Hampi, a sacred pilgrimage in Northern Karnataka is without any doubt, a heaven spread on the banks of Tungabhadra River in midst of giant boulders of Deccan India. Being very different from any village you have seen, it carries in itself a diverse array of attractions which pleases people from all domains. Whether it is History, Archeology, Religion, Philosophy, Adventure, Tourism or Gastronomy, Hampi has a strong something for every school.
Advanced in the ruins of Vijayanagara Empire (1366 A.D.) this village is no doubt very singular but holds the beautiful essence of any typical Indian Village which is clearly visible in the life of local people here. Whether it is children playing blissfully in paddy fields or people going to their livelihood by crossing river in boat for Rs 20 or old people gathering at the chaupal, this simplicity adds to the incomparable beauty of this place. Due to its dissimilar nature compared to other popular destinations you will never find many Indian Tourists here but the number of Foreign Tourists during any time of year is considerable and is about 10 times the Indian tourists. If you are after a fancy holiday with top class services and decent luxury, Hampi is not the place for you. Hippies adore it and adventurers find their utter pleasure here. Believers come here to wash away their sins from this and previous lives. Every ruin in Hampi has a story and people live here for years studying each ruin and extracting every possible pleasure from this small heaven.
I can talk about the beauty of this place forever, but I am here to give you a nice glimpse of food in Hampi. Hampi has mostly small basic Cafes serving food from all over the globe. For the local stuff you have to rely on roadside stalls which aren’t bad either. Most cafes here started as a joint venture of Indian and Foreigners who settled here after falling in love this enchanting adobe of Hampi. My journey started from the Hampi Bazaar, the main center of town. It was evening and first thing I got my hands on was a chillum made of Coconut Leaves. This place is favorite destination of hippies in South India, so I ofter term it as Kasol Of South. Stuff was good and appetizing and I went for my food hunt.
First was a rooftop café at the starting of bazaar. Here I had their Tomato Egg Pasta. It was very basic and low on spices like everywhere In Hampi. The stronghold of foreign tourists is fairly visible in every aspect.
Next I moved on to my second place where I had Coconut Tofu Pineapple smoothie and Pan Fried Thai Noodles. Both were great and even after being low on spices did not fail at all. The ambiance was made up really well to please hippies and also art fanatics. Dark and dim environment with such vibrant and mind quenching decor can give you glimpses of a whole new universe.
Dessert was the Chocolate Banana Fudge Cake which was real fresh and satisfying.
Everything is priced very reasonable and gives the best of the preparations.
Next morning I was walking through bazaar to catch the boat to other side of Tungabhadra and saw many roadside stalls. One of them was serving poori’s with aalo-sabzi. I decided to have my breakfast there with the view of river. Again this also did not fail to impress. The early morning vibes accompanied with light poori’s and a simple yet delicious sabzi, chutney and cherry of the dish, mirchi ka pakoda in front of Tungabhadra river is a feeling worth every effort I made to reach there. Tea was also good and completed the feeling.
Near Sanapur Lake there is a café run by a Nepali Cook which plays trance all day long. Ideal place to lie down all day and enjoying the hippie life with music in ears and book in your hand. I had Chicken Steak which was really good, thanks to its amazing sauce.
Next to try was the German Bakery on Hampi Island where I had Chocolate Peanut Cake. It was so huge in size and like everything in Hampi, reasonably priced, a True Happiness.
On the way back Bus stopped at a place called Kamat in Dharwad, where I had South Indian Thali which was a complete meal in itself with 12 heart pleasing items. And it cost was mere Rs. 90.
In all, Hampi is a beautiful place with a number of diverse gastronomical gems reasonably priced to give you the most pleasing experiences. Foreign tourism has led to its current shape which is balanced on three pillars of Religion, History and Tourism.