Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Date Nov - 3rd-6th, 2021
A chronicle of my first road trip in Karnataka, and what a worthwhile trip it was!
In fact it was the best
road trip yet in my explorations of India. The trip began around 12:30 pm on November 3rd and I reached Hospet, a small city near Hampi, at about 6 pm.
Unlike roads in Telangana, Kerala or Maharastra, where villagers or people from small towns get onto the highway, interrupting travel, only a few people suddenly appeared, which was very good, and the road is well maintained.
Only at parts in Thumkuru you will find patchy areas, but rest of the road is amazing.
I stayed with one of my old friends, Ravi, in Hospet, where runs a school. The vegetables and fruits in this city were very good, pretty fresh and non-GMO.
Around 10 am the next day I headed to Hampi. Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site now, earlier is known for its history of Vijayanagara Empire. (More can be found here in wiki.)
For our first stop, we went to see Saasivekulu Ganesh, a huge statue of Lord Ganesh made from a single stone. It is amazing to see such a monument, made from those days so long ago.
Next, we climbed a small hill to checkout various small courtyards, temples overlooking Virupaksha Temple:
Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple is nearby. Below is another amazing art work, as the murthi is made of single stone including the outer structure composed of snakes' hoods:
Later we went on to see Krishna Temple, shown below in the background in the lower right:
I found Virupaksha temple beautiful in its simplicity. Unlike such temples as Tirupathi, where the art is very rich and colourful, here it is rather modest, yet still appealing to the eye as the colour combinations are very light and not super bright. Many other structures like pillars, murthis, gopurams and others are made of single stone.
This beautiful picture is enhanced by the majestic clouded sky in the background:
These roof paintings depict Lord Ram and some parts of Ramayana and Lord Shiva:
Several single stone architectures:
We later went to see Vijaya Vitthala Temple which is also close. Unfortunately some of the gopuras are destroyed from the top as you can see in some of the pictures.
Every temple has a market place where merchants used to sell such products as vegetables, fruits, dry items, cattle, horses, elephants, pearls, gold ,etc.
These courtyards are huge as you can see in the below picture.
Next, we went to see Raama Temple, a quiet place, as few tourists are present here and also a good place to hear Rama bhajan.
Also there is a cave where Lord Rama did his meditation for Lord Shiva to destroy demon Ravana. This place is where many people gather to watch the sunset, and we relaxed here for couple of hours and called it a day.
On the 5th, we went to see Kishkinda Temple, birth place of Lord Anjaneya. It's a small hike and good view point to see the river Tungabadra and the Virupakasha temple.
Monkeys here are well behaved 😄
Huge Nandi before Achutaraya Temple:
Overlooking Achutaraya Temple and its marketplace from the top of Mathanga Hill
Later we went to see Yentrodaraka, a place where Lord Rama meets Anjaneya and Shugreva.
The next trek was to hike the Mathanga hill. There is a small temple here and you can overlook all the main spots of Vijayanagara samrajya from this hill. There are many banana tree plantations scattered on the other side of the view
After this we went to see Queens bath. Its quite big with lot of sections for changing clothes.
Hazara Rama Temple is also a decent, elegant temple with pleasing architecture. Ramaya was depicted on the front walls of the temples and this is the only temple where the inside four pillars are made of granite. Also a decent picnic spot!
And then onward to Lotus temple which is an impressive structure:
Finally we ended the day at Elephant stables, a place where once elephants were kept.
Two days were very well spent at Hampi, seeing so many sights, and I would suggest to anyone that it would be well worth their time to see and experience this historical place.
The return trip began on the 6th, early morning at 6 am, and we reached Bangalore at exactly 11 am.
Overall it was an amazing first-time trip with my old friend. Unfortunately I could not take photos of my Harley Davidson, and apparently there is a famous hotel, the Mango Tree Hotel near Virupaksha Temple which we did not have time to visit.