The Ruins and Temples of Hampi, Karnataka (II)

Welcome to my second and third day’s stories from Hampi.

Did you read Part 1 of Hampi – The Hippie Island? If not, read here.

Day 2

Today we took an auto from our guesthouse to the riverfront for INR 150 /- for 3 of us. Then took a ferry to reach the other side – INR 10 /- per person. We met our auto driver – Coffee. Yes, his name is Coffee. He says his name is difficult to remember. The same driver who picked us up at Hospet. He charged us more and didn’t know many things when we asked him questions (he claimed that he is a guide cum driver) and hence not sharing his number. We made a mistake of not asking around and checking the auto prices for 1-2 days.  There were drivers who were willing to take people around for sightseeing for INR 400-500 /- day. ( Year – 2016 )

On this side of the river, there are cycles on rent too. Approx INR 100-200 per day. We chose an auto because of 32°C and didn’t want to exhaust ourselves from the heat.

Entrance

This is said to be the entrance of the other side of the river. In earlier days of prospering Vijaynagar, all the animals and humans were frisked to ensure no unauthorized weapons are carried inside.

Vitthala Temple

Our first stop was Vitthala temple, my most awaited stop because of the musical pillars!

This monument is open from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM.

The entry cost for 3 places (Vithala temple, Lotus Mahal and Elephant stable) is INR 90 /- per person for Indians / USD5 for foreigners. All 3 places need to be visited on the same day.

There is a cart station which takes passengers to the temple (a 1 km walk) for merely INR 10. I’d suggest walk it up till the temple because on the way there are beautiful stops which are not to be missed.

While returning, take the cart because you’ll be exhausted after the temple visit. It takes a good 2 hours minimum to see this beauty.

I’d suggest if you have some money to spare, hire a guide. He’ll be the best person to explain the rich culture and history here. We were just eavesdropping everywhere.

On the border of a stepwell en route Vitthala Temple. No one knows the logic behind these pillars apart from that it served as a boulevard.

The famous chariot from our INR 50 currency note is from the Vitthala Temple

The inner sanctum is devoid of any idol. A narrow and unlit passageway encircles the inner sanctum. A few steps on either sides of the sanctum’s main door give access to this passage. The outer wall of the sanctum that one can only see from this passageway is richly decorated with the Kumbha-Pankajas (the motifs where lotus flower flows out of a pot)

There is a space to collect water below our feet. The rainwater gathers here, the ceiling has the space to let enter the sun rays in such manner that it hits the water and lightens up the entire space!

These temples have 56 musical pillars. Each pillar emits a SOUND OF DIFFERENT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT when tapped!! How fascinating is it??

You can watch this magic here and read more about these pillars below

Hydrating ourselves with some fruits after leaving the Vitthala Temple.

Lotus Temple

Lotus temple / Kamal Mahal / Chitragani Mahal was used by the royal women of the Vijayanagara Dynasty. It is one of only a handful few astonishing building in Hampi that had not been damaged by the Mugals.

As the name given to this two-storeyed palace is because of the shape it resembles. The balcony and the passages covered with a dome that looks like an opened lotus bud. The central dome is also carved as a lotus bud. The curves of the palace are given an Islamic touch while the multi-layered roof design is moreover related to Indo style of buildings.

It is said that the Queen of Krishna Deva Raya used to spend her most of the time seeking pleasure and peace in the palace. Several musical concerts and other recreational activities were held at this place.

Lotus Temple

Winds, let me damn get a good photo please!

Elephant Stables

One among the few least destroyed structures in Hampi, Elephant Stable is a long building with a row of domed chambers was used to ‘park’ the royal elephants. There are 11 domed tall chambers, some of them are interconnected.

The center chamber is decorated and big. Probably the musicians and the associated band troupes had been using this during ceremonies involving elephant processions.

Inside the Elephant stables.

We ventured around in the vicinity and returned home since it would take us an hour and the ferry’s last ride was at 5:30 PM.

DAY 3 – Of ruins and temples – Hampi

After check out and bidding farewells to all the warm people in the guesthouse, we left for our third-day adventure.

Post Office

Our traveler friend- Alhad, gave us an amazing idea of collecting postcards with stamps of various cities while on the move. Most of my friends got the postcards but the one I wrote to myself, never reached me.

Mathanga Hills

We went for an adventurous trek on Mathanga Hills and spent 2 hours there. It gives the town’s panoramic breathtaking view! This trek has challenging trails and boulders to climb on.

I gave up after completing 70% of the trek because the boulders were challenging. My friends went ahead and completed the trek while I waited for them on this boulder.

Panoramic view of Hampi which has Vitthala Temple.

Zoomed bird’s eye view of Vitthala Temple

Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

Folklore has it that Ganesha consumed so much food that his stomach was about to burst. Fearing this, he grabbed a snake and tied it on his stomach to save himself. You can see this on this monolithic statue!

The inscription on the statue is as old as 1500 AD and says that this statue was erected in memory of the king Narasimha II, Vijayanagar Empire

Reaching Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple

Underground Siva Temple

This temple dedicated to Lord Siva was built many meters below the ground level. It is not just an underground temple but it lies underwater! Yes, the inner portions of the shrine are always filled with water. According to one theory, it is the water of Tungabhadra river that flows inside through a canal.

Once upon a time, the inner sanctum is said to have a linga. Today, the inner sanctum is empty and is always submerged in water. We couldn’t venture more inside since there were some bats and it was too dark.

Hazara Rama Temple

Hazara Rama Temple was built in the early part of the 15th century by the then king of Vijayanagara, Devaraya II.  It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of Vijayanagara. The temple is famous for the lovely relics and panels depicting the story of the epic Ramayana.

The walls of the temple carry the story of Ramayana carved on stone.

These relics also portray processions of horses, elephants, attendants, soldiers and dancing women taking part in the Dasara festival rally at that time. The relics are among the most extensive ones to be found anywhere in India.

The ONLY black marble construction found in ENTIRE HAMPI!

Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha Temple in Hampi is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was constructed in Lakkana Dandesha’s assistance who was a commander under King Deva Raya II.

The yearly chariot festival is conducted in the month of February in this temple.

You can witness the daily temple rituals and ceremonies in the mornings and evenings. Temple opens before the sunrise and closes in the night. Usually, the sanctum is closed in the noon.

Krishna Temple

This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513 AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present-day Orissa).

This is one of the few temples where the epic stories carved on the walls of the tower. This is fairly an intact specimen of a Vijayanagara era temple.

Engraved Plates

We found these on a random road while traveling

Engraved plates from the olden times. Bowls for curry and plates for rice/pulkhas. There is a space to collect water after washing these plates.

Queen’s Bath

The whole building is made with a veranda around facing a big open pond at the middle. Projecting into the pond are many balconies. The whole pool is open to the sky. This brick-lined pool is now empty. But it’s believed once fragrant flowers and perfumed water filled this bathing pool. At one end of the veranda, you can see a flight of steps giving access to the pool.

The Queen’s Bath

Pushkarni

Where to eat and shop?

We had lunch at Mango Tree on both days. There were a plethora of options for cuisine. We had Rajasthani Thali, Pita bread, hummus, fries, Nutella pancake, and mango milkshake. We really enjoyed the food which was affordably priced.

Other places to eat – Chillout Bamboo , Ravi’s Rose Rooftop Restaurant, Laughing Buddha , Mowgli restaurant , Ganesh Chillout , Funky Monkey Restaurant , The Gopi Island etc.

We did a little shopping at Hampi Bazaar. There were a lot of new options for jewelry ranging from INR 100 – 300 /-. A request to my readers to not bargain for INR 20-30 /-. Such small denomination makes a big deal to them.

I think the Universe didn’t want us to leave Hampi and was conspiring against us so we stay back.

We reached Hospet at 5 pm and witnessed another fascinating sunset. Finally, we asked Coffee, our auto driver, him, his real name. It was Anand! Yeah, I know! *rolls eyes*. Our bus left at 6:30 pm from Hospet and reached Mumbai, the next day at 8:30 am with a lot of memories.

You can get more information on Tripoto’s like – Read here and Hampi’s website – Read here.

Feel free to contact me if you have any more doubts.

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