I was at the Hampi Utsava this year. Hampi Utsava is a cultural festival conducted every year by the Government of Karnataka at the heritage town of Hampi.
The first view of festival I had were not the most interesting. It was swarming with VIPs, politicians and the like and the security arrangements were too much for anyone to move around freely. There were inaugurations every day(!) attended by heads of the state which made things worse. Besides, the crowd was too big to find some peace anywhere. This actually prevented me from attending any of the cultural programs even though many of them seemed to be pretty interesting and watch-worthy.
As I heard from others who attended, the cultural shows were impressive and very much worth being there. Some one I spoke to described passionately of a play he saw the previous night. Looked at me pityingly and said – ‘you could not see that?’ I spent most of my time walking around the ruins. Highlight of our trip was camping at Matanga Parvata to see the magnificent sunrise from the top.
See the Hampi Photo Album from the trip.
Food at Hampi
You might be surprised to see the kind of food offered to you at any of the restaurants. You are more likely to find pancakes, pasta or bread-toast than idli and vada in the main Bazaar area. No restaurant in Hampi serves alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Not to be missed in Hampi is the Mango Tree restaurant located inside plantain orchards and facing the river on the lane behind Viroopaksha temple. The ambience is excellent and the food is a good match to the ambience.