Hampi is recently declared the 2nd must visit places in India according to the New York Times and everyone is curious to visit this Unesco world heritage site. Before planning for a trip, let’s find out all about Hampi espacially, how safe is Hampi for solo travelers.
Hampi Karnataka was always on my bucket list. So, recently when I got a chance to visit the place, I grabbed it at once. I booked a single lady seat in KSRTC bus, packed my backpack and started off. I got a very good deal in a hostel and quite impulsively booked it. I was sorted but life had something else in store for me. Next morning I realized my hostel was near Gangavathi (around 30 Km from the main city) and to top it all, there was a transport strike for the next two days.
It was a quiet and serene place. There was rocky dry terrains on one side, paddy fields on the other and a narrow road dividing the two. I spent the entire day reading, finished off my freelance works, strolled around on foot. That evening I went to a nearby sunset point. After a long time I could witness how the environment around changes with the setting of the Sun, The sky dimed down, the greens looked greener, the breeze suddenly felt much cooler and birds start chirping louder. It felt as if every element of nature is declaring the end of a day its own unique way. My chain of thoughts was broken by a squirrel. It was looking at me very curiously. Guess I was invading its space and it didn’t like it much. I decided to walk back to the hostel and resume my work.
Hitchhiking for the 1st time
The next day was mad, I had no clue how to go to the city. No buses or auto and the scooter rent was way beyond my budget. So I decided to just start walking. The map showed 2 hours walk to the city. But fortunately, I didn’t have to walk much, a local gentleman was kind enough to drop me to a nearby city from where I got a vehicle to the Vijay Vittahala temple. The place is famous for Musical pillars and the Stone Chariot. The aura of this place takes you to a different era. The Vijayanagara Empires of the 13th century though vandalized heavily by Mughals, still managed to stand tall and proud, reminding us of our royal heritage.
The experience was truly magical. The day was almost coming to an end and I was thinking, how to go back to my hostel. Just then, the gentleman called me to inform that he was heading back home and I could join him if I want.
I didn’t give a second thought before saying yes though I was quite skeptical. Did I do the right thing? Will it be safe to travel at sunset with an unknown person? But I decided to take a chance, I had my Swiss knife in my pocket and was refreshing all self-defense techniques I knew.
The journey started. The sun setting on the other side of the Tungabhadra river was a treat to the eye. The gentleman started talking about his family, how he couldn’t adjust to the city life in Bangalore and decided to return back. The fear that I had, in the beginning, was mellowing a bit now but my hand was still holding the swiss knife. He dropped me safely at my hostel and left. That half an hour ride, I was dealing with all sorts of emotions. I was scared, anxious, vigilant, guilty for being scared, empathetic and astonished by the simplicity and helpfulness of the locals. I just thanked him and wished him all happiness in life. That night I was awake for a long time gazing at the star-studded sky and listening to the sounds of darkness.
Last day in Hampi
Next day I decided to leave the hostel. The strike was lifted but there was no sign of a bus. I was lucky that a middle-aged man stopped by and agreed to give me a lift.
He was very happy to know that I can speak Kannada. He was curious to know about my native Kolkata. Later he told me all about the significance of the place, the local temples and how Hampi has changed over time.
We reached Virupaksha Temple and offered our prayers. Then he said,
“I would have loved to show you around but I had to go back to my wife, she is very sick. I never leave her alone at home for long. Every morning I come here to offer prayers for her recovery and return as soon as possible.”
His commitment reassured my faith in relationships. I guess his company taught me a lot about love, companionship, and faith in almighty. I just thanked him for his help and started walking.
The Little Soldiers
I decided to have a cup of tea before starting to explore this part of Hampi. There I met two very enthusiastic kids, they were excited to show me around. I couldn’t ask for more. Starting from Sasivekalu Ganesha, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Ugranarasimha Temple, Krishna Temple, Krishna Bazar, Queens Bath, and Bhojanshala. They showed me all the places possible and their energy was infectious. Later we all had lunch together and I promised to come back and meet them soon.
Then I started roaming around Hippie Island where I met a shopkeeper who was kind enough to offer me to keep my backpack and take it back later.
Is it for real? How can people be so helpful and loving? My inner instinct tried to scare me but his concern melted my heart. I sat with him for some time and helped him convince the foreigners to buy clothes from his shop. The rest of the evening in a rooftop cafe, talking to a 19-year-old traveler from Netherlands who I met in the cafe. We started talking about our cultures and perspectives on life. It was quite interesting to see how people of different age group hailing from two extreme corners of the world can have similar thoughts on life.
Later I took my bag from the shop, thanked Uncle for his help. The love that the people of Hampi shown me was beyond my expectations. The trip, which I thought was a bad idea on the first day gave me so much love and affection.
I guess this detailed description proves how safe Hampi, Karnataka really is for solo female travelers. So take my words, you are never ready to travel solo till the time you finally go for it. But be vigilant and safe. Learn some self-defense techniques, keep a swiss knife or a pepper spray with you always. Keep your family member or a friend updated about your locations and most importantly have faith in your self. You just need to take the 1st step, then there is no looking back. You will return home with a bag full of beautiful experiences and exciting stories to share with the world.
If you want to know more about my solo travel experiences please visit
To know about my solo venture to Northeast India please visit Sikkim- the land of mist & mountains.
To know about the culinary cultures of Bhutan click The taste of Bhutan
We also have a delicious spread for you from the beautiful city of Coorg- The Scotland of India
I am always eager to know about your stories be it travel stories or stories of your life. So please write to me whatever you want to share. I promise to come back soon with other exciting travel experiences with you.
Till then stay happy and keep traveling!
Lots of love