temple that is the shortest crossing to the fun tourist side. It’s also the most wild one when it’s monsoon as it’s got the most rapids. Another place to hop onto the coracle is beside the ruins on the riverside, near the Kodanarama temple. This one is least pleasant as it’s near the bathing ghat! But if you want the real deal, head to the Vittala Temple, and the ferry point about two kilometres from there. This route takes you to Anegundi, for all the temple and fort ruins, and a souvenir or two.
Chill At The Mango Tree
It’s quite a popular spot so if you go in peak time, be prepared to wait. A shack-like eatery right in the middle of town by the Virupaksha Temple, you can really unwind here on mattresses on the floor, cane deck chairs and just the stone slabs, if you fancy. During the day, we suggest you stay inside and load up on vegetarian thalis, paneer pakodas and lemonade. In the evening, head out through the narrow lanes, shop, or go to the sunset point and catch the sunset over the ruins. It’s absolute bliss. You won’t even miss alcohol and meat, which isn’t served there.
Bouldering In Hampi
If you’ve never been bouldering before, this is the most prime place to start. It’s a real heaven for bouldering and rock climbing, especially during the cooler winters. While most of the sites are apt for this activity, check out the Hemakuta or Matanga hill for the best experience. Or, head to the monoliths, boulders and cliff edges across the entire ancient city, and hop onto the rocks, at your own risk. But make sure they are bolt-protected. The granite surfaces are great for even beginners as it has good grip, so try it out. You’ll be addicted soon!
Watch The Sunset From Monkey Hill
Also, the alleged birthplace of Hanuman, sunrise and sunsets are best viewed from the top of Monkey Hill. If you’re up for the adventure, hike up the hill and count the 600 steps to the top. Or jump onto a moped or bus which takes only about 15 minutes. The hike should get you to the peak in 50 minutes. Once up there, you can marvel at a few temples or do freestyle yoga as many folks do.
Spot Sloth Bears
OK, we cheated a little bit with this one as the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary is 15 kilometres away, but hey, that’s just a mini drive away, right? Thanks to the rough terrain and warm weather, the sloth bears hide out in the numerous caves dotting the place. But during the day, you can see them lurking around shrubs, lazing under trees and just wandering about the entire space. If you’re lucky, then you’ll also spot leopards, jackals, wild boar and mongooses are rather common.
Load Up On Unlimited Thaalis In A Banana Plantation
Located in Kamalapur, The Green Restaurant is the ideal destination for fuelling up whether you've got a fully packed day, or you just want to laze. With the option of unlimited thaalis, you can enjoy it from the comfy, large stone benches under fruit trees. The cafe is in the middle of a banana plantation, so all your meals will come on the leaf, and with a super-sweet banana from the plantation itself. Oh, and don't miss out on their banoffee pie!