August 7, 2016

Wandering alone in Karnataka - Part 1: The Start

Hi Guys,

It has been sometime since I took a break and went somewhere on a trip. After a few failed plans, I decided to go on a Solo Trip somewhere. But the question was where to. My first instinct was to go somewhere north of Delhi. Then after some pondering and considering the low budget in mind, I switched over to Karnataka which some of my friends had been insisting me to visit. Karnataka has so many places spread over, so again I had to circle down upon a few.

Taking clues from the trip we had planned (and cancelled) last December to Badami and Gokarna, I thought of expanding the list. I wanted to loop in Jog falls and Hampi. After doing all research over the internet, the final list was completely different considering all the travel options I had. The final plan was to spend some time extensively in Hampi before moving to Udupi and covering a couple of places en-route.  I had made bookings just a month earlier and to my surprise, I got confirmed train tickets for all the places. Guess, due to monsoon the tourism at all the places are at a very low.

Day 1 – Jul 30, 2016
I had dumped all the necessary things into one trekking rucksack, thanks to my roommate who lent it for the trip. The first leg was to Hampi any my plan was to take Lalbagh Express to Bangalore and then catch Hampi express from there. It was pouring in Bangalore and the city was all over in the news. Two hours into the journey, rain started lashing and it was becoming gloomy. The train started to slow down. The stop over time between the two trains was a mere 25 minutes, but my hope was that the stop over time was 1 hour if I get down at Bangalore Cantonment station. Luckily the train picked up pace was on time (happened to be the only train that arrived on time at destination in the entire trip).

Hampi Express also arrived on time at Bangalore and the train was filled with a layer of water. Passengers carrying heavy luggage were facing a tough time. I fell asleep soon and got up at around 6.45 am ready to get down.

Day 2 – Jul 31, 2016
The train was just chugging into Guntakal station to my horror. We should have reached here by 4.45 am. So, I got back and fell asleep again cursing my bad luck. Finally, the train reached Hospet (now called Hosapete) by around 9.00 am, a delay of 1 hr 50 mins. I went outside and lot of Auto Rickshaws were calling out passengers for Hampi which is 14 kms away from the station. Ignoring the Auto drivers, I waited to catch a Bus to Hampi.
Hampi - A view of Virupaksha temple
After waiting for 15 minutes, an Auto driver approached me again and said he will take me to Hampi for 100 bucks as he had go back there. I was OK with 100 Rs for a 14 km trip. So, I got in and as we started off and went half a km, a bus with signboard ‘Hampi’ was heading to the Railway station. Still, I was content with the Auto. The driver's name was Rama Li and he was saying this is Off Season in Hampi and most of the guest houses would be empty. If you come directly, you can get one for Rs. 450-600 which otherwise goes for double in peak seasons.

I had booked in ‘Laxmi Heritage Homes’ based on reviews in TripAdvisor. After getting a few deals on ClearTrip, the cost of room came to almost Rs. 600 per night. The place is not as comfortable as a hotel room, but it is good enough for a nice stay. The owners of the place are really hospitable and make your stay good. My observation was that it is mostly foreigners who stay up at these guest houses. If you are looking for a full-fledged comfortable Hotel, you need to stay at Hospet and travel to Hampi which will take around 30 minutes. After getting ready at around 11 am, I headed to Mango Tree Restaurant for Breakfast (only good restaurant inside Hampi) and was all set to start the exploration.

To be continued...

To read Part 2, click here (Exploring Hampi)
To read Part 3, click here (Reminiscence of Vijayanagar Kingdom)
To read Part 4, click here (Hampi - Dudhsgar - Margao - Murdeswar)

Happy Reading!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for the comments. Please do read the second part -

  2. nice...feels good to read a travel posts...

  3. Nice start. Would love to hear about your stay at Hampi.

    1. Thank you very much. You can read about my Hampi experiences here in the second part -


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