There are two routes to Hampi, as mentioned in this Team-BHP discussion. First route is Hyderabad -> Mahboobnagar -> Raichur -> Sindhanur -> Gangawati -> Hampi. Apart from the first 80km from Hyderabad, throughout this route we have only state highways (i.e. no national highways). Second route is Hyderabad -> Gooty -> Guntakal -> Bellary -> Hospet -> Hampi. Most of this route is through national highways.
Of these two, I chose the first route (via Raichur). Although I usually prefer national highways, this time I chose state highways because a lot of people say that the roads near Bellary are very very bad. And, I really liked the route I chose. Yes, there were speed bumps on the road; there were villages on the road; there were cattle crossing the road; villagers just didn't expect us to be passing by at a high speed. Those are all negative sides of this route. However, the roads were very good between Hyderabad and Gangawati: we could cruise between 75 and 85kmph on our Unicorn. I liked the roads because they were not deserted like our new highways. I could see a lot of agriculture lands on the sides. Plus, I am a fan of two-way roads, and for me the new highways are boring after a while.
Google Maps has directions only till Gangawati. After Gangawati, you should ask the locals for directions. However, while returning, Google Maps gave us directions! All I had to do was find directions from "My Location" to Hyderabad, and it gave me the directions.
Pictures from the trip can be found in my Picasa album.
A few tidbits:
- Being a pillion rider on a long bike ride is not easy. This is my first bike ride where I've shared the pillion seat; it wasn't as fun/easy as the rider seat :)
- When you're on the pillion, you cannot understand why the rider does certain things. Just trust the rider and be confident.
- Saw a snake crossing the road in Hampi. This was the first time I saw a live snake very close (not counting zoos, of course).
- Summer has already started in South India. The moment bike stops the mind starts to think, "when am I getting rid of the gears?"
- My helmet is better much beyond what I had thought! It blocks a lot of air and I was able to ride on the highways without wearing any glasses. (I wasn't using the helmet's visor either.)