Hippies, Heat, and Ruins

A few days pretending to be Lara Croft and Larry Crowne

March 2020

Filed under: india

Hampi is a small town in South India that happens to have miles and miles of 14th, 15th, and 16th century ruins. We spent a few days there exploring the ruins, chatting with a Dutch couple, and eating with hippy backpackers.

Although there is a temple ruin complex that you have to pay 600 rupees per person to go see, everything else is free and open to the public. AND because there are so many ruins you are often the only tourists in sight as you walk and explore. We felt quite a bit like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.

In Hampi we also rented e-bikes from our tuk tuk driver and greatly enjoyed the freedom of exploring the town and surrounding areas without a driver (and climbing hills without peddling). This was all, we were soon to learn, in sharp contrast with North India, where it was very difficult to explore on your own, had to pay to see almost everything, and even when you insisted on exploring on your own you were still continually harassed by touts. But we digress.

There were so many amazing ruins in Hampi that we ended up not even going to the paid complex because our legs were tired and we were experiencing temple fatigue.

On our last day we crossed a tiny river, rented a scooter, and reenacted our favorite movie we’ve never seen, Larry Crowne. We spent the day driving through rice fields, passing huge boulders, and even relaxing and cooling down by a lake. To return back across the river we literally hung out under a thatched roof shack until the boat guys decided there were enough people to warrant a trip across. A slow and simple way of life. All in all, it was a great few days in the slower paced South and we would highly recommend a visit for anyone traveling to India.

Overlooking the temple complex

Temple Columns

Examining temple columns

Indiana Jones vibes

Gateway in varying states of ruin

A welcome antique shaded walkway

A temple still in use in the foreground with historic ruins in the background

Refurbished stepwell

Village kids doing what kids do