Hampi- let’s travel back in time

Hampi- let’s travel back in time

It’s impossible to ignore our past. We are defined by it. More often or not the past is the place we like to visit. To be inspired by, to be reminded of who we are.
Hampi a place where mighty empires have risen and fallen for centuries.
The sculptures, the drawing on the walls, the rocks; they have seen it all and they tell you stories. Stories which takes you back in time. I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of traveling back in time by looking at the remains and thinking about how it would have been back then. I was in Hampi just for three days but it felt like I lived for many ages there; every-time being someone else. I can never get enough of this place. This was a vacation which was completely different from all I’ve had till now. I can never thank my
friend enough for this amazing vacation.
From Mumbai I took flight to Bangalore and from Bangalore took a bus till Hospet. It took me around 6 hours to reach to Hospet, from Hospet I booked an auto till Hampi which costed me 300 INR.
In Hampi I stayed in Hampi island which is separated from rest of the Hampi by river Tungabhadra,
You get boats which take you to the other side of the river to Hampi island which is hardly 5 minutes ride.
Also there are no boats after 7 pm so you have to go all around Hampi in an auto to reach the other side after 7.
Hampi Island has basic guest houses and home-stays and you won’t find any luxury hotel here. I stayed in Mowgli Guest House in a hut and this was my first experience.
The hut won’t treat you great but the view to which my hut’s doors opened was worth dying for. I saw river, rocks, hills everything at once just by sitting on the swing which they have outside every room. For the first day I didn’t go anywhere instead explored the backyards of the guest house where there were no humans to be seen.


I sat by the river for hours reading, listening to music and then came back to the guest house at evening. Then for the dinner I went to the café which is run by the guest house itself and you can rely on their food. You get all variety from Indian to Chinese to Italian and I can swear on their burgers which were actually very good.
Next day I went to the other side of Hampi, reserved an auto for entire day and went around Hampi. I didn’t touch many places since I wanted to give quality time to every place I go. Also en route you will watch so many places where you’ll want to get down
and gaze at the ruins and click pictures which again takes a lot of your time.
So first I went to Vittala Temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The auto would drop you 2-3kms behind and then you have an option to take a rickshaw which is run by the temple authorities or you can even walk down to the temple. I would suggest you to walk till the temple because you are for sure going to enjoy the view while you walk and you would not even feel tired.
You will have to buy tickets for getting inside and it costs you 120 bucks.

Vittala temple complex actually has many buildings inside whose Dravidian style architecture will blow your mind away and you will realize how creative and talented the people would have been back then.
The Stone Charriott inside the same complex is the most talked about structure and now you can also see it’s photo on the newly issued 50 rupees Indian currency note. After this while on the way to Hazara temple I sat on a hill for quite some time to an
amazing view.

Hazara Rama temple which is dedicated to Lord Rama. It has the entire Ramayana carved on it’s walls. The outer walls of the temple are carved with the photos of elephants, horses, ladies dancing and also depicts the festival of Dusshera.

After Hazara Rama I went to see the Queen’s bath. The name is quiet misleading as this is actually a huge complex. The whole building is made with a veranda around facing a big open pond at the middle. Projecting into the pond are many balconies. The balconies are decorated with tiny windows and supported by lotus bud tipped brackets. The whole pool is open to the sky. Looking the Queen’s bath itself you can imagine how royal their lives would have been back then. Queen’s bath is inspired by Indo-Islamic architecture.

Then I went to Lotus mahal which got its name from the building’s shape itself which resembles a lotus. The Lotus Mahal was used by the royal ladies of Vijyanagra Dynasty for recreational activities.


After Lotus Mahal I went to Elephant Stable.  Elephant Stable is a major tourist attraction. This long building with a row of domed chambers was used to ‘park’ the royal elephants.
There are 11 domed tall chambers; some of them are inter- connected. The center one is specially decorated and big. I returned to my guest house after this due to the 7 pm deadline. I had my dinner at the guest house itself and infact most of the time I ate at the same place. Hampi doesn’t have many restaurants or cafés so it’s always better to eat something before you leave for the day.

Next day in the morning I went to the backside of our Guest House to watch the sunrise.

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Then after breakfast I went to see the step wells. Step wells are certainly one of India’s most unusual, but little-known, contributions to architecture. They influenced many other structures in Indian architecture, especially many that incorporate water into their design. The symmetry of the step well left me astonished.

 

While coming back I went to Virupaksha Temple. The temple is a simple and beautiful structure that is located inside a large courtyard surrounded by an enclosure wall. An interesting fact about Virupaksha temple is that it is located a few metres below
the ground level. The roof of the temple is at par with the present ground level while the main structure of the temple stands on a low lying area. The reason behind such a unique location for the construction of the temple is not known.

In the evening I went to Sanapur Lake. Sanapur lake was 10kms ride from the Guest House where we stayed in Hampi Island. This lake is kind of hidden and you don’t get to see the lake till you reach close.
The view is just mesmerizing and for a moment you’ll not believe your eyes and you’ll doubt if this is for real. We went around this lake on a Tokri Boat and to my amazement we were the only people there!
After seeing this lake I realized that Hampi is not just about it ruins and the antiques but has a surprise at every corner!

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Next day was my last day in Hampi. I went to Buddha Café for breakfast and then checked out of the Guest House.
I hope you enjoyed reading the blog and the next time you are planning a vacation then you would consider Hampi as one of the options. Until next trip!

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