We’ve visited so many beautiful places in India, but Hampi has to be one of my favourites, it’s such a peaceful and beautiful place and it’s not too far from Bangalore. Well, I say it’s not too far, it’s actually an 8 hour train ride – back in the UK we wouldn’t even consider going this distance for one night, over here however, everything is so far away that you just get used to traveling long distances.
The trains in India are great, they’re super cheap are rarely delayed and they pretty much go anywhere. I love to stand in the train doorway, and watch India pass by – it’s beautiful.
The train to Hampi is perfect – you can leave on a Friday night after work, sleep overnight and arrive first thing Saturday morning. The train back is late Sunday evening, which gives you two whole days to explore, relax and take in the breathtaking boulder-strewn hills with hundreds of ruined temples scattered amongst them.
I think it’s the peacefulness and the stunning landscape that I find so inspiring; I can just switch off from everything and drift away to somewhere tranquil – it puts me in such a creative space!
WHERE WE STAYED
We visited 5 times and we always stayed at the Royal Orchid hotel. It’s a little outside Hampi but the rooms are always clean, the food is great and they have a pool which is the best thing after a long day enduring the 100F heat and high humidity.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
The Mango Tree – the Thali is delicious and if you have room after devouring that, try the banan pancakes!
Echo Indian restaurant at the Royal Orchid. Try to persuade the restaurant to let you dine in the garden at the front of the hotel.
FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO
Hire a rickshaw driver. We wre there for twoo days and hired the same guy for both days. It’s the best way to see as much as Hampi as possible. Hiring a bike is alos an option but the heat and humidity is so high that we always decided against it.
Take a coracle to the foot of the Monkey temple, walk through the banana plantations to the start of the trial and climb to the top for sunset. It’s beautiful.
Visit as many temples as you can. Each one is different!
Visit the Elephant stables, and the palaces.
Sit and sketch – I always carry my sketchbook and pens with me wherever we travel but Hampi is the place where I draw the most.
WHAT I WORE
The heat and humidity in Hampi requires you to wear light, cool clothing. I always stick to lightweight dresses or maxi-skirts. I made the mistake of wearing cotton pants on one trip and I was so uncomfortable.