One fine day ,4 broke wanderers decided to go hampi and indulge in historically rich,culturally great city of hampi in karnataka. after the actual decision,comes the budget and travel planning for the trip. being a marwadi,this is the most fun as well as important part for me. so, after a very successful trip from Pune to Hampi, I’m going to write today about how you can travel to hampi on shoestring budget.
Hampi is best explored in the backpackers style. if you are a leisure traveler,you are reading the wrong blog. lets first discuss the mode of transportation to hampi. there is no direct transporation service to hampi. you have to reach hospet first and then go to hampi from there.
from pune, you have 3 usual ways to reach hospet. trains,buses and flight. flight is not a good option for a budget traveler as the nearest airport is about 60 km from hospet i.e.bellary. so you will have to spend for flights as well as for another transport from bellary to hospet. Trains from pune to hospet are very limited. only mondays and Thursdays. also it takes up a lot of time to reach. so your best bet to reach hospet by night volvo so you don’t waste time in travelling and it costs around 1000 to 1200 rs by A/c volvo.
once you reach hospet,auto-riksha drivers are gonna surround for rides. they charge you about 250 to 300 rs per person. but there is even better and lot less cheaper option to reach hampi. just walk to the hospet bus stand ,which is hardly 5 mins by walking from volvo stop. and bus will take you to hampi in 16 rs. yess! i am not kidding. state transport bus will just charge you 16 rs for 14km of ride. and once you reach in hampi,you dont NEED a auto to reach your guest house. its just walking distance. so do not,i repeat do not let any riksha drivers convince you to take auto to your guest house.
now,before leaving,its always best if you book in advance. we used booking.com site to book a room in venu guest house. there are many guest houses in hampi. so if you book well in time,there should not be any problem with accommodation. these guest houses usually charge around 5oo in slack period and little more the other time. also, every guest house provides ypu with wifi as there is a network problem.[problem as in you wont get any network there;/ ]
keep in mind that there are 2 areas to look for while booking the accommodation. one is the temple side which has almost all the temples and historic sites and ruins and another one is across the river i.e. the market area, which is more of a hippie island of hampi. living on the market side might cost you a little extra than the other side. in summers,you can cross the river by walking also but in rains,there are coracle boats available for crossing the river.
now about food, almost every guest house has its own little cafe,where you can have breakfast and dinner. and also there are many good eating options like mango tree, Gopi rooftop restaurant,laughing Buddha or Archana. and it will set back you back around 100 to 150 every meal.
last but not the least,exploring hampi. there is free entry almost all sites and 3 temples has entry fees which is minimal.(about 10 to 40 rs). the ruins and the remaining sites are pretty far from each other so you can either rent a bicycle ,if you are upto it. or you can simply hire a riksha for whole day. on the ruins side of hampi,no bikes are allowed so bargain hard with the riksha driver and hire him for whole day where he can show you all the temples and ruins. we paid 1000rs for 4 people in auto for a day.it can vary with the ability of bargain. or the best way ,if you have ample of time,hire a bicycle which costs around 150 rs a day and roam the place on your term!. and on the hippie island you can hire a bike .the rent is around rs.200 for a moped and 400 for geared bike.
As for the shopping, you can buy stone artifacts,lambani bags,leather crafts ,banana fiber crafts and also music instruments in hampi. and at all places,never buy a thing without asking prices at different shops and bargaining.
So go crazy and be happy in hampi!