– some stuff I want to write about…
I had set out on an unplanned trip with a friend of mine where the main agenda was to decide the next location on the move and make it a budget friendly excursion. Our first point of halt was Hubli and after spending a day there we headed to Hampi which was the best place in the trip.
We took a 5 am bus to Hospet from where we changed buses to Hampi. After a quick breakfast, followed by a 30 minutes bus ride to Hampi and finally a ferry to cross the river, we reached our place of stay. It was a neat little place with hay thatched roofs and a good restaurant. “the other side of the river” as it was called has a hippy feel to it, with people more chilled out and service at the restaurants very lazy. We hired a moped for the day and set out exploring the hippy side of Hampi. The driving experience was stunning as we drove past lush greenery speckled with boulders of all shapes and hues. We took our share of stops to admire the place and alternated the driving. We visited a couple of temples and climbed the Hanuman temple hill (which claims to be the place where Hanuman was born) and the sight from top was worth the effort we put into climbing. We could see the entire city from the top with the rivers, roads, farms and loads of boulder hills. We met a Spanish couple there who were quite surprised by the attention they got from the young and old Indians alike. All of them wanted to take a pic with the Spaniards.
After refreshing ourselves with coconut water at the bottom of the hill, we were told that there is a beautiful dam which is not too far away. It was a pretty sight indeed – a gentle river, with a dam having water filled to the brim and a neat road with curves amidst the boulders. We climbed a couple of boulders and spent some time there taking in the views. There were groups of hippies who were busy smoking up and played some music instruments. It must have been a heady concoction for them with the music, the views, the gentle breeze and the weed. Since we had some time on hand, we crossed the river and visited the Virupaksha temple (which apart from the stunning architecture has a wall where an inverted image of the main tower is projected without any lens.) and the nearby hill. Upon this hill we met a musician playing the Hang Pan. It was enchanting. (link – http://youtu.be/9PZnNMKCgMs)
The next day started pretty early as we decided to go for a run near the dam and catch the sunrise though the boulders. The run was nice but the cloudy skies blocked the sunrise. We checked out of the hotel but left our luggage there till evening and set out to explore the main Hampi city. We joined a bicycle tour group and saw most of the attractions while riding a bicycle through the city. The tour comprised of the Royal places and artifacts and also many temples that were destroyed due to fire. A chatty tour guide along with an inquisitive bunch of people on the tour made it a fun experience. Few places that the tour didn’t cover (Vitthala temple, the monolith chariot, Kings Balance etc.) we covered on foot while the rain drizzled and made the place even more attractive. We lost the way many a time but eventually managed to reach the right place.
At the end of a tiring day (4 kms run, 10-12 kms of cycling & 6-8 kms of walking) we took an evening bus and headed back to Hubli for a stopover before heading to Dandeli which was decided as the next place of interest. I have not had enough of Hampi and I am sure to go back for more.
(The complete trip, which consisted of Hubli, Hampi & Dandeli, can be found on this link – joysown.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/an-unplanned-week-in-karnataka/ )