I had looked on Internet for a train ticket, but it didn’t seem to be any day trains running to Hospet. So when I arrived in Panaji I went to the bus companies to ask for a bus ticket, but it turned out there were no buses running during monsoon time. At a travel agent I found out though that there was a train leaving Goa for Hospet a few days a week (on Internet I had searched for a day when they were not running). I was told there were only 2nd class AC left for the train next day so I bought a ticket. I paid Rs 940 (June 2010) at the travel agent for the ticket. On the ticket it said the actual price was Rs 834 and that agents take Rs 10 -20. It is better to book the ticket at the train reservation office at the Kadamba bus stand in Panaji.
The train was leaving from Margao at 8.00 in the morning. I took a taxi from the hotel in Panaji and it was Rs 620 and took 45 minutes. At the railway station in Margao I bought some breakfast and then tried to find out where my coach was going to stop. The train was very, very long and I couldn’t find my coach number A1on the signs. I was directed to both ends of the long platform, but when the train arrived (on time) I was luckily not far from where the coach stopped.
I had got an upper berth, which I didn’t like. I absolutely didn’t want to sleep, but wanted to sit up and look out through the window. The man who had the window seat (and thus the lower berth) didn’t want to convert the berth for sitting. When the conductor arrived I asked if there were any other seats and luckily there was a window seat not far away available all the way to Hospet. It was a single seat so no one sat next to me, and the chair in front of me was also empty. Most people in the coach seemed to lay in their berths with the light off and the curtains drawn before their compartment.
In Hubli the coach was cleaned, even the windows on the outside. Shortly after Hubli I got the lunch I had ordered earlier from a man taking up orders. The lunch was Rs 40 and consisted of chapati, rice and three pots, one with lenses, one with beans and one with lassi.
We arrived half an hour late to Hospet. I think the journey took about 8 hours. Even before the train stopped the auto rickshaw drivers hopped on the train trying to get customers. As it was big competition the price to Hampi, more than 15 km away, was Rs 100 (June 2010). As I wanted to buy a train ticket back to Goa the auto rickshaw driver waited for me. In Hampi I was dropped at the hotel.
Already when I arrived to Hospet I bought a train ticket back to Goa. I got a ticket for Rs 170 (June 2010) in the SL class. According to the timetable the train was supposed to leave at 6.30 and arrive in Margao at 13.54.
In the morning of the departure I took an auto rickshaw from Hampi to Hospet. I booked it through the hotel and it picked me up at 5.30 in the morning. It was Rs 200 and it took 30 minutes to the railway station in Hospet. The train arrived half an hour late in Hospet, and during this time I had breakfast and also tried to find out where my coach S10 was going to stop. The trains only stop for a short while so it is important to be in the right place on the platform. When the train arrived I saw S9 and thought S10 would be the next coach, but it stood S11 on it. Where was S10? I asked someone working at the station and he pointed in the other direction. Unfortunately it was the wrong direction and before I found the right coach the train started to move. I hopped on the nearest coach, a third class coach with many people standing. I stood near the open entrance so that I could change wagon quickly when the train stopped next time.
In the right coach I was sitting next to some friends on their first trip to Goa. I ordered lunch, but when it came it was not as good as on the journey from Goa. There was no chapati, less rice and the lassi did not taste good. The price was the same, Rs 40.
From the train I got a beautiful view of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls (India’s second highest waterfall), but unfortunately my camera was in the bag.
When the train arrived in Margao (Madgaon) I went to the prepaid taxi booth, to the right outside the train station. A prepaid taxi to Baga was Rs 830 and it took over an hour. The taxi dropped me outside the hotel, Cavala Seaside Resort.
There are a few river crossings by small boats around Hampi. If you are in Hampi Bazaar and want to go to Virupapur Gaddi, the small quiet village on the other side of the river, you just walk down the road to the river past the Ghats (the broad stairs leading down to the river where a lot of laundry is done). Down by the river there are colourful small motorboats taking passengers over to the other side. They leave frequently and cost Rs 15 (June 2010) for foreigners and Rs 10 for locals. People also take their bikes and motorbikes on the boat. The river crossing only takes a few minutes.
One day I walked from Hampi, passed Vittala temple (which I had seen another day), to Anegundi. A bridge was constructed over the Tungabhadra River at Anegundi, but before it was completed it collapsed in January 2009 and killed 8 construction workers. It is not sure that the bridge will be rebuilt.
Now there are small boats, or actually big round baskets with tarpaulin, crossing the river. It is a quite busy crossing and on the first boat they put three motorbikes plus the passengers. They told me to come “aboard” as well, but I said I would wait for the next one. It looked to be too much with three motorbikes in such a small basket so I thought it is better to wait. Another boat/basket was on its way from the other side so I didn’t have to wait long. This time there were only two motorbikes put on the boat so it felt safer. The crossing was Rs 20 (July 2010).
I had done a lot of walking , walking from Hampi Bazaar to Anegundi and on to Hanumans Temple. When I came down from Hanumans temple there was an auto rickshaw standing there and I asked how much it was to Anegundi. He said it was Rs 150 and 7km. I knew that wasn’t true as I had walked from Anegundi in 35 minutes. I decided to look for the river crossing which on my map was between Hampi Bazaar and Anegundi.
After walking a few hundred metres on the main road there was a sign for the river crossing. I walked through a village to a dirt road and followed the deserted road for quite a while. As I came closer to the river the road became a path going past some ruins. A man came running calling out for me. It turned out he lived on the other side of the river and was also crossing. By the river there were a few small baskets/boats. I paid Rs 20 (July 2010) to a woman sitting under a tree and I and the man sat down in the boat. The man paddled the boat across the river and on the other side he took it out of the water, put it on the shore and walked away. There were no other people around to take the boat back over the river if a tourist came to cross the river. I guess the locals just put the boat in the water and paddle themselves.
Some form ot transport is essential if you want to see the best of what Hampi has to offer, due to the expanse of the area. If you have a good guide book you can hire a bicycle, but remember the area covers some 33kms. Taxi's and Tuk Tuk's are readily available, and tho' i did not use them myself, i found that when talking to them, they were also proficient guides. Remember the price is negotiable, and if you want to see the Monkey Temple, using motorised transport there is a 70km detour.
To get to Hampi, catch the night train from Bangalore to Hospet. From Hospet get an auto to Hampi, which costs about Rs.100/-.
The best way to get around Hampi is to hire either a cycle or a scooter from the main bazaar.
You can strike a deal with one of the auto rickshaw guys - possibly the one who brought you from Hospet to Hampi. They can take you around to the different ruins and even act as quasi-tourist guides.
Remember to take their mobile phone number.
Also, ensure that the price and time you are going to use are fixed earlier on.
This mode of getting around to explore is especially advised if you only have very limited time in Hampi.
Bikes, scooters, mopeds are also available for rent. You may need to pick up your own tourist guide and Hampi map to get around using these. Ensure you have a license.
It is better to rent these in the morning as they charge the same price through the day.
You can find the rental place in Hampi bazaar, right by the Virupaksha temple.
This mode of getting around Hampi is much cheaper than hiring an auto rickshaw.
We took an overnight train from Bangalore to Hospet. Train tickets cost around Rs. 500 one-way for 3-tier AC compartment. Tickets can be booked on www.irctc.co.in
Reservations open up a couple of months before the date of travel. They tend to get taken up pretty fast, especially for weekends. So ensure you book in advance.
You can take an auto rickshaw from Hospet station to Hampi. Make sure you are okay with the price before getting in. Rs. 100 max to get you to Hampi.
Here's what you should plan on paying for transportation around Hampi:
- Hospet to Hampi by autorickshaw: Rs. 100 **
- Hospet to Kamalpur by Tuk Tuk: Rs. 7 per person
- Kamalpur to Hampi by bus: Rs. 7 per person
- Kamalpur to Hampi by autorickshaw: Rs. 50
- All-day Hampi tour by autorickshaw: Rs. 400-Rs. 550 (bargain for best price)
- All-day Hampi tour by non-AC taxi: Rs. 600 (bargain for best price)
- All-day guided KSTDC tour from Hospet: Rs. 140 per person **
- Self-drive Bicycle rental for one-day: Rs. 100**
- Self-drive two-wheeler rental: Rs. 300 per day (fuel is yours)
** good option
[Current as of January 28, 2007]
Tourists come to Hostpet and from there go to Hampi.There are buses to Hospet from all over Karnataka and some trains connect Hospet to Hubli,Hyderabad,Bangalore ,Tirupathi and to Miraj.Hampi is about 12 kms from Hospet and easily accessabile by road.There are plenty of taxis and cabs that ply to and fro.
The state Government runs buses between Hampi and Hospet from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m..A sight seeing tour is run by the Tourism Development corporation.
There are plenty of local guides who could also be engaged if one is going on their own.
My advice is to not bother with hiring a guide/taxi/auto. Take things at your own pace and hire some bicycles!! Spend the entire day cycling through the ruins. You'll be able to go places a vehicle can't take you, and you'll find you'll be on your own for the entire time.
The cycle shops are easy to find in the main part of Hampi, should cost around 30 rupees for the entire day
If you're not staying in Hampi but across the river in an area known as Virupapur Gadde, you'll have to cross the river by a small ferry boat. Foreigners are charged Rs10 each way. Even if you're not staying on the other side, there are some good "chill-out" places to eat and drink at over the river (such as the Laughing Buddha, which I went to), plus more scenes of rural Indian life such as people working in paddy fields and farming by ox ploughs.