One being the big Indian family that travels to see the top ten tourist spots, eats the buffet that is included in their family package and instantly updates their social media accounts with pictures and check ins.
The other being the rebels that dare to cross the river and stay in the laid back no questions asked part of town. These are the ones who travel to please themselves. They take back memories and souvenirs in unconventional ways.
Fortunately or unfortunately my travel buddies and I were somewhere in between the above two categories. Being architects we had to experience the temples and their ancillary spaces, but being the slight rebels that we are we stayed on the other side of the river at a quaint little resort called Goan corner.
As the name suggests this place is done up like any resort in Goa. The kind where you toss your backpack, lay out your sleeping bag or hammock and camp under the stars. We stayed amongst fruit trees, constantly plucking fresh fruit and interacting with fellow travellers.
In the short span that we did spend in Hampi, we experienced the local means of travel; bus, rickshaw, mopeds. You name it. The food, music and culture were as divided as the land on either side of the river. It seemed like the river was forcing the amalgamation of the two pieces of land. Starkly different from one another the ‘black’ and ‘white’ sides of town are the reasons why a wide spectrum of people are attracted to this place.
The rock climbers are of course the part and parcel of the crowd that makes this tourist spot so popular. The balancing act of the massive boulders keeps you on the edge and the shade they provide is welcoming after being exposed to the scorching sun.
This is a once in a lifetime visit. A few must dos include crossing the river and eating pancakes with chocolate milkshake, swirling around in the koraikal and soaking in the heritage.
This trip changed my concepts of living in nature without the constant buzzing of my devices and opened my eyes to see the wonderful world laid out for us. So don’t just visit Hampi, absorb it.