Sanapur Lake in Hampi is one of the cities best-kept secrets. Formed by an irrigation reservoir, a trip to the lake makes for a pleasant retreat amidst the captivating bouldered landscapes.

Located on Virupapura Gadde, otherwise known as Hippie Island, the spot is a popular hangout among the backpacker crowd. Despite warnings of crocodiles & whirlpools, many come here to cliff-jump, swim, and soak up the sun.

In this guide, we advise what you can expect at Sanapur Lake in Hampi, so you can decide whether it is worthy of your Hampi Itinerary.

Sanapur Lake, Hampi – A Reliable Guide

*Before You Travel to Hampi, have you got your travel insurance sorted? Cover yourself for the unexpected, read why you need travel insurance or get a quote from World Nomads.

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*Don’t leave home without any backpacker essentials with our free printable packing list.

How to get to Sanapur Lake in Hampi

Sanapur Lake, Hampi is located in Virupapura Gadde, otherwise known as Hippie Island. To reach here from mainland Hampi, you must take a short 5-minute boat journey across the river.

The first boat to leave is at around 7 am, and the last is at 5.30 pm. The journey should cost no more than 50 INR/pax each way.

Once you’ve reached the other side, the easiest way to reach the lake is to rent a scooter or bicycle. The distance is approximately 4km.

*Tip – You will want to keep a close eye on the time if you are taking a day trip to or from Hippie Island. Otherwise, you will be facing a pricey 1-hour journey to the other side via rickshaw.

What to Expect at Sanapur Lake, Hampi

  • A tranquil spot perfect for relaxation.
  • Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk along the outskirts of the river.
  • Some spots are safe for swimming but check with locals first.
  • Cliff-Jumping spots for the brave.
  • Coracle rides available.
  • A quiet spot with few visitors.
  • Located amidst stunning bouldered landscapes.
  • A beautiful place to enjoy the sunrise or sunset.
  • No restaurants or shops nearby.
  • Sometimes locals are selling cold beers or refreshments.

Sanapur Lake, Hampi Map

A beautiful place to enjoy the sunrise or sunset

Our Experience at Sanapur Lake, Hampi

After some tiresome days exploring the Hampi Ruins, we were keen to find a spot where we could relax for the day. We were already feeling laidback after a night spent on Hippie Island. And we were eager for it to continue while we soaked up the sun.

A fellow traveller at our guesthouse informed us of Sanapur Lake in Hampi. He explained how he’d spent the previous day there cliff-jumping, and naturally, we wanted a piece of the action.

There was one tiny detail however that made us slightly nervous. There are signs dotted around the lake, warning visitors not to swim in the lake due to crocodiles!

Upon further inspection, it was assured that nobody had ever encountered a crocodile at the lake. Which kind of makes sense, considering it is a closed-off reservoir. We still couldn’t help feeling slightly anxious about getting in the water, though!

Anyhow, we rented a scooter from our guesthouse and cruised the roads to Sanapur Lake. Winding through rice paddies and banana plantations, it made for a picturesque journey. Upon arrival at the lake, we were in awe of the bouldered landscapes encompassing the water.

Cliff Jumping at Sanapur Lake, Hampi

We drove the lake until we spotted some other scooters parked on the side of the road. Keen to find the cliff-jumping spot, we asked a local who pointed us in the right direction. We strongly advise you do the same before assuming a safe place to take the plunge.

Upon first glance, the cliff-jump doesn’t appear too daring. However, the rush of adrenaline felt at the top convinced us otherwise. We watched on as other intrepid travellers made the leap until finally working up the courage to jump ourselves.

The water was crisp & refreshing — a welcome break from the relentless midday heat. Although, I have to admit we didn’t hang around in the water long. As others splashed around unphased by the warnings, we found it hard to relax.

Instead, we relaxed on the sidelines while sipping cold beers purchased from a local opportunist. He collected money from tourists before heading to the local store for their goods – making a healthy profit for himself, I’m sure.

In conclusion, a visit to Sanapur Lake is perfect for those seeking adventure or relaxation in Hampi. And if cliff-jumping isn’t your bag, you can opt for a peaceful coracle ride on the lake instead.

*Top Tip – For more epic cliff jumping spots, check out the secret waterfall in Hampi.


Where to Stay on Hippie Island, Hampi

Hostel – Waterfalls Guesthouse – Located a little away from the main strip of Hippie Island, this modest but cosy guesthouse is the perfect budget option. You can choose from a dorm or private room while enjoying beautiful views over the neighbouring rice fields.

Camping – Chinnas Camping Area – Camping is a popular choice on Hippie Island, and Chinnas Camping Area is the perfect spot to set up your tent. Here you can enjoy the tranquil vibes and surrounding nature.

Mid-Range – Cottage Room – While there isn’t much in terms of luxury accommodation on Hippie Island, Cottage Room is up there as one of the more comfortable choices.  All cabins come equipped with en-suite bathrooms and a hammock.

For more places to stay in on Hippie Island, Hampi, you can check the latest prices here.

Travel Responsibly

It should go without saying; however, when enjoying your time at the lake, it’s essential to be mindful of the environment. It is no secret that our fragile ecosystems are at risk of extinction. And it is our duty as travellers, to reduce our footprint where we can.

There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, and you can check out the Eco-Travel essentials here. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind when visiting the lake.

  • Be careful with any rubbish that it doesn’t fly away. Keep it secure until you can dispose of it properly.
  • Do not leave anything by the lake, or take anything away – unless you’ve purchased it from a local supplier.
  • Check with locals where it is safe to swim before jumping in.  Whirlpools and strong currents are present in some places.
  • Take note of warning signs and exercise caution at all time.

More on Hampi

Are you planning a trip to Hampi?  Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.

Did you enjoy our Guide to Sanapur Lake in Hampi?

Well, that concludes Guide to Sanapur Lake in Hampi.  We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.

Stay Adventurous and Happy Travels!

Charlotte & Natalie x

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Charlotte & Natalie

Hi There!

We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.
Here you will find everything from LGBTQ+ travel & lifestyle advice, to comprehensive guides and itineraries designed to make your travel planning easier.
We want to inspire you to live the life of your dreams.


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