Hampi Backpacking Trip Guide

Hampi is one of the cities in India where you can explore the history of civilisation and the various reigning empires. You can also take a Hampi backpacking trip to discover its culture better. Or, you could simply just take another backpacking trip to relax, lay back and enjoy the hippie culture that this small city had to offer.

Although it is small, it has a lot to offer. Nothing about Hampi is going to hand to you and this can make it difficult to figure out what to do here. You could, obviously, explore the rock-cut temples that define the architecture of Indian temples. However, this city is for explorers. It has the perfect balance between nature and man-made. You have access to rocky terrains, water bodies, scenic views, and basically anything you need to have an adventurous backpacking trip.

Figuring out what to do and where to stay can be hard. This is why we have put all the essential tips you need in one place. From what you can do in Hampi, to where to stay and what to pack, we have got you covered.

If you are beginning out on your backpacking journey, Hampi might be just the place to start. You will experience a lot of freedom here. For example, if you have not been camping and want to experience what it would be like to lay under a sky of stars then Hampi can give you just that. Travellers come here for a variety of experiences. Hampi even offers you an experience that you might have never tried before. It is a special boat experience that has its origins way back in centuries.

Historically, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. This dynasty was a powerful Hindu empire. The Muslim kings, later, defeated this empire. Therefore, as you can see, this small city has had a long history of interchanging hands.

So, we have created a guide to your way around Hampi. This will ensure that your Hampi backpacking trip is going to run smoothly.

A Guide To Your Next Hampi Backpacking Trip

Things to do in Hampi

Visit temples

Hampi backpacking trip idea- Virupaksha temple

This small ancient city has around 14 incredible temples to enrich your Hampi backpacking trip.

In Hampi, the Virupaksha temple is one of these 14 temples. It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architectural beauty of this temple makes it one to visit. It was built during the 14th century. This temple honours Lord Shiva and was constructed in Lakkana Dandeshas assistance. He was the commander under King Deva Raya II. This temple consists of various inscriptions which depict Lord Shiva. They were engraved in the 9th century.

If you would like to visit more temples in Hampi and further under the architectural beauty that this place then there are so many more await you. Starting with Achyuta Raya Temple which was built in 1534 to the underground Shiva temple of Prasanna Virupaksha; make your backpacking trip

Climb hills

Hampi backpacking trip- Matanga hill

Hampi although a small city, is not to be undermined. Hampi has rocky terrains which can help your Hampi backpacking trip be more adventurous.

Anjaneya Hills resides at the centre of the Anegondi area. It overlooks a breath-taking view. You can witness the puzzling look of fields, coconut palm plantations and the peaks of other hills. It takes about 550 steps to get to the top of the hill.

Hampi also has large boulders that spread across landscapes. This makes for the perfect rock climbing spot. In fact, Hampi is known to be one of the best destinations for rock climbing. So be sure, to use this opportunity for your backpacking trip.

Coracle ride

Hampi backpacking trip idea- coracle ride
Image courtesy: NativePlanet

One of the most unique things about Hampi is this extraordinary ride across the Tungabhadra waters. It is a circular boat that takes you from one side to the other. This ride is open during both the summer and fall seasons. It is locally known as ‘Dongi’. It is a boat made of reed saplings and hides.

This wonderful experience has been active since the Vijayanagara Empire. It can board about 6 to 8 people. However, if you happen to visit at a time with low visitors then you can enjoy this boat all to yourself (and, of course, the oarsman). With all said, there might be some disclaimers for this activity; the boat ride is across a water body that is home to crocs. The river is also not very calm and you can experience whirling currents as you make your way through it.

Fishing in the lake

Here is another fun experience to have on your Hampi backpacking trip.

If you would like to learn the art of being patient and waiting for a fish to fall for your hook, that is fishing, then Hampi might be the place to begin.

There are many fishermen here to help you get started. The natives of Hampi could teach you their traditional ways of fishing.

This could be an interesting way to get to know the Hampi culture and its traditions.

You could combine two activities in one and take a coracle ride to the centre of the Tungabhadra River. Here, you will find the fishermen community engaged in fishing.

Visit Hippie Island

Image courtesy: The Land of Wanderlust

While the history of the city and its temples are located in the south of the river, the north of the river has something exciting for you. The must-visit place on your Hampi backpacking trip is this island rich in hippie culture.

The Hippie Island is probably the only place you might be able to find a place to stay in Hampi. It is known for its scenic beauty and the laid-back environment (the environment that allows the hippie culture to flourish hm?). The guesthouses serve good food with cold beers, which is usually banned in Hampi. You can enjoy all this with a great view of the river and the rice fields.

To get there, the first boat leaves around 9 am and the last boat is 5:30 pm. Unfortunately, time is an important factor to keep in mind here as you will be stuck on the other side of the river.

Camping in Hampi

Hampi backpacking trip activity- camping
Image courtesy: The Broke Backpacker

Setting up a tent on your Hampi backpacking trip is something you do not have to sweat over. There are plenty of camping sites around Hampi.

Campsite Hampi wilderness camping is situated in Huligi-Gangavathi Road is something you could be on the lookout for if you do wish to set up camp here.

Goes without saying, but obviously carrying your tent and setting up camp could reduce the costs of accommodation here.

How to get there

By road

There are plenty of ways to get there. But of course, the best to get there is by road.

You can always take your own vehicle here, four or two-wheelers. Hampi is well connected to the major cities via roads. You get to experience the scenic roads. This Hampi backpacking trip could also turn into an exciting road trip if you live in Karnataka.

In case you do not want to take your own vehicle, there are plenty of bus services available to Hampi from various regions.

The cheapest option to reach Hampi might be by the road. Taking your own vehicle could be more expensive than taking public transport, but it would mean more convenience. So, maybe, pick your battle?

By train

The closest railway station to Hampi is Hospet. It is located around 13 km from Hampi.

This would mean that even though you arrive here by train, you would have to take a bus to Hampi itself.

The trains would ply from many cities of Karnataka. However, do be updated on the train schedules and their routes to know better.

If you’re on budget, train is the cheapest mode of travel to Hampi. It costs lesser than a road trip if you’re travelling solo.

The best place to start with train is from Bangalore railway station.

By air

white and blue airplane wing during daytime

A Hampi backpacking trip would not be about backpacking if it involved airports. However, it might be important to know the nearest airport in the rise of a situation. Although majorly travellers come by road or train, there are a few who arrive at Hampi by taking a flight to the nearest destination.

The nearest airport is at Bellary and situated about 60 km from Hampi. However, the nearest international airport is in Bengaluru which is about 350 km away. Cab and taxi services might be available from the airports.

Goes without saying, but flights are expensive. This can be heavy on the budget.

Also Read: When to find cheap flights?

Accommodation on your backpacking trip

Finding a place to stay on your Hampi backpacking trip can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a few backpacking hostels in Hampi made for this purpose only.

Here are a few backpacker hostels in Hampi

Waterfall Guesthouse

Hampi backpacking trip accommodation
Image courtesy: Hostel World

This lovely property is located in the middle of rice paddies. It is located in Sanapura village. There are traditional huts available with large beds. However, you would have to share the bathrooms. Rooms with private bathrooms have seating areas with hammocks.

Sanapura is a beautiful village located on the exterior of the island area. There are a number of restaurants and stores located only within walking distance from the guesthouse.

This budget accommodation even offers a free rickshaw pick up from the island. The facilities available here are free wifi, parking, water heating, laundry, bike rental.

The rooms start from Rs. 325/-

Murali House

MURALI HOMESTAY HAMPI (Karnataka) - Guesthouse Reviews, Photos, Rate  Comparison - Tripadvisor
Image courtesy: Trip Advisor

This backpacking house is located in Anegundi. It has three rooms and two shared bathrooms. It is remarked to be clean. The house also has a big hallway. Choose this hostel for your Hampi backpacking trip if you came to Hampi to get away from the crowds and noise.

The location of the house helps you visit places in Hampi and Anegundi. Of course, any help you do need will be taken care of by the hosts.

Wayfarers Hampi

WAYFARERS HAMPI (India) - from US$ 76 | BOOKED
Image courtesy: Wayfarers Hampi Hostel

This hostel is dedicated to backpackers. It is located in the middle of green fields and scenic views. The hostel has a café that caters to your hunger needs. You can experience beautiful sunsets and sunrises from here. With this hostel, you can relax and lay back and experience the joy of stargazing.

The facilities offered by the hostel is free wifi, parking, bike rentals, rock climbing workshops, bike tours, live music and karaoke nights. This hostel is designed to make your backpacking experience truly what it is. The hostel serves food and drinks. It also hosts parties during the weekend.

Rocky Valley

Hampi backpacking trip accommodation- Rocky Valley
Image courtesy: Booking.com

The Rocky Valley is also located in Anegundi Hampi. They have private rooms with attached bathrooms, a front hall, a rooftop café, restaurant, laundry, free wifi, parking and camping on the terrace. This accommodation provides a river view and a terrain view; it faces the river view and has the terrain as a backdrop. They provide rental bikes. They can also arrange auto rickshaws or taxis for any pickup or drop off.

Jungle tree Hampi

Hampi backpacking trip accommodation
Image courtesy: A-HOTEL.com

This accommodation for backpackers provides private rooms with private bathrooms. They also provide massages, bike rentals and entertain live music performances.

You can have karaoke nights here and make your stay a lot more fun.

This accommodation also serves alcohol which you avail of at an additional charge.

You can bring your pets here upon special request.

There are plenty of guesthouses and homestays here. This would be the cheapest option for accommodation here.

However, if you do want to stay at a place that is fancier which might be more pricey, then Hampi does have a few options for you.

Heritage resort Hampi

Clarks Inn Hampi

Kstdc Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari

Kishkinda Heritage Resort

Lakshmi Heritage Tourist Home

Hampi’s Boulders Resort

Mango Tree Homestay

Essentials for your Hampi backpacking trip

As an experienced backpacker, you might already know about the basic checklist to keep on you so you can get around places easier. However, we have provided a simple and easy checklist of things that can make travelling to places easier. The things listed below are essential things to any travelling. These are not specific for your Hampi backpacking trip. Nonetheless, keeping these things with you can help.

Here is a checklist of items that could help you

  • Water Bottle

Carrying a water bottle with you is one of the most essential things. It will help you no matter where you do. It is a habit to have even though you are not travelling and are just heading out for the day. By developing this habit, you are going to save money and you won’t even know it!

It will also help you reduce the use and collection of plastic water bottles.

Moreover, getting yourself a sturdy water bottle is one of the best investments you can make.

  • Microfibre Towel

Towels happen to be one of those items that you do not have when you need one. It is something that you always forget to take. Of course, hostels might provide you with towels. But, having your own fresh and clean towels is a whole different feeling.

So, be sure to pack some compact, lightweight towels. You can use these towels as a blanket or a yoga mat when you need them.

  • Headtorch

This particular might come really handy on your Hampi backpacking trip. If you do wish to do rock climbing or some exploring around the terrains then this tool can be useful. It could also be efficient if you have a cramped up space that you want to enter. For example, during the times of a power cut, if you want to use the washroom, you can make use of the headtorch you carried.

In case, you do not have a headtorch you could carry a torch with you. An LED torch is something that should be a common household tool. Consider carrying this along on your backpacking trips. In case of an emergency, you will definitely thank yourself.

  • Hammock/Tent

If you do plan on camping, then tents would be another item that you would have to carry. In the case of a Hampi backpacking trip, you could maybe carry a tent if you are able to. This would ensure that even though you are late for the last boat across the Tungabhadra River you can set up a tent and rest.

However, tents could get bulky to carry around. In which case, a hammock could ease this burden. It is lightweight, cheap, strong, and allows you to set up a space to sleep on for a night.

  • Toiletry Bag

Toiletry bags are a travel must-have. It is a very efficient way to organise and keep the things that keep twisting around in your bag. You can keep all the things that you might lose in here too. This could be the one bag that takes care of all your personal and hygiene needs. Especially on a backpacking trip, where you have one backpack to carry everything, having separate bags to carry certain things can be helpful.