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


  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

  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.

  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..:-)

  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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  8. Pampa Sarovar is a standout amongst the most famous traveler spot in Hampi, incredible for photography particularly when the Sun is setting, and holds unique enthusiasm for admirers of history and design.
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