Hampi is the capital of the former Vijayanagara Empire that reigned from 1336 to 1565 and is an UNESCO world heritage site. Peppered through out this colossal site of hills and valleys (26 sq km) are over 500 monuments including; temples, elephant stables, ancient market streets, royal residences, bastions and so much more. This town definitely needs three or more days to explore fully. There are so many sites congested in this area that you actually get a feel for what life was like 500-700 years ago in India.
The landscape is like nothing I've seen. Every size boulder imaginable is stacked on top of each other like blocks into countless hills. The rocks slow gradient of color from beige to orange to red throughout the day is stunning. It is hard to imagine how nature has eroded the landscape the way it has.
As amazing as Hampi is for historic sites and beauty, it is just as amazing for the bouldering, which I am now a huge fan of. At first I thought bouldering was primarily a sport of strength. Was I wrong, it is so much more. Strength, determination, problem solving, and flexibility are needed to excel in this sport. The infinite number of boulders here makes it a boulderers paradise.
The climbing community in Hampi is amazing. Climbers from all over the world are here and within a day or two you find many people to climb with. One of my fondest memories of India is when I completed my first "difficult" boulder. After two days of trying to overcome it's problem I finally was able to conquer it. As I rose to my feet and screamed in triumph, a group of climbers 50 feet away cheered and one of the Turkish climbers came running up to me and handed me a cookie as a reward. Truly amazing. As the boulders grew in difficult so did the support from my friends and strangers.
"GO! GO! GO!" Is what rises from below as you begin to struggle and never stops till you are at the top or on the ground. Everyone wants to see you complete a climb.
Everyone absolutely loves it here and doesn't want to leave.
Here's a cool YouTube video to give you a taste of Hampi and bouldering. Great intro.