2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI

Tripoto
27th Dec 2017
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI 1/1 by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

It was that time of the year again-DECEMBER. When bells jingle and wishes tingle to remind you of that perfect X-mas present. For me, it is mostly the same always-taking the most anticipated trip of the year to my home country, INDIA :)

Two years ago, I moved to England for my Post-Graduation in Engineering. In addition, I juggled with a couple part-time jobs so I could travel around Europe. But during these escapades, sudden cravings to explore India would spring unexpectedly. PS: Believe it or not, as an undergraduate student, I once cancelled on my parents to attend a course-related workshop when I could have easily holidayed in Bali! :(

These instances from the past troubled me so much that I vowed to take at least one trip in India, every year. As this trip coincides with an annual visit to my home-state, it also nicely fills the void that my seemingly heavenly solo trips leave behind. Last year, my family and I escaped to God's own country and this year, we decided to spend two days in the golden heritage of the Vijayanagara empire-HAMPI!

THE ROUTE: Bangalore->Chitradurga->Hampi->Anegondi->Sanapur Lake ->Bangalore

Photo of Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

Having started out on a sunny afternoon to avoid losing an entire day, it was a long drive. So a good 5 hour drive called for a pit-stop at the Chitradurga Fort. Spanning acres, its impeccable architecture is a combined contribution of the Hoysalas, Chalukyas, the Nayakas and Hyder Ali. Here in the heart of the fort, Hinduism and Islam were embraced as one, for temples and mosques shared common ground until the onslaught of the Bahamani Sultanate left the kingdom in crumbling ruins. Even so, these hulking marvels of our rich past have stood their ground by the Tungabhadra river inspiring minds of today, beyond words can explain. So here's an itinerary to guide that Hippie in you. Go on, BE HAMPI!

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

DAY 1

Watch the sunrise from the Hemakuta hill and make pit stops at the many monuments that stand there, in partial or even complete ruins. Also if you are lucky, you dine to a fine breakfast with the many monkeys that are entertained as much by your visit as you are, by theirs :P :P Jokes apart, it was a boon in store to watch the morning sun light up the exquisite dome of the only temple in Hampi where devotees stop to make offerings to the deity even to this day. Almost all idols were demolished completely except the ones in the Virupaksha Temple and the huge-bellied Sasivekalu Ganesha, the Ugra Narasimha and the Badavi Linga.

Photo of Hemakuta Hill Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Hemakuta Hill Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Hemakuta Hill Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Hemakuta Hill Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

In fact, the statue of Lord Narasimha was so brutally disfigured that it became known as the 'Ugra' or the wild Narasimha. But refreshing on my knowledge of a culturally rich past while driving through winding roads flanked by sprawling greenery and ancient volcanic rocks had my mind irrevocably blown!

The afternoon wore on with a visit to royal sights like the Lotus Mahal, the stepped-tank, the Queen's baths, the King's balance and the Elephant stables. Finally twirling to the melody of the musical pillars brought the first evening to a happy end and a good beat-the-heat remedy followed with an easy walk to the Purandara Mantapa by the banks of river Tungabhadra-the last stop of the day. What a relief to my sun burnt feet! :')

Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Saasivekaalu Ganesha, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Ugra Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Lotus Mahal Hampi, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Pushkarani, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Zenana Enclave, Kurissumuttom Road, Pidaram, Peyad, Kerala, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Vijaya Vittala Nagar, Nelamangala, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of 2 DAYS IN THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF INDIA: HAMPI by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Achyutaraya Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Tungabhadra, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Tungabhadra, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Tungabhadra, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

DAY 2

Since every sunrise in Hampi is worth chasing, I was up once again, at the crack of dawn to start the exciting drive across river Tungabhadra towards Anegondi. Drenched in the spells cast by the magical morning light were the best stretches of paddy and coconut farms, all the way to Kishkinda-believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. Also known as the Anjaneya hill, it is a steep climb of 575 steps to a shrine dedicated to the Monkey God. But once at the top, the divine views and sanctity all around is all you need to let the fatigue be!

Photo of Anegondi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Anegondi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Anegondi, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

The afternoon followed with an hour long stop over at Sanapur lake-a great place to take a coracle ride. Also it is good to up your monkey game a bit and clamber onto one of the big rocks that offer great views of the river below. You have all the time to sleep it over on the long drive back home! ;)

Photo of Sanapur, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Sanapur, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Sanapur, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh
Photo of Sanapur, Karnataka, India by Mahalakshmi Venkatesh

PLACES TO STAY:

Hospet, the nearest big town is speckled with backpacker hostels and even affordable hotels. I really loved my stay at Hotel Swathi, as I had even my granny tripping along. With her narrating tales of this lost empire better than any history book ever could, it was easy to watch events from the past unfold live in locations where they actually occurred! Here's to 'Hampi'ly ever after and more :)

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