Postcards from Hampi
With the exception of a weekend work retreat at Songs of Earth—a “nature resort” and conference center little more than an hour’s drive from the city—I didn’t leave Hyderabad in my first two months here. One of the best things about returning home from my first trip out (to Goa) was just that: returning home. That we had settled enough, lived enough, for this house and this colony of ours to feel like home. But as much as I enjoy the life I’ve built here, I’ve found that the best way for me to hack at the challenges and the built-up frustrations therein is first to step back—to spend some time away, even if it’s just for a day or two. About once a month, I try to visit somewhere new and with domestic transport so affordable—for instance, a train trip to Chennai costs about $6—doing so has been more feasible than I realized when I decided to move to India.
Now on the opposite end of my contract’s timeline, with two months to go, the once-a-month visits elsewhere continue. Most recently (and finally!) I went to Hampi, a village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in northern Karnataka. Hampi is home to the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire’s capital city (1500s), a strikingly green landscape contrasted by massive boulders, and bands of (mostly) European backpackers smoking away seemingly without a care in the world. There are plenty of places to explore if you have the time and are interested in history and archeology. Do rent a bike as the sites are expansive.
But as for me, I went to Hampi more for the scenery and the company than for the history. Though certainly touristy, Hampi is far from hectic, and it was a relaxed few days away that I most needed. Out of the house. Out of the city. So relaxed in fact that I was too busy breathing in fresher air and lingering on the greenery all around to bother taking many pictures. But here are a few—captured on my phone.