I still remember the first time, I published my travelogue on Tripoto. The feeling was amazing, unbeatable I would say. I don't know what happened with time. I kept reading through travel blogs, followed travel blogger, traveled places... However, I failed to find time to publish my experience here. I am glad I have ample of time now to earn a bit of credits on my account. So, last year I traveled to 10 places across India for various reasons ranging from weddings to rebound vacations. Thanks to loads of long weekend we received last year.
When the long weekend arrives, half of the world goes insane. We just wish to leave everything and start planning, visiting TripAdvisor, Makemytrip and what not to crack ahead the best possible deals. I didn’t want to miss the chance of making my long weekend a memorable one. So, I said yes to road trip Hampi plan. I was supposed to wait for the travel plan to Hampi by another group, but it was too late… I didn’t want to miss this chance. We started our journey at 1 AM scaling through night. Bangalore-Bellary highway is one of the best highways we have driven so far. We reached Hampi bazaar by 7:40 AM all thanks to the perfect highway of Bangalore-Bellary.
Hampi is the temple town situated in North Karnataka and located in the ruins of Vijayanagara city. Vijayanagara city was the former capital of Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi- the temple town has been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site*. The town continues to hold historical and religious importance. Virupaksha Temple is one of the oldest temples situated in Hampi. This temple is situated in the heart of Hampi bazar, nearby to the bus stop (buses from Hosapet drop you here) and many places to stay. The temple has a unique feature- there is a spot inside the temple where you can view the inverted image of the temple. The temple also houses a cute elephant, who does the best namaskar to the Lord in the temple. The elephant also blesses everyone in the temple, and walks back to his stable. You can also walk in the backyard of the temple and enjoy the water tank situated there. A few metres apart, there is Tungabhadra River separating the Hampi village (old Hampi) from the Hampi city (new Hampi). The water level at present is low in the river, so the river can be crossed by jumping stones (quite thrilling I tell you). However, there are boats available for people who don’t prefer adventurous way.
Well, the good thing about Hampi is that all the monuments are situated close-by. You can hire a moped or scooty and begin exploring Hampi. Begin your expedition from Virupaksha Temple in Hampi bazar, drive uphill to Krishna market, Jain temples, Hazara Rama Temple complex, Vittala Temple and many more temples and monuments. These groups of monuments can be covered in a day. Stone chariot at Vittala temple is one of the famous attractions, as it takes you back to your history books. Vittala temple is known for its musical pillars, about 56 musical pillars known as SAREGAMA pillars. Musical notes are heard when all the pillars are tapped together in sync. The temple is also comprises of maha mantapa, ranga mantapa, and other festival halls. You can spend your evening at the sunset point, amidst the landscape view of Hampi. After the sunset, you can go back to the hotel freshen up and head for dinner to one of the most famous restaurants- Mango tree.
Note- There is no network access in the village, the only connection you could have is through the Wi-fi connection. BSNL and Vodafone are connections provided a bit of connectivity in the village. Most of the hotels and homestays provide Wi-Fi connection but you should be lucky enough to have them in fully-functional condition.
Next morning, rise up early cross the river and venture the Hampi city. Anjaney temple is one of the famous temples situated in the city. The temple has a total of 575 steps that leaves you panting for a while. But, the view from every pit shop you take while climbing up is breath-taking. Hampi city is one of the places where you can party with folks. It has a better night life in comparison to village side. Laughing Buddha and German Bakery are few of the famous cafes to spend your evenings.
Note- The hotels are quite average, so don’t keep your expectations high. The temperature is quite hot, so keep yourself better hydrated with sugarcane juice, coconut water and fruits. Wear cotton clothes for your comfort, the climate is quite hot. I would suggest wear comfortable shoes, preferably sports shoes or shoes which provide well-cushioning to the feet, as there is a lot of walking involved across the ruins of Vijayanagara. Don’t forget to carry your cameras; you are yet to experience some of the scenic landscapes in Hampi.
[*World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which has been officially recognized by the United Nations, mainly United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The sites are selected on the basis of cultural, historic, scientific significance and are protected by international treaties. In India, there are about 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (last updated in July 2016). – Source: Wikipedia]