1. Bike around. O Bharat ke tourist log, get off your lazy asses. Learn from our foreign brethren, cycling around the ruins. Biking is cheap, quicker than walking and good for all that weight you put on during Diwali. It’s a buy one, get three free offer; you’d be an idiot to let it go.
2. Take a dip in the Tungabhadra. You would probably have come in the morning bus, and by lunchtime, you are tired and sweaty with all the culture you’ve been soaking in. Take a dip in the Tungabhadra river near the Virupaksha temple, cleanse away all that grime, both physical and mental. Just remember, this is not a bathroom. Don’t bring soap and shampoo and start off like they do on the banks of the Ganga.
3. Rest. Relax. Apart from a handful of shops near the temple, there is nothing “towny” about this place. No disco, no pub, no idiot neighbor blasting Dhinka Chika from his stereo system. A night in one of the bamboo huts of the guesthouses, in the middle of the paddy fields, with crickets for company, will do wonders for those high stress levels.
4. See the sunset. We missed this, as we were on a one-day trip, but I’ve been told that the sight of a sunset from atop one of the rocky hills is a breathtaking one.
5. Visit Anegundi. If you are staying in Hampi for more than a day, take a ferry across the river to Anegundi, the capital of Vijayanagara before Hampi. Of course there is the requisite dosage of history and heritage, but you can also get a flavor of the modern with the handicrafts being sold at the shops set up by the Kishkinda Trust.
Have you been to Hampi? How did you get off the beaten track?