Finally we went to Hampi!!
And Anush's vocab now includes- Water Fountain, Tungabadhra, Hampi, Hospet, Pig, Ruins, Shall we get down? Rail gaadi. . . .
While I should update on the travel blog , since hardly anyone seems to visit there or leave comments, I thought I would post it right here.
We took a train to Bangalore and then the connecting overnight train( Hampi Express) to Hospet and parked at Hotel Malligai, a very comfortable modern option.
The car hired at the hotel took us to Hampi about 10 kms away. An English speaking guide walked us through the ruins and there were so many anecdotes that he had to offer.
The area is split into Hampi and Vijaynagara. Apart from Krishna Deva Raya the religious claim to fame is that Kishkinda was somewhere in the vicinity. You need to be prepared for a lot of walking even if you have a vehicle to take you up to a point.
Being the Hampi festival time there were lots of people and stages put up and concerts in progress, apart from a light and sound show on Karnataka history.
Hampi is awe inspiring from the lofty rocks that balance so easily to the chariot which has wheels that move.
Virupaksha Temple houses Shiva and Parvati- Pampadevi. It is next to Madurai in terms of the Gopuram height and a must see is the pin hole camera kind of inverted shadow. Also the three headed Nandi.
Hampi Bazar All the roads adjoining important sites form this and being the festival time it was crowded more with Rajsthani wares than those from Karnataka.
Vittala Temple is under renovation but it speaks of a glorious past. It has intriguing musical pillars and many mythical creatures. Interesting was the blue print on stone - a mini replica at the base of the main structure. Also the stone chariot which has wheels that move has been plastered now.
Queens' Zanana houses the Lotus Mahal with its ingenious AC system and is beautifully laid out. There is also a lovely pool a short distance away as also elephant stables.
The Hazara Ram temple with 3 versions of the Ramayan in sculpture is a treat.
A lot of foreign traders specially from Islamic countries have left an impact in terms of the architecture which is often a combination of Indo-Islamic styles in the administrative and residential segments.
One experience that we missed was a coracle ride on the Tungabhadra as it began to rain by the time we got there.
A must is the Mango Tree- a quaint restaurant with stone step seating under a grand old mango tree. The seating is such that if you are careless the small food table may land on the next customer's head. But the pasta was awesome as was the view.
Back near Hospet is the Tungabhadra dam and the musical fountain - a treat for little kids- begins at 7pm.
We also caught a Kannada movie- Milana -on day 2- some culture trip this.