Unlimited Karnataka : Hampi, The Beautiful Ruins Part 1.
Hampi is one place we were planning since many years but for some or the other reason it always got on the back burner. Taking the opportunity of covid we drove to Hampi and it was one of our best trips. On our way me, Goureya and Ashvath went to Goa and from Goa we were joined by Mohini and Ganesh. From Goa we took Mohini's car since Karnataka needed a RTPCR report for Maharashtra travelers even if you are fully vaccinated. The rule was not applicable for travelers of Goa. We had planned 3 nights 4 days trip but Hampi is such a beauty that even a week would not be enough to explore the place and it's surroundings. But if you ever plan to go to Hampi keep at least 5-6 days to explore the place.
Hampi is around 320 kms from Goa and takes approximately 7 hours to reach the main town of Hospet where most of the hotels are situated. Earlier many hotels and shops were situated in hampi but when the place was declared an UNESCO heritage site all the hotels and restaurants were shifted out of the hampi town. We started a little late by 8 a.m. as we had drove the earlier day. On the way after Anmod ghat ends we stopped for breakfast at Surabhi, a small insignificant hotel situated at Ramnagar. But the place is perfect for breakfast as it serves freshly made upma, pohe, batata wada and many other items. After a heavy breakfast we went directly at Hospet and reached our hotel at around 3:30. We rested for some time and since we had skipped lunch we were famished. In the evening we had snacks and tea and went out on a stroll in the Hospet market, came back to our hotel, had dinner and dozed off.
Next day we were excited to explore the city of Hampi and hired a guide on the way who was a Government approved and he charged us Rs. 3000 for the whole day guide services. We booked whole day because of time constraints but if possible do it in 2 parts and take a half day guide so you can enjoy the feel of Hampi at your own pace.
As our car approached the ruins of hampi we could just marvel at the way huge boulders were naturally fixed upon each other and looked magnificent. Why did I not visit this place before? It felt like we travelled back to some other time. One of the oldest places on earth. Hampi the capital of Vijaynagar empire was considered the second largest city in the world.
We started our tour with Virupaksha temple, the only temple where the deity of lord Vishnu is worshipped as of now. This 7th century temple of vijaynagar empire is still intact and magnificent amongst the ruins of Hampi.
Hampi is a designated UNESCO world heritage site and this temple is seen from almost all the sight seeing parts of hampi. Except Virupaksha temple, Rest all the temples in hampi are in ruins and no gods are worshipped here.
Hemkuta is is situated just besides Virupaksha Temple and is adorned by idols of mustard ganpati and chana ganpati . There are different stories behind the said Ganpati idols. Some say that these idols were build after the businesses here, flourished selling mustard and gram (chana) and therefore they are named after them.
As regards to Chana Ganpati it is said that since the Ganpati Idols Stomach looks like Chana (Gram), he is named Chana Ganpati. These idols are build from a monolithic stone which means that it is carved out of a single stone. These idols are situated on the slopes of Hemkuta hills.
As you climb the Hemkuta hills, you come across various small temples. This place is ideal for sunsets and you can have an aerial view if Virupaksha Temple from the top of Hemkuta Hills.
Vijaya Vitthal Temple:
Second famous temple is Vijaya Vitthal temple which is a must visit place. It is believed that the idol of Vitthalla from this temple was shifted to Pandharpur because of attack from the moghuls.
Pillars of the temple give out a music in our Indian Swara " sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa" which is just astonishing. Most peculiar thing about the temple is the beautiful stone chariot.
Lotus Mahal :
Lotus Mahal is a magnificent structure which resembles a lotus flower. Various passages makes it an ideal place for photography and the place looks beautiful in the sunset light.
Elephants Stable :
Elephants Stable is an Islamic styles structure with 11 compartment some of them interconnected to each other. Royal elephants were parked here. The structure was somehow not ruined and is still intact.
Pushkarni is a holy water tank or well built to perform various rituals and religious activities of a Hindu temple. This Pushkarni is built with stepped going down and therefore is also called as stepped tank. It is built in a symmetry and looks beautiful. This place is a very good for Instagram pictures.
As you visit queens bath it looks very unattractive and simple from outside but as you enter the structure you are awestruck at the way they have meticulously constructed the place where queen use to have bath. The place is adored by balconies and lotus shaped fountains with clean water coming in from nearby reservoir. After the bath, drainage system would empty the whole bath area. It is a must visit place in hampi.
After a full day sight seeing we were tired and as the sun set for the day, we also left for our hotel and called a day off. In Next part of the blog we would visit the famous Mathang Hill and other place in the magnificent Hampi.