March 14, 2013

North Karnataka Road Trip in Car - Part II

In my previous post i talked about how we reached Hospet from Bangalore and next day morning, all were set to visit HAMPI.

For those who don't know what is the history behind this place:  
Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire (1336CE -1565CE) and was renowned for its architecture. When the empire fell to islamic invaders the city was ravaged and much of it was destroyed. Some city structures and temples survived the war and today they are cared for by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The ruins of HAMPI is scattered around 28 kms.

After vacating our rooms, we took 2 leaflets that had HAMPI map. I have shown it in below pic.

It was around 30 minutes drive from Hospet to reach HAMPI. Note that Pooja is not conducted at any of the temples in Hampi because the idols are defaced.  First we covered,
1. Sasivekalu Ganesha (Mustard seed)

As we climbed the hillock, the Sun started to burn us overwhelmingly but the light breeze was our saviour.

2. Hemakuta temples

3. Virupaksha temple - At the Virupaksha temple alone pooja is performed at one of the sannidhis. The entry fee is Rs. 10 per person, For taking picture, you have to pay additional Rs. 25 & for videos you have to pay high and its Rs. 500. This temple, like most others at Hampi, has stunningly beautiful architecture. The main gopuram is as high as 160 feet and has carvings of various deities. The smaller gopuram is decorated with intricate pillars and domes. Perhaps this design drew elements from Islamic architecture. Regardless, this gopuram is unlike any other that I have seen in south India. There is a Elephant in the temple as well :)

4. Hampi Bazaar

We were very tired, so we went to one little shop and had nice n cold masala lemon Sprite :D Then we proceeded further to visit,

5. Kadalekalu Ganesha(Bengal Gram)

We had to walk about 500 meters to visit Bala Krishna temple. Before that we halted near the parking lot and had a tender coconut & Butter milk. After relaxing for around 15-20 min we visited,
6. Bala Krishna temple

After marveling at the architecture and sculptures, our excitement was still on high and we returned back and got into our car and left for next location.

We later visited,
7. Queens bath

8. Mahanavami dibba

9. Underground chamber

10. Kings audience hall

11. Zenana enclosure

12. Lotus mahal

13. Elephants stable

After visiting all nearby location, we were very eager to visit Vittala temple which is  the highlight of HAMPI. This is the place where "Stone Chariot" rests. We had our lunch in a small hotel and left towards the Vittala temple. After parking our car, we took a ride in a battery operated vehicle and reached Vittala temple. The ride was amazing for us and a new experience. The Vittala temple was not in a good condition and it was under repair. And one more worst part was, there was a stupid telugu movie shooting going on which gave full stop to our excitement. We did not enjoy that much there, but we had good look at Stone Chariot. but we missed Kings balance :(

14. Vittala temple

From Vittala temple, our last journey was to see Ugra Narasimha. It is situated near to Bala Krishna temple.

15. Ugra Narasimha

16. Badavilinga - This is situated next to Ugra Narasimha and is made up of single stone. Legend says that a poor women donated her money to build this one and hence the name was called.

By this time, it was around 5:15 PM. We left HAMPI and started heading to BADAMI (our next visit). We wanted to connect to NH13 but was looking for a shortcut. On the way, we asked a auto-driver for the route. He warned us that the road ahead leads to nowhere but we have to go back and connect to main road so that we will end up in NH13. We did not listen to him and we proceeded further. Finally we were scattered and started to look for help. Finally, with locals help we could connect to NH13. Before that we saw a beautiful canal of Tungabadra which is really amazing. I was really feeling to jump into the water but we had a time-crunch so we stopped there for a while and continued.

After connecting to NH13, we saw Tungabadra dam from the roadside. It was a very big one but unfortunately was not let out. They say that on 15th August (Independence day) they will open the gates of dam with all lights ON, pooja and so on. This will be open till October. After spending 10 minutes, we started our actual journey towards BADAMI. Around 7:45 PM we had our dinner and reached BADAMI before 9:30PM and checked in to our respective rooms. We planned for next day to get ready by 8AM. As planned we were ready by 8 and had our breakfast and left to visit BADAMI caves :)

You may also like to read :

North Karnataka Road Trip in Car - Part I

North Karnataka Road Trip in Car - Part III

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