Friday, September 2, 2011

32 Hours – Bangalore to Hampi and back



It will be a hot there, it will rain there. I heard that a lot but what I heard the most was - one day is really not enough. I had a simple choice – one day or zero days. I chose one day. So this is a summary of 32 hours – from Bangalore to Hampi and back. For some funnier incidents read - Oye, you are not a foreigner?

Timeline, experience and cost:
Time
Experience
Cost
10:15pm
Bangalore Cant for Hospet (AC 2 Tier) - Hampi Express
660
7:40am
Auto from Hospet Station to Bus Stand
30 (actual 15 but it was early J and I am a meter + twenty ;))
8:15am
Bus to Hampi (runs every 20min)
15
8:50am
Walk from Bus Stand to River to find an elephant being bathed
Free (would have paid for it)
9:30am
Good breakfast at New Shanthi Resturant with free guide book to Hampi, plus intro to some good autorikshaw guides
120
10:30am
Haggled with guide and got one with an auto for the next four hours
350
2:30pm
Exhausted but WOWed by the many sights of Hampi. Only Queens grounds required a ticket ( Rs 250 for foreigners, Rs 10 for Indians)*
10
3pm
Horrible lunch at Hotel Moonlight
140
4pm
Awesome lunch at Mango Tree (really nice)**
110
5pm
Exploratory trip up Matunga hill
Free (Priceless?)
6:30pm
Bhel puri and cuppa sweet tea for me and two friends I made
45
7:10pm
Bus back to Hospet (last bus leaves at 7:30pm)
15
7:55pm
Walk to station from bus stand
Free but little longer than I expected
8:20pm
Freak out at station as the train was at 8:40pm not 10:40pm as I had misread.
Free Adrenaline and relief
8:30pm
Shared a masala dosa from railway canteen with a dog
20
8:50pm
Unknowingly entertained a few people with photos on my iphone
Free (could have charged and got a full dosa for the dog)
9pm
Train was slightly late but my RAC ticket had a confirmed berth so found my seat.
Free
6:05am
Bangalore Cant Station, in time to rush home and see kids off to school
660
TOTAL:  32 hours
Too Many
Rs. 2175 ($ 48)***

* Four hours in not enough to see these ruins. I took it slow and spent time in places that I really enjoyed. I did not have a check list, I just wanted to see and be there. Places I loved – tank at the recently excavated marketplace. A little stand with an amazing 360 view at the Royal properties and the view from Matunga hill.  Climb up the hill – it is worth the steep and rock steps.
** The best eatery in Hampi. It is by the side of the river with an nice view and really good food. FYI – Hampi is an all vegetarian town.

*** Splurge on the best tix you can afford if you are down this kind of a round trip. A good night’s sleep helps a lot going and you are tired on the way back. I could have paid less by taking a cheaper train ticket and more by taking an AC taxi for the day from Hospet. I deliberately chose and paid for the experiences I wanted.


The river was full from the recent opening of Tungabadra Dam so there was no boat service and thus no way to see the other side ( not that I had too much time). But that is another place to goto if you have time. Shanthi Hotel on that side is recommended as a good place to stay. Gopi on the Hampi side is recommended if you don't want to chance the river.

Contact info of my nice autowala who explained all the places in decent English - only the basement remains cause the rest of the building was fired ;) -  (just don't take his recommendation on Hotel MoonLight) - Raghu 9449135915.


8 comments:

  1. Malika, I saw your comment - that's a good idea - would you take your kids on the overnight train/bus. Not worried abt safety but do you think they would sleep. Mine are 12 and 6. If you took the kids would u also spend a night where you went. Do you think 2 consecutive nights on the train/bus would wear them out?
    I was looking at going to Goa by bus sometime - there was an article in Rangoli by someone who had done that with his family

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  2. I have done quite a few places - Goa and Shimoga by train with the kid ( in fact they are on a train again Friday night). They love it. It is exciting and comfortable. Go for AC First Class if you want to sleep well (it is quiet and isolated). Try AC 2 Tier if you want to see a few more people and get more of an experience.

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  3. A lovely write-up of the trip Mallika. Makes me want to visit the place. And you say its a kid-friendly place too, right? And many thanks for visiting my space. Hope to see you often..:-)

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  4. Went to Hampi last weekend and actually used your blog as one of the travel guides. :) When our guide suggested Mango Tree restaurant for lunch jumped at it coz had already read your review abt it. Was an awesome dining experience with the view of the cattle grazing on the river banks though since we were late there was not much of lunch left. :)

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  6. hi..thanks for the post.Are you planning any holiday trip with family.i will suggest you the places br hills resort and also near by place k gudi resort..its a nice place to enjoy with family..do visit..

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  7. I have seen your blog its very nice, well design and very informatics, Fantastic its very amazing and interesting post for parents. Its really helpful for all family travellers. LookIndiaHotel.com is one of the best travel company
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    hotels have lots of hotels and resorts list & holiday tour packages

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