Rock Climbing in Hampi

Bounded by the River Tungabhadra on one side and high hill extensions on the other 3 sides, Hampi once the land of art, culture, wealth and guarded an entourage of powerful and mighty kings… today lies in lies.  The broken walls of once mighty temples whisper silent tales of long lost legends and mythical events.

While my first visit to Hampi were dedicated to visiting an ancient empire, my second visit was more adrenaline pumping and action oriented… I set out to try my hand out with rock climbing. Leaving with a group of friends, we headed out to try our luck with climbing some of the most famous bouldering destinations of not only India, but of the world.

Visited by the rock climbers across the globe, Hampi famously known as the Bouldering Capital of India is known for its magnificent landscape that is covered with granite boulders or crags.

Ropes, crash mats and chalk in hand we set out to capture the Hemakuta hill, believed to be one of the largest free standing boulders. Lucky for me I was with a group of experienced rock climbers… and soon I learnt that we were headed towards Hemakut Hill, the destination of one of the largest free-standing boulders…

Fortunately, we decided to head in December so the weather was not oppressive. We reached Hampi at 5 am, and after regular routine work we rented bicycles and headed out towards the ruins and the hills that encased them. Once we reached the hill, my misgivings started… the first thought that crossed my head was, “what the hell am I doing here, with a group of experienced rock climbers, attempting a boulder at Hampi?”  My palms were sweaty and I guess I had my first signs of getting the cold feet.

But it was pointless trying to chicken out at this point, considering I had come all the way and even trekked quite a bit! I looked at the boulder closely, believing it to become a friend of mine… (At this point it is quite possible that I had cracked under the pressure)… but what propelled me further was the kind and knowing looks of my friends. So I had my friend guide me as I caught on the first crag… Soon one leg got off the ground and the dye was cast.

The rest, like the cliché says is history… it simply didn’t matter after a while, the only thought that struck was there in my mind was reaching the top… my muscles might have been aching, but nothing mattered other than reaching the top of the boulder…

Soon, I realised I was on top and the others were soon catching up… while I have always loved the ruins of Hampi, sitting atop a boulder on top of Hill, the Temple complexes and stone sculptures looked all the more beautiful… my muscles might have become stiff and painful… but it didn’t matter…  For the first time I felt a feeling of complete peace and contentment… It was a feeling of achievement, of overcoming an unknown fear and an unknown challenge….  The cool winds blowing around was cooling my raging blood… but nothing mattered, nothing felt as important as me sitting on top of that boulder on that day…

All the concerns and fears of falling, blood and gore and broken limbs just did not matter, it felt insignificant in the light of an achievement that seemed impossible a while ago… After rock climbing in Hampi, it seems like I have found a new passion…

Best Time to Visit

October to February is the peak tourist season in Hampi, when the temperature ranges in between 28ºC and 30ºC. December is the most favoured rock climbing season during which the place is visited by both Indian and international rock climbers.

 

 

 

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