13. February 2016 – 12:49
Another article from me about the climbing paradise Hampi with lots of information about how to get there, the stay and Hampi in general! Some more information you can read here: Happy in Hampi.
A few lines from a bouldering beginner and India connoisseur
Hampi in India is considered one of the largest and best bouldering areas of the world and this is of no surprise: in Hampi, the Rocks scattered as if God had decided to eject them here: Boulder as far as the eye can see!
Every year, the best climbers from all over the world come here for two to three months in the season. Season means for Hampi November to March. The summer months are either too hot to climb in Hampi or too wet due to the monsoon rain. Even in the winter months, the climbers must be disciplined: getting up early is a must. Already after 10 o’clock, it is almost too hot to be in the rocks. Only in the cooler evening hours, one can go for a 2nd climbing session.
In between, small and chilly cafes and restaurants are offering rest, good food and even better company.
Hampi is primarily a famous tourist destination, not for its boulders, but for its history! Many Indian travelers include Hampi in their cultural program to visit the unique temples! Hampi is a Unesco World Heritage Site! Of course, the beauty of nature and the relaxing atmosphere adds up for being the perfect destination.
Six years ago, I was completely unaware that Hampi was a climbing paradise and I only went to the small town to visit its temples and natural beauty for 2 days. Even today I meet many travelers in Hampi who ask me why I would carry my mattress around with me!
Of course, even six years ago, I was aware of these huge boulders and rock formations all around. But at that time they simply turned the place into something even more special: Greens palm trees and banana plants, temples, paddy fields and in between rocks, rocks, rocks! For me, Hampi is one of the most beautiful places in the world!
2 years later I did my Mountaineering Course in the Himalayas and discovered my love for climbing.
I remembered the millions of rocks in Hampi!
Soon after, I set off south with friends to get to know Hampi as a boulderer!
In the meantime, I try every year for at least a few days to come to the tranquil place. Hampi is tiny and due to the Unesco World Heritage Site, not much can be built here either. Only in the winter months, a small tourist village on the other side of the river is created, with guest houses, restaurants and small shops. In the meantime, there are even two climbing shops that provide equipment and organize climbing trips.
When you come in the season you meet the best climbers from all over the world and often have the opportunity to climb with them. There are more than enough boulders here so that no one gets into the torment and the climbing routes are suitable for every level!
It’s fascinating when you’re climbing together with people from Spain, England, Japan and France, motivating each other and rejoice for each other! The climbing newcomers (like me) learn from the old hares and these in turn gladly pass on their knowledge!
Real boulderers should try at least to come to Hampi once. But I am sure that those who got caught by the Hampi fever, will come back again and again! This is not only due to the boulders themselves, but much more due to the relaxed atmosphere, the nice community and India itself!
The boulders can make you despair! Here the rocks are as sharp as hardly anywhere else! You have to have to let grow an extra layer of skin on our fingers in the first few weeks and sore spots are tied with tape! Not infrequently climbers take a break due to aching hands and not because the muscles need a break! But once you have overcome the pain threshold, you will enjoy many magical climbs in Hampi, whether climbing novice or professional!
Here are a few travel tips:
Via Bangalore or Goa with an overnight bus
Via Mumbai/Goa or Bangalore by overnight train to Hospet and from there continue by autorickshaw or bus (14 km)
Hampi Island (on the other side of the river), offers numerous cheap backpacker accommodations in different price ranges. Goan Corner is popular among climbers, here you can also sleep on the roof. The atmosphere is great and the food delicious. Otherwise, many climbers camp next to the Rishimook Cafe at the Rishimook Plateau.
There are many cheap and good restaurants. As a single person, it is best to choose the Thali, a combo dish with various Indian Dishes. If you don’t like Indian, you’ll also find pasta, burgers and co.
Many fruit stalls offer fresh fruit and cut it for you. Be careful with the grapes!
There are two shops renting climbing shoes (often with holes), Crashpads and climbing books. Magnesia and tape can also be purchased here:
Tom and Jerry Climbing Shop, Hampi Island
Thimmaclimb, near the boats, Hampi Island
Climbing book available in German and English:
Bouldering in Hampi – Golden Boulders
Climbing Guidebook Hampi by Gerald Krug and Christiane Hupe