The Hippie side of Hampi!
Sanapur (popularly known as Hippie Hampi) is the perfect antithesis to the cultural bonhomie that Hampi offers. Hampi is heritage and poise, architecture and structure while Sanapur is hippie and modern, relaxed and unstructured.
A short ferry/boat/coracle ride divides Hampi from Sanapur (Virupapur Gadde) – the hippie haven. Sanapur is literally one long dirt path littered with cafes, guesthouses and arty shops. Bikes for rent boards are aplenty. Sounds of crickets, frogs and parakeets accompany me as I lay on the suspended daybed in front of my room at the Mowgli guesthouse. The room could be cleaner, but with the view of the blue-blue sky that looks like a perfect sky colored wallpaper with 3D designs of coconut and many other green trees, all rustling softly in the pre-noon breeze, I realize that I prefer this combination of a not-so-clean room and spectacular view from my suspended daybed to a spotless room with a sub-standard view.
There’s a peaceful and calming stillness all around that feels oddly comforting. This ease with laidback holidaying is newfound and I intend to enjoy it in its entirety.
Narrow bumpy roads interspersed with narrow steady roads are great to acquaint any traveler with the stony-boulder Mountains that are present at every turn of the landscape. A beautiful, short strip of steely blue water adjoins a stretch of road and offers a break from the usual scenic splendor of stacked boulders and paddy fields lined with coconut trees.
Straight stretches of road, a few turns of left and then right brings us to what’s popularly known as Sunset Point. Waterfalls shrouded in stone and a landscape that’s breathtaking makes a stunning backdrop to the purple sunset. A short coracle ride takes us to the rocky structure that turns out to be smooth and jagged marble-like rocks.
A surprisingly quick and comfortable climb takes us to a marvelous view. The rocks narrow to a point that opens out to a wide-ish landing where you can sit and marvel at the lay of the land. I am grateful to the coracle rider who offered us the option. There are rocks and stone structure on one side and on the other, the rivulet which it flows in an outward direction propelled by the streams of water falling from multiple waterfalls. You just have to be there for the view.
Making my way down is hard as always but there’s still the high from the climb and the sights. I scoop water from the waterfalls into my hands and splash it on my face; I feel refreshed all over again.
Lush paddy fields and plantain groves to floor pillows and paper lanterns; evenings at Sanapur are ‘chill’. The art and psychedelic paints on the walls are interesting. Even with the ubiquitous combination of floor seating, colored walls and glow lights, the cafes on this side of town have a varying ambience. Italian coffee is the elixir surging through almost everyone’s veins when it’s not the custom rolls that people of all ages are hooked to smoking.
It’s easy to converse with traveler strangers or eavesdrop on a stimulating conversation between strangers and walk away with a new perspective. It’s miraculously hard to not get lost in this clichéd but promising land of happiness and high.
You learn to let go of the need for routine and ‘doing’. I spent hours at lying on a floor pillow/mattress at a café, simply reading a newfound book or staring at the colorful ambience and looking across the river at the beautiful Hampi temples. The landscape is picturesque and beautiful, and you can’t help but breathe deeply from the clean, unadulterated air that smells of trees and life.