Travel back to the bygone days of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The ruin of the ancient city of Hampi today stands amidst gargantuan boulders. Climb up the 575 steps to the Anjaneya temple to view the sunset and hike atop the Matanga hill for a sublime sunrise, or take a coracle ride across the Tungabhadra river during the wee hours, the only sound breaking the silence being the swish-swash of the oar dipping in the water.
Huddled inside a lavvu, a Sami tent, around a blazing pinewood fire, we binged on coffee and “almost homemade cake”—almost because Knut, our guide for the night, bought the chocolate cake with coconut and sugar dusted on top from a store and sliced it in the kitchen at his home! We learnt from him about the Sami. Historically known as Laps or Laplanders, they are the natives inhabiting, primarily...