Have you ever been on a holiday or weekend getaway where you did nothing at all? Yes! Nothing! Just sat around and listen to the sounds of nature and drink some beer. If you have, you know what kind of a place I’m talking about. If you have not – this is one such place you can visit.
The “Hippy Island” is the unofficial name given to the island of Virupapur Gadde (or Gaddi). It gets its “Island” status as it is surrounded by the Tungabadra River on all sides. When you visit Hampi, this is the place to stay. If you wish to find it on Google Maps, looks for Virupapur Gadde and select ‘Mowgli Guest House’ on the search result.
Getting there –
Now the island is right next to Hampi. As a matter of fact, you can see the Virupaksha Temple across the river. But getting to island by road is a 40KM drive from Hampi via Hospet . The simple way to get here is to reach Hampi buy Rail/Bus and then take a fifteen minute coracle ride across the river. These rides are available every fifteen minutes and are the recommended choice. The disadvantage to using the coracle being that the last ride is at around six in the evening and if you miss this, you could be stuck on either sides of the island and forced to take a rickshaw around.
If you stay at the Island, you may also choose to rent a bike and go to Hampi with no time restrictions to worry about.
Where to stay-
The island is almost one straight road which is lined with shacks and hotels on its sides. Pick any hotel you like. You can choose to live in anything from a mud hut to a proper room. I stayed in a small room at this place called the “Gopi Guest house” (Ph: +91-9481871816). Book a room in advance if you want one with an attached bathroom, Especially on the weekends. I would also suggest “Shanti Guest House” and “Sai Plaza” (Phone numbers on Google)
Like I mentioned many times at the start of this post, nothing is the way to go!
You could choose to rent a bike or take the coracle and go visit the beautiful historic city of Hampi if you really want to go out and do something constructive. (I’d suggest you find time to visit Hampi)
If your intentions are to kick back and chill out you can find peace at any of the shacks on the road. The ‘Laughing Budha Café’ would be my recommendation. My friends and I spend most of our time at this café – drinking beer, eating starters, playing cards, reading books and playing the guitar. You can do it all in any of the cafes on the island.
The reason this is a unique experiences is, the cafés here have a no tables and chairs policy. The mattress-on-the-floor and low-table set up is just what you need to chill out. (There are a few tables for the old dudes)
If you wish to explore the Island, take a bicycle and ask locals to guide you to all the nice spots. The guys here extremely friendly (well, of course)
If you are the kind of person who likes adventure, you can try Bouldering here. It is just like rock climbing but with Boulders.
Must try food –
When on the Island, Try the exotic drinks they serve at the ‘Green garden Restaurant’. When you want to get a beer the best place to go to would be the ‘Laughing Budha Café’. When here do try one of their sizzlers.
Another place to eat at is the German bakery at ‘Gouthami Guest House’. Also a perfect spot for a Set Breakfast.
If you have been to old Manali, then the shopping scene here will create nostalgia. Buy a couple of Kurtas from here as a memory of the trip. And it’s not just cloths- Musical Instruments – Metal souvenirs – rare tobacco – leather accessories – tattoo shops. Anything that revolves around the idea of “Hippy” is sold here.
Vital Information –
- Make sure you carry enough cash with you. There are NO ATM’s in both Virupapur Gadde and Hampi. You will find enough ATM’s in Hospet.(30 Kms drive)
- MOBILE NETWORK RARELY FOUND on this island. Be prepared to cut yourself off from the rest of the world and just relax.
- Internet access is available at at the shop next to ‘Gouthami Guest House’
- If you plan to go down on a weekend, Make sure you book a room in advance.
- If you wish to drink in your room, carry you drinks from Hospet. There are no liquor stores on the Island or at Hampi.
- Best time to Visit is post monsoon, the summers are too hot – But if you can take high temperatures go for it.
- Make sure you carry things like – Board games, cards or a nice book. This island is the perfect place to enjoy all these things.
In Conclusion, this place has been quite a trip for me. Just being lazy, drinking a beer in the afternoon and getting away from the noise of the city what else does one want from a holiday? You will enjoy every bit of it if you want to take a break from the routine and do… Exactly… NOTHING!
If you have been here before share your story with me
If this post gives you a feeling you want to visit Hippy Island.. GO FOR IT!
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