Take a ferry/boat to the northern side of the historic (references dates back to Ramayana) Tungabhadra river (preferably in the morning if you are staying in Hospet since boat services stop around 6 pm). I can assure that the feel and ambiance which you will be experiencing would completely change from a historic and architectural to the scenic and more of a happy-go-lucky kind of territory.
What to expect….
This side of river is mostly populated with foreigners (mostly hipster’s) chilling out and living life at their own pace. You might feel a bit of an outsider if you are in a zone of typical Indian family traveler. But trust me the people there are very friendly and ready to help. This side you can find many different types of shops including clothings (ranging from funky to kurta’s with religious inscriptions), food( ranging from typical indian to european dishes), ornaments, Tattoo artists .
What to experience….
Although there is no need for a particular spot to see since the picturesque landscape and the rawness of nature is self sufficient to enjoy the walk or a ride…. but there are couple of spots with religious significance and also a beautiful lake surrounded by large boulders with an amazing view for sunset.
– Sanapur Lake
This is one of the hotspots on the island which gets pretty much crowded after noon as people come to swim (although not recommended by locals!) and have sunbath on the large sized boulders near the lake.
There is also a different kind of boat ride available here namely Coracle ride, the boat is very much circular in shape and gives a altogether a unique feeling.
– Hanuman Temple
This is one of the religious place on the Anjaneri hills on the island which is believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman from Ramayana. Although sometimes this temple is misquoted as monkey temple because of presence of large troops of monkeys. This hill in addition to religious significance to Hindus also provide breathtaking views from the hill top. People need to walk approximately 575 steps uphill to reach the temple.
There are no surprises that recently New York Times has released the list of top 52 global travel destination to be must visited this year and Hampi is ranked 2nd on the list.
This was an enthralling experience to visit such a historic site with a flavor of Hippie life entwined and would recommend people to keep this on their top priority list before this site gets out of offbeat place and becomes a mainstream tourist spot. 🙂