I had the unique experience of traveling to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi! It was my favorite place that I had visited in India. There was so much history…I felt like I was transported back to 1500 CE when it was a bustling market place, one of the largest cities at the time – if only I could have seen it during its glory days.
Have you heard of Hampi? It’s a secret hideaway that I am excited to share!!
There is a secret airport called Jindal Vijaynagar Airport – it has only ONE flight a day via ONE airline. The sole flight a day is to/from either Bangalore or Hyderabad.
Cost?: We booked it maybe one or two days before departure date for about $70 RT! I bet it would be cheaper if you planned ahead!
You’ve got two choices:
- Backpacker Experience at Hippie Island: This is near all of the temples and I’m sure it’d be a great experience – it has the total traveler/backpacker vibe with its huts and colorful floor couches.
- Comfort at Hyatt Place Hampi: If you’re anything like me and you’re a little high maintenance when it comes to your accommodations, then I can’t recommend enough the Hyatt Place Hampi. First of all, AIR CONDITIONING and so clean. Secondly, the service was the best I have ever had! They helped us plan our travel, they packed us waters and breakfast to go, they returned our lost item before we left, their room service was quick, and the room was gorgeous and huge. And a huge plus, the hotel is only one mile away from the airport!
Cost?: It is as low as $60 on the Hyatt website!
From the Hyatt/airport, it takes an hour and a half to get to the main UNESCO sites. The hotel was able to arrange us a driver for a whole day at a very affordable cost (< $30). Our driver was the best, he was SO KIND even though he had to wait all these hours in the Hampi heat for us (poor guy!).
Tip: If you want to leave earlier (we left at 7AM), be sure to let them know ahead of time since their driving services don’t normally open until 9AM.
Vijaya Vitala Temple
Go back in time at one of the many temple sites in Hampi. The main tourist site is Vijaya Vittala Temple, which has the stone chariot photo’d on the $50 rupee bill.
Travel Tip: A neat way to travel is by researching all of the nearby UNESCO sites – these are the most amazing sites selected by the United Nations as having the most significant historical/cultural/human impact.
I was warned that people may want to take photos of/with me while in India, but Hampi really took that to the next level. At one point, Michael left me alone to go buy the tickets and I was honestly in a MOSH PIT of locals getting pushed around – I experienced what it would be like to be Selena Gomez for one day (lol). But they were so kind and sweet. Michael absolutely loved it. He’d be like “You want a photo?????” and happily take a selfie.
Outfit Details: My coverup is from a street market in Colombia! This one does cinch at the waist but I thought it would be more appropriate to leave it uncinched. Though Hampi is known for its extreme heat, I was still one of the only females not wearing something to ankle length (maybe two others).
About a 20 minute drive from the Vijaya Vittala Temple is a Monkey Temple! Get this, it’s 600 steps of stairs!!!! Oh my gosh, I did it but I almost died. It was around noon by the time we were done at Vijaya Vittala so the sun was at full power. My legs were honestly shaking from how overwhelmed they were. Luckily, there are lots of places where you can take a break up the mountain.
Okay, the monkeys. I thought I was going to love the monkeys, I LOVE animals. And while they are SO cute, I was SOOO scared. Imagine this, there’s a monkey to the left of you, one to the right of you, two behind you, and one hanging from the ceiling above you. Being surrounded by wild monkeys (kind of dirty, and surely flea ridden) and not knowing when they would jump on you is so scary. A majority of the hike is in a narrow tunnel so the monkeys were really close to you. The monkeys didn’t interact with any other people but they loved Michael!
Tip: Up the hike, there was only one group of 6 monkeys. By the time I hiked up 600 FREAKIN’ STAIRS, there were no monkeys at the top!!!! I was pissed! I’m sure it is because of the heat, so definitely go earlier in the day if you want to see monkeys.
At the top of the mountain is a beautiful white temple with religious music being played. I felt like I was in a movie! I could see all of Hampi…the view left me speechless.
I really hope that more people can experience this – there is certainly no place like Hampi. And while I loved the archaeology of it, the sweet locals were most special to me. I hope you are all able to travel with an open mind and receptive heart!