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Old 29th September 2013, 15:16   #1
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Default Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

We wanted to visit Hampi since long time, finally a three day weekend in AUG 13 helped in putting the plan to execution. Initial plan was to start from Bangalore early morning drive Badami, then visit Pattadakal, Aihole and stay over at Hospet for the night. Visit Hampi next day and half of 3rd day and drive back to Bangalore.

With this plan in mind checked on route conditions in routes thread. As per fellow members roads were in good conditions all way, everyone suggested above itenary will need 4 days. Getting an extra day leave was not possible so the final plan was this way -

Plan:
Day1: Start early to Hospet, Visit Chitradurga fort on way. Reach Hospet check in hotel. Visit Anegundi and Tungabadra dam in evening.

Day2: Visit Hampi ruins

Day 3: Matunga Hill and Achutarya temple in morning. Start back to Bangalore.

Stay: There are no much stay options in Hampi, most of the better places are in Hospet. Based on reviews we finalized on Malligi hotel in Hospet. A descent place with friendly staff, would certainly recommend for those visiting Hampi. They have 3 good restaurants. Food was tasty and price reasonable.
Only thing they messed up was our Hampi guide booking. We had booked for a guide for our second day on reaching hotel. However on asking the help desk (Hamsa tours & Travels ) on 2nd day morning we were informed that they forgot to follow up on the request and it is not possible to arrange a guide. However to their credit they arranged a backup guide after a while, though we ended up paying more than what was the rate due to last minute booking.

Route: There are 3 routes to Hampi from Bangalore
1. NH 4 - Tumkur- Chitradurga - NH 13 - Hospet (~346 KMs)
2. NH 4 - Tumkur - Hiriyur - Right - SH 19- Challakere - Bellary - Hospet (~384 Kms)
3. NH 7 - Anantapur - Gooty - Left - NH 63 - Bellary - Hospet (~ 426 KMs)

Route 1 is the logical selection, however there were bit of horror stories on forum regarding NH 13. On checking with members who had traveled recently confirmed that NH 13 is is good condition as of now. Another advantage of this route is that we can visit Chitradurga fort on way.
Return was initially planned through Route 2 since we wanted to avoid taking same route both ways. Distinguished TBHPian Fauji's travelouge last year was mentioning about this route as good option. However ongoing agitation in Andhra Pradesh made us drop this plan since few KM's of this route pass through AP. So we decided to stick to route 1 for both onward and return journey.

Travelers Me and my wife along with friend and wife. Vehicle Alto (2009/ 40000 KM)

And hence the trip starts -

Day1 As with all our travels our preferred time to start trip is early morning or as in TBHPian Ampere's words "Before the devils wake up". Since we wanted to visit Chitradurga fort on way we did not want to start too early and reach there before it opens (we were initially informed fort opens at 8AM). So we planned of starting at 04:30 AM.
At 4.30 AM we start from our house near Bellandur by time we pick up our friends from near to Marathahalli and start it is nearing 05:00 AM. Since it is early morning we decide to go through town ( Indiranagar - RT Nagar - IISC- Yeshwantpur), big mistake. Road condition inside city made sure it is past 06.30 by the time we reach Yeshwantpur. Should have taken NICE road even if though it is a longer route.

Our first stop is Cafe Coffee day before Tumkur. A break of 10 mins and we start towards Chitradurga. It is 6 lane highway all way, with superb view of hills dotted with windmill just before you reach the town. Here the NH byepass branches off to right. You have to take the service road to exit towards the town.
There are no proper signage's towards fort once inside the town and we take help of locals to find our way through the broken city roads. We park car in area near ticket counter. There were only couple of other vehicles when we parked since it was around 8.45 AM. However by time we returned there were quite few vehicles. Also I had seen review that during peak time finding parking space may be a difficult task.

On checking with ticket collector we come to know that fort opens at 06-00 AM. Guess reaching around 07-00 AM will give good lighting for shutterbugs.

Ticket to fort is Rs 5 per head, once you enter the fort, you need to pass through two layer of walls and then climb stairs towards top of the hill.

Entrance to Fort:
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The fort has layers of wall as this. I read somewhere that initially there were 7 layers of walls out of which only 5 remains now.

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Some information regarding fort

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It was cloudy most of the time
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Stairs which take you towards top of hill
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Midway through
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The hill on right side is a vantage point. It is possible to view most of the fort from here along with distant windmills and NH bye-pass.
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View from top is breathtaking. Sun keeps playing hide and seek, thankfully it is not raining.
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It takes us around one hour to do a quick walk towards top of hill and return. Time is past 10.00 AM, we had seen an advertisement about a KSTDC hotel just ahead ticket counter on the main road. We take the car and drive down to the hotel which looks well maintained from outside. They have both restaurant and rooms. However the place is deserted. We check on availability of breakfast and after few minutes of discussion the hotel staff came up saying they have only Upma. We make out Upma was what they have cooked for themselves, we decided against having breakfast from there and start towards town looking for a hotel. Inside town we saw a basic hotel with parking and had a quick breakfast. It is already 11 AM.
We join NH 4 bye-pass and drive towards Pune side, couple of KM's later we find a sign board indicating NH 13 / Hospet. One need to take left and get on to service road and take right to the underpass, which goes below NH 4. Traffic is only moderate on NH 13, however most of the traffic is long distance truckers. Trucks and two lane highway means overtaking is an issue, however road conditions are good throughout. Also this road does not have any descent fuel station or restaurants, so do keep this in mind before starting from Chitradurga.

NH 13
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There is a tunnel work going on just as you enter Hospet city near a level crossing. This means each time gate closes for a train to pass there is complete chaos on both side. We were stuck in a block that way and lost around 20 Mins(both during onward and return) . Chitradurga to Hospet is around 120 KM's. It took us around 2.5 Hours to cover the distance and reach Hotel in Hospet.

On going tunnel work and Tungabadra dam's reservoir in background.
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Traffic jam
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It took us another half hour to reach to hotel from entrance to city thanks to broken roads, traffic snarls and confusing directions. We reach hotel around 02:00 PM, since it was a 3 day weekend (on account of Ramzan) hotel was fully booked. We had made our booking more than a month in advance so they upgraded us to higher suite to accommodate additional booking.

Check- in process was smooth, they had room keys and forms ready in an envelope. As soon as we reached they handed us the envelope and while we were filling the details (Name, address and all) they had finished taking photocopy of our ID proof. This was the fastest check-in in any Indian hotel for us, thankful to them for the same since we were all starved.

View of hotel
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Restaurant
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My first requirement in any hotel is safe parking and clean bathroom. Here both the requirements are met
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After lunch we decide to take rest for a while and then start to Anegundi . Anegundi is on opposite bank of Tungrabadra river. During summer time it is possible to visit Anegundi by taking a short coracle ride from Hampi. However our visit was in August mid soon after record rainfall, so only option was to drive down.

Though Hampi is only 18 Kms from Hospet and Anegundi on opposite bank of Hampi, the road route is a circular 40 Kms. The route passes through Tungabadra dam.

Anegundi route

Our plan was to visit Anegundi, climb Anjaneya hill and see sunset from top of the hill. The place is one of the frequented sunset points in Hampi and it give a panoramic view of Hampi on other side of the river.

Anjaneya / Anjanadri hill is supposed to be birthplace of Hanuman. There is a small temple on top of the hill which can be reached after climbing around 400 steps.

We start around 04.00 PM from hotel towards Anegundi, the road from Hospet to Anegundi is not in best shape. It is a narrow village road which is broken at most places. It is past 05:00 PM when we reach at foot of the hill. There are couple of shops selling snacks and coconut water and place for parking vehicles in front of it. As with all places around Hampi there is no parking fee here also. Not sure if this is the case always, however when we visited there were only couple of vehicles parked.

It was drizzling while we were driving down from Hospet, as we are nearing Anegundi a rainbow emerges which stays till we climb the hill.

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Ruins of Hampi are visible on other side of river
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Good rains means its greenery around
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We wait for sun set from top of the hill
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As it gets dark we notice that it may be not be easy to climb down all the hill in darkness. Though we saw few lamp posts we are not sure if they work. Hence we decide to climb down without waiting for it to be dark.

Parking area, shops at foot of the hill. White structure on top of the hill is the temple-
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Road is almost empty while we drive back. We wanted to visit Tungabadra dam on way back. We reach there around 08:00 PM, most of tourists are leaving that time hence finding parking was not an issue.

You need to walk for around one KM for getting to a vantage point to see the dam gates. Route.

We were not able to go all the way till top since they start switching off the lights by 8.30 PM even though the official closing time is 09.00 PM. We are not even able to capture a proper photo of open gates. Disappointed we return to hotel.


Day 2:
We had planned to cover most of Hampi ruins today. As mentioned earlier we had requested hotel to arrange guide for us. From different forums online I had read that guides usually charge around Rs: 800 for a day. Hotel charges Rs: 1200 for the same. We had opted for going via hotel since it may be difficult to get guide on account of extended weekend.

If you are planning your trip during off season time it will be cheaper to directly go to Hampi and negotiage with any guide there.

Since hotel had forgot to arrange guide even after we had requested they had arranged a backup guide for us and we ended up paying Rs.1500.

We start from hotel around 8.00 AM and we are in Hampi within half hour. Roads from Hospet to Hampi is in bad condition, however once in Hampi road condition improves.
One particularly bad section of road. Seems like road widening is on going.
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From what we saw most of the guides follow the same route. That means you start early and you can beat the crowd at all locations. Most of the guides wait at the circle near Hampi petrol bunk. Route from Hospet splits here for Vitthala temple (straight), museum / Pattabhirama temple (right) and rest of Hampi ruins (left). KSTDC hotel Mayura also is next to this junction.

We pick up our guide from the junction and start off to our first location, Vittala temple. The permanent fixture in any Karnataka tourism picture, stone chariot is placed inside Vitthala temple. Vehicles are not allowed near to the temple, instead you have to park your vehicle around 1 KM away from the temple and either walk or take an electric vehicle towards the temple. Ticket cost for the vehicle is Rs 20 per head. If you have time it would be better to walk atleast one side since the route pass through old market area.

Ticket counter for electric vehicle, parking area is visible in background.
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Old market area while on way to temple.
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The vehicle drops you in front of main gate of temple. Lower half of structure is made with granite and top half is made with bricks to decrease weight.
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This monument like others in Hampi is maintained by ASI. Ticket costs Rs 10 and it is valid for all other monuments and museum for the same day.
Inside the temple
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Last edited by mpksuhas : 10th October 2013 at 16:08.
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Old 7th October 2013, 21:39   #2
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Default re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Vitthala temple pics - Ctd:
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Once we finished seeing inside the temple we go towards Kings balance which is behind temple structure next to river.
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Anegondi hill is visible on other bank of river from Vitthala temple-
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Once done we start back, it is around 10 AM now and crowd is building up. Electric vehicle ticket counter which was empty when we reached is having a queue now.

Our next destination is Queens bath:
This was what could be described as a swimming pool used by royal ladies. The structure used to have wooden roof which is not present anymore.
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Visit to Queens bath is done fast, next we head towards Royal Enclosure . This was the center of action during Hampi's heyday. Protected by high stone walls and heavy stone doors.
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Once you cross the walls you come across huge area with ruins. There is a stage which was used by King to see royal procession. Climb on that and you get a birds eye view of all the ruins.
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The famous stepped tank is also near by, there is an elaborate aqua-duct network which is mostly intact used to bring water to stepped tank.

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It is said soldiers used these granite slab as plates -
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Secret chamber, this was used by royals to make confidential discussions. The chamber is located below ground level, roof of the structure is not present now.
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The granite slab in image was used for feeding water to animals
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Next to royal enclosure is Hazara rama temple complex. The temple is named so since it is said there are a thousand (Hazar) different stories about Sri Rama depicted in temple inscriptions.

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Hampi was build sequentially during reign of different rulers. Hence the architectural designs also differs. This is visible in Hazara Rama temple which has the main sculptures in black granite in contrast with outer grey / brownish granite.

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Outer walls of temple with carving
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Last edited by mpksuhas : 7th October 2013 at 23:09.
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Old 7th October 2013, 23:22   #3
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A strange bus seen in Hampi, not sure of the make though -
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Next stop was at Zanana enclosure , this area was living quarters of royal ladies when men were away at war. The enclosure had high walls on four sides with watch towers guarded by eunuchs.
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Lotus Mahal, there were pipes through which water used to trickle on curtains to have a AC effect. This was a two storey building, queen used to stay on first floor. However currently entry is restricted and it is possible to view lotus mahal from outside only. Walls have provisions for keeping lamps which was used to light the building.

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Just behind Zanana enclosure is elephants stable, this was used to accommodate up to 11 royal elephants which will be used for royal celebration. Next to elephants stable is horse stable which is partially ruined.

Entry to Elephants stable is actually next to Zanana enclosure, however Archaeological survey of India has made a path through Zanana enclosure for ease of tourists.

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At parking lot found this TBHP stickered car
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By now it is past 12.30 PM and we decide to go have lunch. There are only two options in Hampi for food, Mango tree restaurant and KSTDC Mayura Bhuvaneshwari. Both have mixed reviews on Tripadvisor, however most of recent reviews of Mango tree was negative.
On checking with guide came to know that they have changed their location and food and service is not up to the mark now. So we head over to KSTDC Mayura, the hotel is next to Hampi circle with ample parking space. However we felt the hotel was severely understaffed with one person donning multiple role. Infact we are given an option of two types of rice and may be 3 curries and asked to select from that with a warning that any item apart from the same will be delayed. We have a quick meal and head back to ruins.

First stop on way back is Narasimha statue

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Next to this is Monolithic Shiva ling

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According to guide both these places were used by general public in olden days, unlike some of the temples inside the main complex which was used solely by royals and high level officials.


Next we visit Krishna Temple, I guess this is one of the less visited temples in Hampi. The temple was almost empty and sky clears up giving good photo opportunity.

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Next to Krishna Temple is Sasivekalu Ganesha. This giant statue was created by a merchant who made money trading mustard seeds. Seems the king asked him to make a temple with the profit he made by the business.

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Walk able distance from Sasivekalu Ganesha statue is Kadalekalu Ganesha or gram seed Ganesha. The monolith is carved out from a boulder and is around 4.5 meters high. This was the Ganesha temple frequented by elite while Sasivekalu Ganesha was frequented by common man.

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Hemakunta temple complex is accesible from here. Also you get a panoramic view of our last point of day Virupaksha temple from there.

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View of Virupaksha temple from far away

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These buses ply between Hospet and Hampi regularly. Though it looks like a double decker at first, it is a normal bus. The parking lot in background is for Virupaksha temple. Once you park the vehicle here you will have to walk around 200 meters to the entrance of the temple.

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Virupaksha temple is the only temple where worship is done in Hampi, hence it is crowded that other temples.

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It is required to get a ticket for getting in to the temple (and not to get ahead in queue). This is the first time I saw a temple where you need to get a ticket to get in.

Once we come out of the temple our guide bids good bye. We get direction for Hampi ASI museum and Pattabhirama temple and proceed.
ASI museum is on way to Pattabhirama museum.

Both these places are not covered by guides usually. It is possible to enter museum using ticket purchased for other Hampi monuments. The museum has pictures of Hampi before ruins were partially restored as today. For those interested in history this is a must visit.

Pattabhirama temple , we reach the temple and see it locked. We get out of car and go to check, an old lady on seeing us approach opens the gate. Seems she is the caretaker of the temple and since no tourists have come she had locked the door and was waiting outside. We are the only people inside the temple, perfect photo opportunity.

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After this we return to hotel in Hospet.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 9th October 2013 at 14:12.
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Old 9th October 2013, 00:05   #4
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Day 3

We have plan to visit Matanga hill today. Matanga hill is located near to Hampi bazar, which is road in front of Virupaksha temple. Achutaraya temple is located near foot hill of Matanga hill and we plan to visit the same after descending the hill.
We had checked with people who had been to Matanga hill before planning the climb. We were informed the best time to visit the place was either to watch sunset or sunrise. Also everyone said to be careful about militant monkeys on top.
There are three routes to climb the hill, two of the routes start from next to Monolithic bull statue which is near to Police station at end of Hampi bazar street. Both the routes start from same point, however few steps later the route splits in to two. We took the left route from here which is later very steep. Though we did not take the right route, as per those who had taken this route this is easier to climb.
The third route is through Achutaraya temple.

Since we had without knowledge taken the toughest route we can safely say that this route and also other routes can be easily taken by anyone. Only thing to be careful about is most places there are no proper steps hence you should be sure when placing your foot. Also since the granite becomes slippery in rains / dew you need to be extra careful.

We start from our hotel around 6.15 AM and reach Hampi in around 20 mins. We park the vehicle at parking Virupaksha temple and walk towards foot of the hill. It takes around 30 mins to climb the hill. You can see both Virupaksha temple and Achutarya temple from top of the hill. I had read a review by someone who had mentioned the view from top reminds Indiana Johns movie. I can not agree more.

View of Hampi street, the building on left is Hampi police station. The steps on end of road takes you to Achutaraya temple, a walkway just ahead of the steps towards right takes you to Matunga hill.

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8840.jpg

End of Hampi street
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8845.jpg

View of Virupaksha temple from top of hill

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8852.jpg

Virupaksha temple and parking lot. We need to park vehicle there for going to Virupaksha temple, Matunga hill and Achutaraya temple

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8862.jpg

Achutaraya temple from top of Matunga hill
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8868.jpg

The top of hill is a good place to just sit and watch sun coming up over the ruins below
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8889.jpg

After a small break we climb down and head towards Achutaraya temple. The temple is outside preview of regular tourist circle and we find it without a single soul.

View of Matunga hill from Achutaraya temple
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8931.jpg
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8899.jpg

Achutaraya temple from the walkway towards temple

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8902.jpg

Walkway towards temple from Hampi street

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8906.jpg

Detail about temple

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8922.jpg

Temple looks like it is hardly visited by anyone, a shame considering it is one place I liked most in Hampi. Guess since there is bit of walking involved tourists who are not that keen and also guides give this a convenient miss.

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8916.jpg

Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8923.jpg
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8933.jpg
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8934.jpg
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8941.jpg
Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi-suh_8946.jpg

We walk towards parking and return to hotel. All of us are starving after this early morning hill climb. We attack the buffet breakfast with gusto.

After breakfast we take rest for a while before checking out around 11.30 AM. We decide to start before lunch and so as to reach Bangalore before dark and also to avoid weekend rush on NH 4. However by time we start from Hospet it is around 12 PM, by time we cross tunnel work near NH 13 Hospet entry it is past 12.30 PM.

We had a non stop drive till Kamat near Sira which we reach around 3.45 PM, after around an hour break we start to Bangalore. Toll booths on the way was becoming difficult to cross with long queues taking upwards of 15-20 minutes. Road which was a pleasure to drive early morning on our onward journey is crowded with extended weekend traffic.

On reaching Bangalore we decide to take NICE road and take Hosur road exit, we reach home at Marathahalli by around 07.30 PM.

Threads on TBHP which were useful in planning the trip -

Route & road conditions -

Bangalore Badami Aihole Pattadakal

Bangalore - Hampi route thread

Travelogues

Hampi- SKS Biker (Visit to Hampi - Heritage of India)
Hampi - Samurai (Hampi: Visiting the Forgotten Empire of Vijayanagara)
Hampi- Aihole - Badami- Pattadakkal - PJBiju (A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal)
Hampi- Aihole- Badami- Pattadakkal - Mnjdnght (Travelogue: Bangalore-Hospet (Hampi)-Badami-Pattadakkal-Aihole-Hospet)
Hampi- Aihole- Badami- Pattadakkal- Lukeskywalker (Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run)

Epilogue
  1. If you have couple of more days to spare Hampi can be combined with Aihole, Badami & Pattadakkal. We had to drop other places due to lack of leaves.
  2. Though I had initially planned of staying in Hampi, the plan was dropped due to lack of options. KSTDC Mayura had mixed reviews and few other resorts were very expensive. However after trip I feel there is no advantage on staying at Hampi. Hospet is a bigger town with more options for stay and food. Travel time between Hospet - Hampi is only around 20 mins.
  3. Hampi I felt is one of the least marketted place in KA. Apart from the stone chariot pic there is no specific facilities developed for tourists. Most of the facilities in Hampi are maintained by ASI (which maintains the ruins). Basic facilities like good roads, proper sign boards are even missing.
  4. Hampi- Rome debate : This was discussed at length on another TBHP thread, so I wont say one is better than other. However I liked Hampi more than Rome. Ruins in Rome are part of a living city which I felt decreases the fascination a bit.
  5. Two full days are required to see whole of Hampi if you are a history buff.
  6. Anegundi can be accessed by coracle ride during summer season by crossing Tungabadra river. However during rainy season you need to take a circular road way to Anegundi like we did, this will take around an hour from Hampi one side. If you are not a religious person you can give this a miss and spend that time in Hampi.
  7. Night walk through ruins : During internet search had found that night walk through ruins were started few years back. They had put lighting near ruins (saw the lights near ruins during my trip, however most broken) to help tourists. However I was not able to find any other detail from internet after that. On asking the guide he too was equally clueless. I guess they dropped the idea later on. If possible it would be fascinating. Ruins in moon night.
  8. There are no proper hotels,restrooms or fuel bunks on NH 13. All those has to be taken care before you leave Chitradurga.
  9. Musical fountain at Tungabadra dam park is a waste of time. There is music and there is a fountain, both of which has its own mind. Also, I guess it will be best to reach Tungabadra dam before sunset. Watch sunset from the vantage point and return to hotel.
  10. If staying in Mallligi hotel check with reception for Hampi map. They provide it free of cost. It has all tourist attractions of Hampi listed.
  11. Guide is not mandatory if you know the history of each location. I felt guide was required mostly as a navigator so that we can utilize the time properly by covering each are completely, than to explain the history of each place.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 11th October 2013 at 16:57.
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Old 11th October 2013, 17:35   #5
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Default re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th October 2013, 10:55   #6
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Default re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Good writeup and photos. It seems that the weather was just about perfect, those clouds in the background made it a scenic shot.
I am planing to visit Hampi during the Nov1st weekend. Looks like I shall book the same hotel as you did.
Can you help me with some eateries and fuel stops on the way and back?
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Old 12th October 2013, 11:29   #7
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Originally Posted by sansvk View Post
It seems that the weather was just about perfect, those clouds in the background made it a scenic shot.
Can you help me with some eateries and fuel stops on the way and back?
Thanks. While we went it was bit cloudy most of the time. I guess during Nov sky will be clearer and that will provide good photo opportunities.

Yes, you can try hotel mallige itself. However do check with them in advance since rooms tend to get booked early. We had booked about a month back since travel was on an extended weekend.

For hotels on way you can have a stopover at coffee day before Tumkur. They have clean restrooms also.
http://goo.gl/maps/4XZsh

Also there is a Kamat along with COCO HP bunk, if you are starting late from Bangalore you can stop over for breakfast. Weekends are bit crowded but they have buffet breakfast for Rs 120 which I is value for money proposition. Added advantage being you don't need to wait for placing order.
http://goo.gl/maps/m8HF1

Also further ahead on right side when going from Bangalore there is another Kamat and a BP COCO next to that. We had stopped there for lunch on way back and found food to be average.
http://goo.gl/maps/6kLQc

Also there is a VRL office along with restaurant just before entering Chitradurga on your left. I have not stopped there, but it looked clean.
http://goo.gl/maps/axN7B

Once you cross Chitradurga there are no decent places for either fuel or food.

Bunk which I saw near hotel at Hospet was bit shabby hence I just filled around 10 liter.
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Old 14th October 2013, 09:35   #8
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Great pics there, though the cloud played spoilsport a bit. And, also, a great start to writing travelogues in Tbhp - waiting for your other logs too!!
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Old 16th October 2013, 01:20   #9
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@ mpksuhas, great travelogue.

Brings back my memory of 2008 when I visited Hampi, I stayed in Hampi it self,there are few places which are offered inside the Virupaksha temple complex for as little as 500/night and it was good decision for us since we can roam around inside the Hampi Bazaar and it was quite a romantic to watch these ruined places in moon light, and also there were lot of food joints available inside these areas which serve variety of food from Indian to Tibetian to italian and very neatly decorated to attract crowd and resonably priced

I was surprised to see many localities over there speak kind of decent english to cover foreigners and one more advantage if you stay in hampi is you can hire a bicycle/2-wheeler and go across each place with little extra time. I am shocked to see Mango tree has changed the place and there are negative review about this place, bcoz when we went it was one of wonderful joint to have lunch and dinner and mostly it will be very crowded but again the food and view towards river made us to visit that place more than thrice during our stay of 3 days.

PS: I cannot see couple of attractions in your Photos ( Underground temple,Sister rock ) , have you missed it or not updated the photo ?

Last edited by soarer : 16th October 2013 at 01:23. Reason: addition
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Old 16th October 2013, 07:04   #10
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Nice written Suhas. And surely the weather played a perfect foil for the Chitradurga fort. If its hot and sunny its quite difficult to visit the place.
I had biked (bicycle) around Hampi when we went back-packing quite some years back. I think now its time to go with family!

Did you also visit Vani Vilas Sagar ?



Somehow I found most snaps with very high contrast/saturation. Any reasons for the same?

Last edited by ampere : 16th October 2013 at 07:23.
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Old 16th October 2013, 10:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soarer View Post
we can roam around inside the Hampi Bazaar and it was quite a romantic to watch these ruined places in moon light, and also there were lot of food joints available inside these areas which serve variety of food
Thanks Soarer, I too wanted to have a walk around ruins in night. Had fancied a ruins under the star pics also, however on checking with our guide during trip and also over net before the trip there were no news about the Hampi night walk which was started few years back (I guess 2005). Also, in one site I read a cautionary message saying roaming around ruins in night can be an invitation for mugging. Though on visiting Hampi I felt the place to be safe.

I guess you visited Hampi before Hampi bazaar was evicted of shops, now there are no shops on Hampi bazaar lane leading to the temple. ASI has barracaded the area, hopefully they will restore the bazaar structure which is in run down state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soarer View Post
I was surprised to see many localities over there speak kind of decent english to cover foreigners
PS: I cannot see couple of attractions in your Photos ( Underground temple,Sister rock ) , have you missed it or not updated the photo ?
I felt unlike most other tourist destinations in India, Hampi was less commercialized and direct involvement of locals in business is high. Only other place I noticed this was in Havlock Islands in Andaman & Nicobar islands. Most other places all business are run by heavy weights and locals are left to harassing tourists.
Please note that by locals I am meaning the people (skilled, unskilled) who stays in vicinity of the tourist location.

We were only able to view underground temple from outside since it was submerged due to recent rains.

One of the sister rock had broken off couple of years back, it now looks almost like any other rock. They have put a barricade next to that and it is only possible to view the rock from road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice written Suhas. And surely the weather played a perfect foil for the Chitradurga fort. If its hot and sunny its quite difficult to visit the place.
I had biked (bicycle) around Hampi when we went back-packing quite some years back. I think now its time to go with family!
Did you also visit Vani Vilas Sagar ?
Yes, even with sun playing hide and seek it was tiring to climb all the way up. Only issue with having a cloudy weather is that the pics wont look good as they should be.

We had a plan to visit Vani Vilas dam on way back if time permits. However after seeing Tungabadra dam in full glory and travelling the whole of NH 13 without food or toilet break we decided to hit Kamat instead . Guess Vani Vilas will have to wait till next trip.

Quote:
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Somehow I found most snaps with very high contrast/saturation. Any reasons for the same?
I usually underexposes the pics for getting maximum detail, later I change the brightness on light-room. Since I felt stones / rocks will look better I had increased vibrance and saturation a bit more. However the 6 years old Sony vaio I used was displaying the colors bit toned down, for me during editing the colors were looking perfect. I came to know of this only once I completed the editing and shared the images to friends.
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Old 18th October 2013, 09:24   #12
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Awesome writeup Suhas and your photographs complement your text.

Haven't you considered Marathahalli->Hebbal->BEL Circle->nelamangala toll ? It's pretty decent early morning

Planning to take my parents to Hampi next month. Can you please advise/answer on the below?

Is footwear allowed in and around the ruins? From your writeup I understand only Virupaksha temple has regular rituals done and all other temples are only for touring. Hence, I ask. My parents are diabetic and bare foot walking is not advised for them.

Can we get guides who can speak Telugu ( 1st option ) else, English or Hindi? Do you feel they might ask more if we take a non-kannada option? if so, I might have to translate the kannada version of the guide to my parents. They can't understand Kannada.

Is it a good idea/allowed to pack a lunch hamper from Hotel Malligi and have it at the ruins?

Thanks much for your help.
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Old 18th October 2013, 11:29   #13
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Excellent! Thanks for sharing this TL.

The pictures are truly out of the world!
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Old 18th October 2013, 12:20   #14
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

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Haven't you considered Marathahalli->Hebbal->BEL Circle->nelamangala toll ? It's pretty decent early morning
I had thought of that option also, however I took the Domlur - IISc option since that was the shortest. Also, BEL circle - Yeshwantpur stretch has the issue with railway line. I had got stuck for around one hour during midnight once, hence decided against it. I guess time wise from Marathahalli taking NICE road will be best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajwheelz View Post
Is footwear allowed in and around the ruins? From your writeup I understand only Virupaksha temple has regular rituals done and all other temples are only for touring. Hence, I ask. My parents are diabetic and bare foot walking is not advised for them.
Yes footwear's are allowed at all temples apart from Virupaksha. Virupaksha temple also you can enter inside the complex with footwear. After entering you need to get tickets and remove footwear for going near idol. That will be only a short walk through granite paved floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajwheelz View Post
Can we get guides who can speak Telugu ( 1st option ) else, English or Hindi? Do you feel they might ask more if we take a non-Kannada option? if so, I might have to translate the Kannada version of the guide to my parents. They can't understand Kannada.
We had opted for guide who was explaining in mix of Hindi & English. I had booked guide through Malige's travel desk, they had asked for language preference. They did not mention any rate difference based on language preference. However there may be a chance of getting Kannada speaking guide easier. Also, our guide was knowing Telugu and was explaining certain terms in Kannada / Telugu / Tamil to make us understand better.
My suggestion is do check with help desk and mention your language preferences as soon as you check-in. Also, do follow up with them the day before your ruins trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajwheelz View Post
Is it a good idea/allowed to pack a lunch hamper from Hotel Malligi and have it at the ruins?
Yes, this will be the best option since as you mentioned your parents are diabetic. I have seen lots of people having lunch below trees near ruins. Also, Malligi has good food options too. Only thing to be noted is that Non-Veg food items are not allowed in Hampi ruins area (Malligi is anyways a Veg only hotel so wont be an issue).

Last edited by mpksuhas : 18th October 2013 at 12:22.
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Old 18th October 2013, 16:36   #15
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Default Re: Wanderlust traveller - 350 kms away & 700 years back - Bangalore to Hampi

Very nice travelogue. Kept me glued to it. Beautiful pictures too.

What a great kingdom and empires we have had. All that lost glory makes me feel bit sad.

As you rightly said, Govt should improve the place a bit (acco, food, roads, etc) and advertise it more.
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