Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trip to Hampi

On a September weekend I made a weekend trip to Hampi with my friend Sameer and my wife.

Hampi is  a historical place which was the capital of the Vijayanagara empire in the 14-15th century till the entire city was destroyed by the muslim invaders. Legend has it that Hampi was destroyed for over a period of 6 months. The boulders of Hampi, spread across the horizon bears testimony to the aghast tales of its distraction.

Since a long time I had been planning to go to Hampi and decided to go on a weekend in September 2010. We were to travel about 480 kms from Bangalore to Hampi and the mode of transport was to be my Black Beauty (Ford Ikon Flair). There are 2 routes to Hampi : one through Tumkur->Chitradurga->Hospet->Hampi and the other not so known route via Tumkur->Hiriyur->Challakere->Bellary->Hospet->Hampi.

I read a lot of reviews about the first route via Chitradurga but the NH23 from Chitradurga to Hospet was just a mockery of national highway with huge crater sized potholes and heavy truck traffic all night. So wanted to avid this road at all costs.

Read excellent reviews about the state highway through Challakere to Bellary and Hampi and though very less traversed, decided to take this route.

We started from my place at Bannerghatta road at night 11:00 PM. Passed through Nice road and reached Tumkur in 30 mins. From there continued till Hiriyur through Challakere and reached Bellary highway at morning 5:00 AM. Within 6 hours had almost completed 400 Kms, so it can be well imagined the road was a pleasure to drive and even at night, I could maintain constant speed of 100 throughout the state highway. The Challekere highway to Bellary should be called a NH instead of SH :)

From Bellary we took a left turn towards Hospet and reached by 8:00 AM. Checked in a homestay near the bus-stand and had a quixk nap of 2 hours. Got up at 10 AM and started roaming around Hampi.

There are some hotspots in Hampi like the Vijaya Vitthala temple, Virupaksha temple, Matunga hill, Hemakuta hill, King's Penance, Elephant stables and the numerous architectures that one can see here. One can rent cycles and roam around Hampi for whole day, which we did the next day. Cycled around Hampi for abut 30 kms and it was an amazing experience.

Note : The sunrise from Matunga hill and sunset from Hemakuta hill is a must click for photographers and enthusiasts alike. The climb to Matunga hill can be real treacherous (me and my friend found that out), but nce atop the peak, the sunrise can be breathtaking.

I will let the photos do the talking for now :

Landscape at Hampi

Before Dark

Sunset from Hemakuta hill



Landscape at Hampi

Sunset colours

Sunflower, captured from sunflower flowers near Hiriyur

Sunset, off Tumkur road

Dusk at Hampi

The elephant stables, Hampi

Boulders and boulders everywhere, signs of the city's destruction

Mantapa on Hemakuta hill

Colourful dusk at Hampi

Enroute Hemakuta hill

Shadows and boulders


Silhouettes again

Sunset from Hemakuta hill

Bright temple top

The mantapa at Hemakuta hill

Vijaya Vitthala temple

The way to Vijaya Vitthala temple

The stone chariot inside Vitthala temple complex

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