Day 8 – Hampi to Mysore
It was time to leave Hampi. Only a one-night stop-over but with a huge impact. We really didn’t want to leave.
The morning entailed breakfast packing, and then venturing out to watch the sunrise over the wetfields. It was beautiful!
The River Tungabhadra
The River Tungabhadra was at the back of our hostel, renowned as a place of scenic beauty where tourists can enjoy boat rides, (I say boat rides- being towed in what you would recognise as the closest thing to big wooden bowl) down the river. We actually found Roger on way. It looked idealic and I must admit, I was envious. A big part of me thought, ‘if only I didn’t spend so much time fixing my left eyebrow this morning -that could have been me’, but hey!The river is also enjoyed by tourists who enjoy smoking pot, drinking beer and jumping off rocks; adrenalin junkies; an opportunity I’m sure all of us would of loved to experience with just one more night…Befriending a stray dog on the way, as flea invested, and annoying to Nick as he was, made the walk that little bit better . Next stop, Ancient City of Hampi.
Our journey from the hostel to the temple was eventful to say the least. Hurds of cows scattered all over the roads, the driver, lacking in spacial awareness, possibly desensitized to the thought of knocking one over, almost hitting them trying to get through. I was on edge, and genuinely felt sorry for them. The road after, a car crash accident. A car had been thrown off the main road and was on fire. Nobody had been injured which was good, but it was hardly a surprise after witnessing the driving standards that we’d seen over the last few days.
Hampi Monuments (Ancient city of Hampi)
We had arrived at the Ancient City of Hampi, which umm.. Ok Google, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the centre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century. The cite is filled with 16 square miles of Persian and European ruins, once a prosperous city with trading markets and farms and the second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing by 1500 CE. Then the Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by Muslim sultanates, after which Hampi lost its prosperity and was left in ruins. Thank you Google.
The day entailed visiting lots of temples and statues. The first half was free. We hired a tour guide who charged 800 INR (around £8.50) for 3 hours who we found driving on the road.
The first temple; Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. The site was full of Indian locals and tourists; lots of children presumably on school trips and they were really excited to see us. We were asked for no endless amounts of selfies! A 5-minute walk away there is Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple, followed by the Hemakuta Hill Temple another 5 minutes away which had a host of other ruins and great views overlooking the landscape.
We were also asked for more pictures by the locals; I particularly love this photo with the two toddlers who really look very disinterested despite their parents enthusiasm.
A 15 minute drive away, we arrived at the Vittala Temple Complex, which cost 500 INR and 30 for locals! This made us laugh. This was a site to the Lotus Mahal, as well as the kings palace which had the remains of 8 stables for his 8 elephants.
Vithala Temple Complex- A long walk from our experience here was very the same as the previous. Lots of Indian visitors. There were places to buy snacks and coconuts for tourists along the way.
After 5 hours of sight-seeing, it was safe to say that we were ‘temple-d’ out and the thought of visiting was suddenly losing its attraction. Our Temple Exhibition had come to an end and was our stay in Hampi.
Another long, 8-hour car-journey ahead of us. The highlight of the road-trip was the driver’s playlist; it was really terrible. It was so terrible it was great. Think 2008 throwbacks; Sean Paul, Pit Bull; when Akon and Ne-Yo were killing it (and so was I in the back-seat). Another highlight (challenge) was trying to find somewhere to eat. With roads as remote as they were and limited places to eat, it was a mission. Four hours into our quest, we drove past a remote village with signs of civilisation; people and shops and which had everything but what we needed. Buying anything which looked half familiar and edible, we were happy with some pasties and cakes; unhealthy as they were, they were everything we needed given our hunger at that point. Another 2 more hour, we eventually arrived in Mysore, Bangalore, checking into a rather lavish 4-start hotel called the Regeta Orchid.