Before we begin this journey of visiting Hampi, it would be really helpful to brush up our middle school history lesson. So here’s a crash course, lasting precisely a minute.
Hampi tells the story of a grandiose empire and its mighty fall. In eastern Karnataka, Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. This ancient South Indian empire was established in 1336 A.D. and ruled the entire region of southern India for over 2 centuries. The solid resistance put up by the empire protected Southern India for Northern invaders. The prosperity and riches of the empire had left travelers in awe and wonder, many describing it as unparalleled. In 1565 A.D. it was conquered by invaders, was looted over a period of six months. And was then abandoned. Today the magnificent ruins of the place tell of the lavish empire it once was.
Class over. Now the fun bit.
We are staying in a village called Kaddirampura. Locals are opening their homes and hearts to welcome us. Be ready to soak in some local culture, eat food cooked by villagers, witness ancient history up-close and interact with people far removed from our world. Where else will you sit in a mango orchard for your meals? So say hello to this immersive and sensorial tour.
(Note: These homestays are in a village and are neat and clean. Each room is comfortable and has attached bathroom and hot running water. However, these are not hotels and we will be sharing someone’s home.)
We will be picked up from Hospet railway station and Hospet bus stop. It is a 2hr 45minute drive from Hubli Airport. Kaddirampura is 15 minute away from Hospet.
4 days - 3 nights
- We check-in at our village homestays. Have delicious lunch. Throughout your stay you will be having local food. Rotis made from ragi/jowar (millet) flour, traditional dishes and varieties of sambar.
- 2:30 to 5 pm: Sitting in the rugged terrain we indulge in some soulful live instrumental music made from local and international instruments. It is called a healing session. Guess it will heal our souls. Get a taste of it here https://youtu.be/HQiN5gH_Tow We relive in this experience as the sun sets.
- Later in the evening we gather for an interaction with community members to share their stories, about life in Hampi and its challenges. After dinner we retire for the day.
- After breakfast we leave by 8:30 am for Vitalla and Virupaksha Nature Walk. Vittala is the famous temple we all had read about in school, where pillars make music. All you budding musicians out there, try your hand at it. Virupaksha is another temple complex of the Vijayanagar Empire. The walls and pillars of the temples have intricate carvings and sculptures. We will be touching it to get a fair sense of this architectural masterpiece. After all, this is a World UNESCO Heritage site.
This walk will not be just about history, but about heritage and nature as well. While we go from monument to monument, we also focus on bird sounds, local medicinal plants, etc.
- Post lunch we go to Elephant Stables and Hazara Ram. Elephants Stables is an open-air exhibit of sculptures that we can explore through touch. Hazara Ram is a temple where the story of Ramayana is carved on all its walls.
- We return to our homestays by 6:30. Relax and reminiscence about the day and have early dinner at 8. When you sleep in the night, just notice if you sleep better in the village than the cities.
- We leave by 9 am after breakfast.
- We try our hand at a local handicraft. For us it is pottery. So be ready to rotate that wheel as you give shape to wet clay.
- We then gather to prepare lunch with the local community on firewood. So look forward to experiencing local ingredients and getting your hands dirty with it. And we better cook well, for this is our lunch.
- At around 4 a local artist will take us through his journey and experiences in the region. What he has explored about the place in his creative pursuit. This session will roll into experience sharing which is just a way of people sharing their own stories.
- We have dinner in the mango orchard and sleep peacefully.
- After our last breakfast at the mango orchard, we leave for our respective cities.
Village life, ta-ta!
- Stay on twin sharing basis.
- Commute between excursions
- Pickup and drop from Hospet
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- 5% GST
- Air and train tickets
- Any personal expense like shopping, tipping, etc
- Anything not included in inclusions
Note: Single occupancy can be arranged at an extra cost.