Bouldering : Whether you are amateur boulderer or a veteran looking for new problems off the beaten routes, Hampi will not fail to satisfy your hunch. You could see at Hampi bouldering enthusiastic folks attempting problems like there is no tomorrow.
For long Hampi has been in the list of those places secretly shared among the old hand boulderers. Not anymore, especially after the 2003 sensational climbing video Pilgrimage featuring Chris Sharma with his friends Katie Brown and Nate Gold.
This movie, shot by the renowned climbing movie maker Josh Lowell generated special interest among the bouldering fans across the world.
Along with some serious bouldering actions, the movie succeeded in capturing the very essence of the holy nature of Hampi. Therefore the name Pilgrimage! A beeline of climbers lugging their crash pad to the boulder-strewn Hampi was the result.
The purists among the boulderers may not to like to see it, but Hampi has a large number of giant boulders that is split apart vertically. As a boulderer sometimes these create campus board like problems for you.
In fact the 16th century artisans who used the granite to build the temples and other monumental structures in Hampi split these boulders. The split face of the boulders is so flat. It appears as if these were sliced like cake with a sharp knife. Far from it they used a novel technique using dry wooden pegs and water to split the boulders to the size. A chain of holes (along the line of split) were drilled on the boulder surface.
Poured water continuously allowing the wooden pegs to get soaked and expanded gradually. That forced the boulder to split open in one go. And only god alone knows how many elephants they used to move these blocks to the work site. Along the top edge of the split boulders you can see the grove like feature of the half split drill hole. Also when you move around the ruins site, you will come across many such series of drill holes on the boulder surface, without any split, probably an abandoned attempt.
Whatever is your grade and ambition, you'll have more thrilling problems than you can chew.
Avoid the rainy season and the peak summer. November and December are the best Bouldering season in Hampi of the year.
Hampi has limited, or nil local bouldering equipment stores. The closest thing you can get is some crash pads rented out or sometimes offered as complimentary service by those guesthouses at Hampi. If you are particular about your favorite brand of accessories, consider bring it along with you. Do some homework on what to bring and what to not.
A word of caution on bouldeing. It goes without saying that bouldering is a risky sport. If you are a beginner try it only under proper guidance. (See Cautions)
To a question on his climbing movie Pilgrimage Chris Sharma responded saying Hampi is sacred to the Hindus since it is the birthplace of Hanuman, the monkey god. Also Hampi is a place for pilgrimage to the boulderers, since boulders are temples for them. That sums it all. (See responsible bouldering)
Those finally end up in Hampi invariably wonder how on earth such a landscape got created! Well, you have two choices to find a solace: one in geology and the other in mythology. See the origin of Hampi's boulders.
Resources on bouldering:
There is an interesting website on bouldering in Hampi and other areas of the world by a spanish climber called David (http://www.canpirra.com/HampiWebSite/Hampi_Home.html ) . The downloadable PDF guide on Hampi with a dozen plus bouldering photos is especially useful.http://www.geoquest-verlag.de/?q=en/node/481
Trailer of Chris-Sharma-Video Pilgrimage : http://www.bigupproductions.com/films/pilgrimage/
Famous boulder problem Goan Corner : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmTuiR4HPMU
Travel report: http://geoquest-verlag.de/?q=en/node/132
The bouldering in Hampi is not the same again, fans can take get some valuable reference from the guidebook (Golden Boulders , ISBN 978-3-00-041342-1)published in 2014.The guidebook is based on the broad knowledge of two long term Hampi climbers Pil Lockey and Harald Vierroth (Hari).