The reasons that you visit a place twice is only when your last visit was not fulfilling enough.
Hampi, a temple town in Karnataka, an overnight journey from Bangalore and an auto ride from Hospet, was my choice of place for my annual trip in 2011. The second time around here, I was eager to explore its rural life.
Places like Hampi make great stories. A whole kingdom in ruins, the inhabitants have lived around it from centuries. The architecture is very much alive and locales are waiting to be explored.
Crossing the river and the innumerable touts, I met Ramu who had become entrepreneurial recently. He handed his card and in no time we were off to his village Sanapur.
Crossing the slightly commercialized Virupaksha Gadi (the island across the Tungabhadra), greenery took over. A short ride and we were in Sanapur at Waterfall Guest house where Ramu had built five rooms in his ancestral property.
With a few guests already staying there, we quickly made new friends and had a beautiful spot for ourselves.
Sixteen days after that,we divided our time between lazying on the hammock to watching sunset from a different spot every day, swimming and fishing in the lake, making bonfires, riding bikes to anywhere there was a road and not to forget the coracle rides.
I experienced Hampi and what it held was overwhelmingly beautiful. As much as I want it to be a secret for the fear of it getting spoilt and losing its charm, I would recommend enthusiasts to travel consciously and keeping history as it is.
As the new year approached, I knew i did not want to spend it conventionally by going to a party and not even remembering what happened last night.
Two friends had joined us for the celebration and we rode our bikes everywhere for the whole day, had a small picnic by the river and saw the sunset from the highest point in Sanapur.
Hampi gave me enough reasons to explore. I felt the joy of seeing new places and tapping unknown spots. It might not have been the most happening of places, as most people rant on how there is not much to see there, it was quite adventurous to scout for abandoned spots and make a bonfire, roast some potatoes and watch the sun go down. I caught sixteen different sunsets from sixteen spots in sixteen days. It definitely gave me reasons to travel there again.
I traveled in December 2011, welcoming 2012.
How to Reach- Well connected by road, it can also be reached by flight and train uptil Bengaluru. From there, an overnight bus to Hospet and Hampi is twenty minute auto ride.
Where to stay- A lot of hotels can be found online. Apart from that, the normal exploring and checking for home-stays is also a brilliant idea.
What to do- Explore and explore and explore some more.