The black and white print of history book never really inspired me to think beyond the book boundary. To be honest, I first enthusiastically heard about Hampi when I was in Gokarna with my friends. One of our hostel mate was a Chilean traveler who was on a month (or 3) long trip to India- Solo. It took Google to inspire me and search for holidays in my insanely befuddling work calendar. With a fortnight long planning I had acquired a group of equally excited people to travel with me.
Hampi is beautiful place. The ruins of the kingdom leave you in awe. The moment you enter the commercial area of the city near Virupaksha Temple you get a whiff of the long lost era. The entrance has the remains if what it used to an open shop system.
This small town offers numerous within budget lodging facilities. It is mostly the 4 bedroom plot of the locals converted to a comfy boarding place for the tourists most of whom are travelling on budget. We booked for around Rs 3000- Rs 4000/- for 4 persons for a day and a half, which is kind of the standard there. The rooms were clean and comfortable with all basic amenities. Since most of the of hotels/lodges are available near Virupaksha temple one can find good quality Indian or fancy continental meals available in hep shack restaurants nearby. Getting a local taxi/auto won't be a problem as most of the lodges also have the taxi facility. If you wish for a high-end place and cost is not an issue then Orange County will be appealing to one.
The first site for us was the Queen's bath. Well! the size of the bath place is more like a bungalow for city people. With 30 Sq Mts structure area and 15 Sq Mts bath, it makes one wonder how lavish and rich the era might have been. The building is surrounded by a well maintain garden area which offers shade to travellers exhausted from the travel.
This stepwell is the next site after the Queens bath. This is at the quarter end of the "Royal Enclosure" as this site is known. This is an age old symmetry which might delight history/architect scholars. The blocks here are numbered and the steps are in odd number series. One is not allowed to step on the stones or anywhere near it, in order to preserve the structure. A walk round the "Royal Enclosure" with a few many clicks is a heart desired afternoon well spent.
While marking end to our drifting in these enclosures we did try the local lemon masala near the entrance. A sure no-no to the people with OCD but I can vouch for the cleanliness- at least for our our glasses.