Hampi (Kishkindha) Diaries

11th Aug 2019
Photo of Hampi (Kishkindha) Diaries by Sunil Bhardwaj
Day 1

Hosapete Railway Station

Photo of Hospet, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Solo Travelling is always adventurous and it become more challenging when things don't go as planned. I planned a trip to Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site, way before and at the time of travel, Karnataka got flooded heavily. But i decided to embark on my journey. I Boarded the flight from Delhi to Bengaluru and then took train from Majestic Railway station Bengaluru to Hosapete Junction. I reached Hosapete junction around 7 in the morning, As i came out, i figured, Hampi is around 20 kms from Hosapete and hiring a private auto would be a good option.

I asked Autowala to take me to the Tutti Tents, which i had already booked. He informed me that The hotel was on the Hippie island across the river and its not possible to go there as Tungbhadra river is overflowing the bridge. He said, we have to take a detour, if we want to go there and it was around 40 Kms from hosapete station. Instead, he advised me to stay this side of river and took me to a Golden Resorts Home stay. When i saw the river flowing to its brink, i decided to stay this side. The river was continuously coming up. Meanwhile, i kept my luggage there, took my breakfast and decided to start the journey. The Owner helped me to know the best way to roam around Hampi. I hired a two wheeler Luna from a shop nearby. There was risk of water entering inside hotel. So he gave me his number and I started.

UGRA Narsimha

Photo of Ugra Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Next, there was KADALEKALU GANESHA temple. Temple had a big Monolithic sculpture of Lord Ganesha. After witnessing the beauty of this, next i came across SASIKAVEKALU GANESHA, which was again a beautiful sculpture of Lord Ganesha. The meaning of sasikavekalu is mustered.

As i moved ahead, i saw the KRISHNA TEMPLE on the way. It was the temple under restoration and there was a big old Krishna market in front of the temple. This market was used for trade in the vijaynagar dynasty.

Kadalekalu Ganesha

Photo of Kadalekalu Ganesha, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Hampi was capital of Vijaynagar empire during Chola dynasty and was at its peak under King KrishanDevaraya. Hampi in the Ramayana Age was called Kishkindha and was capital of Raja Bali and Sugreev.

Virupaksha gopuram view from the hemkuta hill

Photo of Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, River Road, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

As i left the hotel i saw Tower(Gopuram) of Virupaksha temple. After entering the temple, i came to know that it is a Lord Siva temple and it is the only temple in Hampi where Pooja is conducted. I saw the very famous Lakshmi, the female elephant, roaming inside. Except the main hall, there were other smaller GOD idols also. There was a small hall inside, where a reversed projection of Gopuram can be seen on the opposite wall as the Sun light peeps through a small hole in the front wall. This showcased the mastery in Optical knowledge of that era's people.

Hampi can be explored well with the help of a map. Just outside the temple there are Hemkuta group of temples. Hemkuta hill is said to be the place where lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kama. Hemakuta Hill is having a lot of smaller and big temples, Mandapas & Shrines like Jain Temple, Prassan Aanjney temple, Single double and triple floor shrines. The rock cut triple Shivalings sculpture is beautiful. The view of TUNBHADRA RIVER is mesmerizing from the top.

Lotus Mahal

Photo of Lotus mahal hampi, State Highway 131, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Just Besides the Hazara Rama Temple there is a big complex consisting of three main monuments Lotus Mehel, Elephants Stable And Staff Quarters. Lotus Mehel was used by queen for relaxation and entertainment purposes. The elephant stable was very big, unique and one of its kind.

There are number of stone carvings inside staff quarters. Many Devas, Ganas, Gods & Goddess Idols are there. Near the premises Shri Ranga Temple is also there with a large Lord Hanuman sculpture.

After going a little further, Royal Enclosure was the next place to see. It is the ruins of Palace of King Krishandevraya. It was spread in a wide area. Most of the palace is ruined. An underground secret chamber was discovered during excavation which is considered to be meeting point of king and its close alliances.

The water requirement of the hampi town was fulfilled by a canal system which was spread throughout the town. The source of water was at nearby kamalapur town. The same canal system was used for filling of Stepped Tank also.

Stepped Tank

Photo of Stepped Tank, Karnataka by Sunil Bhardwaj

in the same premises, there was a big platform called MahaNavami Tibba. It is said that nine days celebrations before the dussehra festival used to be held at this platform and king Krishandevrai used to distribute rewards from this platform. There were many other destroyed structures in the premises like King's Audience Hall. Tenali Rama Pavilion is also nearby.

After Crossing that, there was a monument called Queen's Bath. Which was like a covered pond where queen used to take bath.

I got tired and decided to go back and check my hotel. But as i reached near, i found out that the way to hotel was totally submerged in water and the road was also closed. I was not able to contact hotel owner as his phone was off. Somebody told me to go from the back side through banana plantation and bring my bag back. I hired an auto and he took me through some deserted road. We walked through banana plantation and reached to the back side of the home stay. I saw that water had entered the hotel and the family was taking care of their belongings. Overall they all looked fine. I took my bag and thanked house owner for cooperation and help. Then, I asked autowala if he can take me to some higher altitude hotel. After seeing one or two hotels, i settled down in a small home stay which was just nearby virupaksha temple. After a such hectic day, I felt relieved after taking the home stay at a safer place. I took my dinner at Mango tree Restaurant. The Ambiance inside the restaurant was good. The food quality was also good.

Day 2

Hampi Bazaar

Photo of Hampi Bazaar Market, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

There were a lot of Big and small temples on the way. Varah Temple is one of them. There was a Two storied Gateway on the way. After that i came across the King's Balance. This balance was used to weigh king with money, jewels, gold, silver on various occasions and then it was distributed to priests. It is said that few days before weighing, king was fed fatty foods to increase his weight.

King's balance

Photo of King’s Balance, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

After that i reached the famous Sri Vijay Vithhala temple. This temple is dedicated to lord vishnu. The temple architecture was amazing and was full of jaw dropping attractions. The main attractions were Maha Mandapa, Ranga Mandapa, Stone chariot & Musical pillars. Maha Mandapa was the main hall where Lord Vishnu idol was placed previously. Rang Mandapa having musical pillars is quite amazing as the pillars when tapped produces sounds of SA RE GA MA PA. The mystery of the musical pillars couldn't be solved by Britishers also.

Stone Chariot

Photo of Stone Chariot, Hampi, Nimbapura, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Matanga Hill

Photo of Matanga Hill, Nimbapura, Karnataka by Sunil Bhardwaj

The stone chariot is considered one of the finest example of Vijaynagar Architecture. It is actually a shrine devoted to Garuda which is considered the carrier of Lord vishnu. The same picture of stone chariot can be found out on the latest 50 rupee note of Indian currency. The chariot is placed right in the middle of the vithhala temple and has become a symbol of India's glorious history.

After coming out, i saw a big abandoned market in front of temple. I came to know it was a horse trading bazaar of that era.

On the way back, i saw Inscribed Vishnu temple also. There were few other monuments also like purandaradasa mandapa, koti linga, stone bridge & Sugreeva's Cave which i couldn't see as they were submerged under water.

Ariel View of Achyutarya Temple from Matang Hill

Photo of Achyutaraya Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

After a nice sleep in the night, i took my breakfast next morning and started my journey. The first place i came across was famous Hampi Bazaar which was like a trade center of vijaynagra. It is in the street opposite to virupaksha temple. The bazaar was constructed with roofs made of big stones stabilizing on pillars. It was a big market and definitely the main trade zone of vijaynagar empire.

As i walked across the hampi bazaar, a little further, i could see a big sitting Bull sculpture in a shrine. It was called Monolithic Bull or Basavanna. The meaning of that is "Made out of singe stone."

Pampa Sarovar

Photo of Pampa Sarovar, Hanumanahalli, Karnataka by Sunil Bhardwaj

As i moved ahead, i came across Achyutaraya Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was constructed during King Achyut Deva Raya Regime. The temple premises was very vast and beautiful from inside.

There was a big bazaar known as Sule Bazaar in front of the temple. A large Pushkarni (Pond) was also there in front. The river nearby was flowing fiercely and water had reached till surface.

After taking tea, i changed my hotel because it was very close to the bank of the river and it was very uncomfortable. I took a hotel even more closer to virupaksha temple which was much safer. I took my dinner again in Mango tree restaurant and slept well.

There are exact 575 steps to be climbed to reach the top. The temple was amazing, peaceful and i felt tranquil to visit a place with such great history. I worshiped Lord there and couldn't believe that i was at Birth place of Lord Hanuman. The Arial view of Vithhala Temple and Tungabhadra river valley view were inexplicable from there. I sat there for some time and came down.

Next, the autowala took me to Pampa Sarovar. This place is believed to be where Lord Sri Rama met Mata Sabari. It is also believed that Goddess Pampa devi, one of the forms of Goddess Parvati used to take Lotuses from this pond to pray Lord Shiva. That's why the name is Pampa Sarovar. This pond is considered very sacred and is one of the five holiest sarovars for hindus. Nearby, there are temples devoted to Lord Shiva and paarvati, LordessVijay lakshmi, Pampa Devi.

I also saw the Mata Sabari Cave, where Mata Sabari offered already eaten sweet berries to Lord Rama. Lord RAMA's foot impression is also there in the temple.

Sabari Cave

Photo of Hampi (Kishkindha) Diaries by Sunil Bhardwaj

Just alongside the UGRA Narsimha, a big Shiva linga called BADAVI LINGA is there. The bottom of the linga is submerged in water and it is open from the rooftop. The height of the Linga is 3mtrs and is made of black stone. I was amazed to see the beauty of these two monuments.


Photo of Badavilinga Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

After that, i reached famous UGRA NARSIMHA sculpture. It is the idol of Lord Narsimha sitting on a platform. The lord is being sheltered by seven headed serpent Lord Sheshnaga. It is said that Goddess Lakshmi's sculpture was also there on the lap of Ugra Narsihma, but got destroyed over the period of time.

The next temple was Hazara Rama Temple dedicated to Lord RAMA and epic tale Ramayana. The Story of Ramayana is carved on the walls and pillars in a very elaborating way.

Moving ahead i saw many temples and places on the way like Lord Veerbhadra Temple, Chandikeshwar Temple, Sisters Stones, Under ground Bhootnath Temple, Nobelmen's Quarters and Watch Tower. These monuments are very near to each other.

I saw the river breaking it's banks and i decided to go back to hotel. On the way i saw Matanga Hill. I came to know that it was the Penance place of Matanga rishi.

I decided to climb the hill. There were two ways to climb the hill. One is from Hampi Bazaar side and the other is from Achyutarya Temple side. And believe me, hampi bazaar side way is much more easier one. The way i went through was very dangerous and deserted. There was no one except me. There were few spots where there was no support to hold anything and a person could easily fall from the hill. Somehow i reached on the top. But the view from the top was mesmerizing and i totally forgot my anxiety. The view of Achyutarya temple and Tungabhadra river valley was out of this world. As i was sitting on the top, i could see the army choppers flying around and evacuating people from Hippie Island, where i was supposed to stay in the beginning. i was happy that i didn't go there. Later on, i even heard the news that few army men got washed away in the floods while rescuing people. After sitting for a while there, i started coming down and a gentleman guided me through the easier way.

I was really exhausted and wanted to have some rest. I Climbed the Hemkuta hill and sat there till dusk and got my mind relaxed with astonishing view of Tunbhadara river valley.

Tungbhadra river valley view from Hemkuta Hill

Photo of Hampi (Kishkindha) Diaries by Sunil Bhardwaj

The next day, as the water had receded to some extent, it became possible to go to other side of river through a road bridge. The place name was Anegundi. I talked to an Auto wala and he agreed to take me to various places and temples. I took my breakfast in a rooftop restaurant of my hotel and started my journey

The first place we visited was the sacred Birth place of Lord Hanuman. It is on the top of a hill called Anjaneya Parvat.

Anjaneya Parvat

Photo of Anjaneya Hill, Kishkinda, birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Hanumanahalli, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

There are few other very important places also in anegundi, which i couldn't visit like Gagan Mahal, Navabrindavanna, Chintamani Temple and RanganathaSwami Temple. It is believed that from Chintamani Temple, Lord RAMA fired arrow to kill Bali during bali sugreev fight. The hill just far is considered to be the bone heap of Bali. The foot impressions of Lord RAMA and Lakshamana can be seen at this place.

Day 3

Malyawant Raghunath Temple

Photo of Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple, Venkatapura, Karnataka, India by Sunil Bhardwaj

Then we started from anegundi to Malyawant Raghunath temple. This temple is situated on the Malyavant hill and is considered to be the place where Lord Rama and Lakshamana stayed in the rainy season during their stay in Kishkindha. It is a beautiful temple. There are few mandapas inside the temple premises and their is a separate Goddess temple to the west of the main temple.

On the way to Malyavant parvat, there were few smaller temples and monuments like Gangidhi Jain temple, Bhima Gate & Pattabhirama Temple. There was a Archaeological Survey of India museum also. This museum is in Kamalapur town and is a must visit place as there is a lot of information about the life style, tools, scripts, utensils, GOD Idols & other things of Vijaynagar Dynasty. We took lunch at a roof top restaurant and finished our day's progressing.

I paid Autowala the amount and bid him farewell. There were number of places in the hampi and surrounding places which i couldn't visit due to floods and lack of information. Few of them, i have alrady mentioned in the article and remaining are Octagonal Bath, Talarigatta Gate, Sri Krishnadevaraya Tomb and Chandermaulishwar Temple.

I took my rest in the night and decided to go to Badami the next day. Next day morning, I waived good bye to Hampi and started further journey.

It was an unforgettable visit and hampi is the place you would always like to have in your memories. It is the place, you would definitely like to recite to your children and grand children. It gives you the immense pleasure when u witness places you read in the books. Hampi attracts History enthusiasts and amazes them with its beauty.

Lastly i would like to add Hampi Route Map for proper understanding of the place.

Photo of Hampi (Kishkindha) Diaries by Sunil Bhardwaj

Few things to keep in mind while travelling hampi.

1. Keep a handful of cash with you because very few ATM's are there and those too are always empty.

2. Keep adequate amount of drinking water with u. Sometimes you have to walk a lot and it is very hot.

3. Dont expect luxurious hotels. There are home stays and very few good hotels. Good hotels are available at kamalapur town which is around 5 kms from hampi.

4. Have proper information about all places before visiting.

5. Depending on Mobile internet is not an option here. Connection is very less all around. Internet can be operated through Hotel's WIFI only.

6. Dont go during rainy season or flood time. It can spoil the trip as the city is located on river bank.

7. Staying on Hippie Island can be a good option but every time you have to come to main city for visiting sites.

8. People here are very helpful and peaceful.

9. if you want to explore more, 4 to 5 days are required .

10. Hiring an auto is a good option for visiting places. Hiring bike or moped can be useful only for nearby places.

Day 2

Then i visited Kodanda rama Temple on the bank of River Tungbhadra. It is believed that at this place Lord RAMA crowned Sugreev after killing Bali. In this temple, King sugreev can be seen bowing to Lord RAMA.

Just nearby, there was YantroDharka Hanuman temple. It is believed that at this place, Lord Hanuman met Lord Rama for the very first time. At this place, Lord Hanuman appeared before Sri VyasRaja and asked him to place his idol in hexagonal amulet.

Chakratirtha was totally submerged in the water and couldn't be visited. It is considered to be the place where Lord Vishnu gave his chakra to Lord Shiva. Taking a dip in the river at this place is considered to be holy.

Rishimukh Parvat is situated to the north side of the river. Once King Bali killed the demon named Dundubhi and threw away his corpse. While in the air, the few drops of blood from the dead body fell on the Matanga rishi's aashram and he cursed king Bali that he will not be able to step on this hill again. It is also said that King sugreev took asylum on this hill as Bali was forbidden to step on this hill. When Lord RAMA came to Kishkindha, Lord Hanuman took Lord RAMA and Lakshamana on his shoulders to Sugreev on this hill.