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Elevation: 1,481 ft
GPS: 15.343, 76.461 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Gokul on Sep 28, 2016
Admins: Gokul
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Description

Hampi is a bouldering Mecca, with endless miles of boulder clad hillsides. It is also a beautiful rural area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and very traveler friendly, especially for the dirtbag international traveler. Cheap lodging and decent food are plentiful (except around Christmas-New Year, when the prices skyrocket). During the main season (Oct-Mar), there can be a couple hundred climbers on the island, from a couple dozen different countries, and at least as many non-climbing backpackers.

The bouldering is on beautiful but sharp granite. Familiarize yourself with Font grades - the Verm scale is not very popular. A couple days of bouldering usually take off enough fingertip skin to force you into a rest day. Which is easy to do. There's plenty of things to do besides climbing: check out the temples and ruins in the area (close to a thousand years old), go for a swim in the river or the lake, rent a motorcycle for about $10 a day and go exploring, or stay in and eat, drink, slackline, go to a yoga lesson ... or light up a smoke. Recreational use of marijuana is legal (or at least ignored by authorities) on the island.

A huge number of the routes here were pioneered by Pil Lockey and Harald "Hari" Vierroth in the '90s. The area was much less crowded back in those days, but its popularity saw a sharp rise after Chris Sharma visited in the early 2000s with Katie Brown and Nate Gold. Big Up's "Pilgrimage" starring these three climbers put Hampi on the climbing map, which on the one hand informed a global climbing populace of a beautiful destination, but on the other, led to all the usual issues that arise from having a rapid surge in visitors to a previously idyllic location. For good or bad, Hampi is no longer the secret bouldering paradise that it was two decades ago.

While the Island is a good place to start on your first visit to the area, there are plenty of great problems to be found, and even some longer routes on splitter cracks, if you prefer to stay away from the throngs on the Island and go climbing in the neighboring areas. After a while, you might never go back to the Island if you enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding areas! There are tons of great routes at Paraport - plan to go camp there for a few days (see Pil's topo below in the comments section) - Jungli Plateau, around Anegundi, and really as far as the eye can see, if you're willing to go exploring. If you're carrying a rack, some bigger pieces, like cams in 5" - 7" are great to protect some of the excellent offwidth lines in the area. The Rishimukh itself has a handful of good, longer mixed lines (bolted, but most also take a few pieces in finger to fist sizes to protect well) from 5.7 to 5.11.

Guidebooks:
1. http://hampi.in/bouldering-guide-golden-boulders
2. Also see 27 Crags

Getting There

Hampi can be reached by bus or train from the big cities: Mumbai (aka Bombay), Bengaluru (aka Bangalore), and Chennai (aka Madras). Bangalore is the nearest big city, about 6 - 7 hours away by bus or train. You want the bus/train to Hospet, which is the nearest station. Get off at Hospet and ride another bus or hire an auto-rickshaw (tuk-tuk), for the 20 minute journey to Hampi. When you arrive, ask for directions to the ferry to Hampi Island. The Island is the epicenter of the climbing scene at Hampi.

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Stephen Troxel
Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Stephen Troxel   Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Hampi is easily one of my favorite places in India. Aside from the insane quantity of quality of boulders, there's plenty of rest activities to be had. Rent a scooter and explore, swim in the river, give the temple elephant a bath, sample the delicious/cheap local cuisine, check out the ancient temples and ruins scattered throughout, so on and so forth. I LOVED this place! May 10, 2017
Gokul    
Pil, thanks for the info.

And also, thanks for putting up all these great problems. I'm definitely not a boulderer, but have enjoyed so many of your problems (both around Hampi and up in Himachal) on days when I'm not looking for longer trad lines. Oct 3, 2016
If anybody feels like a stay in the wild area a place called Paraport has a high concentration of quality boulders. It's in the guidebook but the original topos have double the amount of problems.
Try to visit the nearby village(good drinking water) to remind them how great the Paraport pinnacles hill is so they stick to their word of not blasting any more boulders there.
Get the topos with approach info and 250 problems here:
Paraport topo Oct 1, 2016

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