Hampi a personal account

I asked the universe to fall in love And. .. I fell in love with Hampi (Cheryl, UK)


Sunrise at the Hanumantempel

When I arrive in Hampi for the second time in early February, it’s like a sigh of relief. Nearly a month I´ve been travelling in Rajasthan, where I’ve seen so much that my head was just buzzing. After that I was in Goa, to unwind at the beach, but I was unfortunately ill and spent most of my time sniffling with a runny now. A narrow house with two people in a small bed is not the best foundation in this case.

And so I am off again to  Hampi. The first few days after my arrival I recover, to start then slowly  to explore the sights that I missed on my first visit. A second time I am fascinated by the landscape. And over the next three weeks, I will go almost on a daily basis to explore at least a bit and see the landscape again and again with pleasure. Rock formations, as if God had played with blocks of rock, to see what designs are possible. A desert landscape surrounding the rock formations. Cacti, shrubs and chipmunks romp here. The contrast are the many rice fields and palm trees that are visible in all  places which are flatter and without stones. The contrast between desert and fertile landscape of this country deepens even at closer inspection. In the middle of rice  fields there are suddenly rocks and from between the  stones grass is sprouting forth  again.

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The unique landscape Hampi

In addition to this growing enthusiasm for the beauty of the place I start researching soon. I offer an article on Hampi for a German newsletter and begin to familiarize myself with the current state of affairs in Hampi. I speak with the two archaeologists who have been investigating Hampi for more than 30 years, and I also get to know a local activist. They and all other residents with whom I speak think that the new life that has evolved over the ruins, mainly because of tourism, should not be leveled to the ground. The people who have built homes and established lives should be entitled to remain here.

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People are worried in Hampi Bazar, they don

I also meet many other travelers. Hampi is a retreat for spiritual seekers and long-term travelers. I get to know exciting and unconventional lifestyles  and meet people without a finished concept of life and / or with big questions towards life. To many of them I give a quotation from Rilke who has also rendered me valuable service in recent years:

You must have patience
against the unsolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves
like locked rooms,
or  books

written in a very foreign language.

The point is to live everything.
If you live the questions,
you may  live gradually
without realizing it,
one distant day
into the answer.

We have many in-depth conversations  – perhaps because we know that our paths will not cross again.

After 10 days, my article is finished, and I learn about a small, very simple guest house in the neighboring village. I spend a night (and a magnificent sunrise on the adjacent “home mountain”, the Hanuman Temple), and I  am so charmed that I decide to skip the train ticket I  bought already . For over a week I stay and enjoy my time immensely . My fascination with the landscape remains, and I am charmed by the small village surrounding the guesthouse.

The accommodation is the cheapest I have had on my whole trip, and yet I lack nothing. The first few days I spend in a mud hut and feel comfortable and secure – as in a dark cave with surprisingly pleasant temperatures. For second half of my stay I get the room that is built into the rock, which is also cool during the night. I appreciate this, especially since it is only mid-February and it  is now hotter with each passing day. The daily routine is always scheduled around the heat, and the mornings and early evenings in particular are used to explore while we take time to swing in the hammock during the hot hours .

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After three weeks I’m leaving Hampi again and am really glad to meet a friend in the south – I do not know if I could leave otherwise. Mardan, the Guest House owner, brings me on his bike to the ferry, and while I rumble the last time through the landscape, I am very sad. This place is really something special, and many people have already caught the Hampi bug. Even me – for the first time in all my travels, I have found a place where I know I am sure to return.

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