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Old 29th December 2008, 19:06   #1
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Default A Ride back in Time to 400AD (Trip To Hampi)

Christmas Holidays are on, and the itch to travel starts. We've made plans to visit the Hampi circuit - Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole some time back, that did not materialize. So this time, we decided to just go.

Bookings made at Hotel Malligi in Hospet, MapmyIndia visited for the route info, T-Bhp travelouges on Hampi read and re-read ( thanks Samurai ), Silverado serviced for a PowerSteering leak, tyres checked the truck cleaner way with a bang, we're all set.

21st Dec, we start from Bangalore, heading towards Tumkur, and what do we see:

A foggy drive ahead! There goes my speed run!

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As the sun rose, the fog cleared and we had a good run upto Chitradurga, aptly christened "The windmill capital of India" by my daughter. Its interesting to see so many windmills that keep you company for kms at a stretch.
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The drive to Chitradurga was good with good roads. After Chitradurga about 30kms of bad roads and later things improve, till you are 30kms to Hospet. You hit a neverending line of mining trucks.

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Till you arrive in Hospet - The city of Speed Breakers! I've not encountered so many in a 5km stretch.

Hotel Malligi is probably the default choice in the 1500 to 2500 per night price bracket.

The day we reached, we visited the TBDam to watch the sun set.

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Back in the hotel, I tried to act an ace photographer trying to capture some shadow play. Take a guess at the subject.

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We're still in 2008AD.

Time travel can be very taxing on the human system, and you need to ensure you take plenty rest before the stage 2.
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Old 29th December 2008, 20:45   #2
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Nicely narrated...good pics. I thnk you used Safari for this trip, right? How many kms did you travel (to and fro)? Will wait for your next leg upto 400AD. About shadowy thing, the less said the better...but i'am still guessing.
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Old 30th December 2008, 05:01   #3
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A Hampi trip is on my mind too. Will be keeping a close watch on this thread.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:00   #4
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that sunset pic is really nice.
that shadow play pic is really...........what?... snaronikar will answer this as he is guessing.
waiting for more.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 30th December 2008 at 12:02.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:03   #5
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ahh nice one..i liked the title.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:12   #6
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Default 1500ad

The next day, a well rested crew started early for the ride to 1500AD.

'Silverado' our time machine.
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First stop was one of the maha dwara on the eastern side of Hampi, leading to the Vijaya Vitthala temple. Hampi had a 7 layer protection of fortress walls, with the first one, more than 100kms away.

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The first sighting of the splendor of the Chalukya empire. the Vijaya Vitthala temple. The first of the seven major temples in Hampi. This temple has an approach with a marketplace measuring 1000mtrs long, and 40mtrs wide, where diamonds and precious stones used to be traded.
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The MahaGopuram of the temple. An interesting fact of the Hampi architecture is that the foundation of the temples is in stone and the remainder of the structure - the gopurams are in brick. I wonder why ?
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The famous Chariot of Hampi. Krishnadevaraya built this chariot and the famous hall with musical pillars. The chariot is modelled on the sunchariot of Konark, and houses the Garuda Vahana of Lord Vishnu. Traces of early painting also can be seen on the eastern side of the chariot.

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The courtyard of the temple.
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A typical motif of the hampi architecture found in almost all temples is the horse with a lion's face carved on pillars. Each pillar of the mandapa features a similar motif with different riders. this pillar shows a Persian rider, indicating the rich trade the Vijaya Nagara Empire had with the world.

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A lotus motif on the ceiling of the sabha mandapa outside the temple
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The famous musical pillars of Hampi. Entry to this 'Ranga Mandapa' is banned now to protect the pillars from further damage. Each pillar is monolithic - carved of a single stone. If you look closely the pillars have a square base, followed by thin columns carved out of the stone. Each pillar has a different number of these columns, and the height, circumference and number of the columns defined the sound it produced. The pillars were played upon using wooden sticks padded with hard wax. Curtains hung around the mandapa ensured a solid resonance to produce the sound stage and rich sound for the performances.

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this photo shows multiple pillars in the Ranga Mandapa. You can clearly see the difference in the 3 pillars.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:24   #7
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Default 1500AD continued

A path behind the temple leads to the Tulabharam - Kings Balance and further leads to the Hampi Bazaar and the Virupaksha Temple. Enroute you can also see the incomplete Achyutaraya Temple and the Courtesan's street. this street is probably the best preserved marketplace attached to a temple in Hampi. the Hampi Bazaar has been converted into shops and houses and has lost a lot of its originality, though you can still see some parts of it.

At the far end of the Hampi Bazar away from the Virupaksha temple is a monolithic bull, and a photo gallery. Dont miss this gallery, as it has some of the finest photos of Hampi, before and after conservation.

View from the steps leading to the Hampi Bazaar from the Vijaya Vitthala temple and Achyuta Raya temple.

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This is definitely a Petrol Head's Hotel.
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The MahaGopuram of the Virupaksha temple.
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Courtyard View
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Inside the Virupaksha Temple is a marvel of Science. A Pinhole Camera.

You can see a Inverted image of the MahaGopuram at any time of the day.
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The Dynasties that ruled Hampi and Vijayanagara.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
About shadowy thing, the less said the better...but i'am still guessing.
C'mon guys, dont let your imagination run wild! This is a public forum.
Its mother and daughter enjoying a warm hug on a nippy evening in the hotel courtyard.
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Old 30th December 2008, 12:42   #9
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WOW... Floored by the way you have done your travelogue. I am going to go through it once more. And I am going to plan to HAMPI shorly.

VERY NICE.
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Old 30th December 2008, 14:26   #10
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Very good travelogue and great narration.

Makes you take up the trip yourself and explore the beauty of those olden times.

let the pictures keep coming..
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Old 30th December 2008, 14:56   #11
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Default Mango Tree

When in Hampi eat, sleep, lounge, dine at the Mango Tree Restaurant.

Excellent and varied menu, delicious and finger licking food, one of the longest list of yoghurt smoothies I've seen. Quick service, but Unhurried pace. No non-veg and no alcohol.

You sit on the floor, with a lean-to behind, facing the Tungabhadra river, below a 100yr old mango tree. a belly full of food, the sun playing hide-n-seek, cool breeze blowing in.. aah sheer bliss. You WILL definitely take a nap here.

the place is mostly frequented by foreign tourists, but the fare is totally indian.
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Old 30th December 2008, 15:40   #12
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@Srini: Thanks for clarifying. Even Ashish was thinking err..guessing wild (I suppose). But the angle you have shot the pic is nice and all the thoughts will come to the mind while guessing...cannot help it. Its a human brain.

Nice pics and narration. Will some more of pics flow or is this all ?
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Old 30th December 2008, 15:44   #13
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Nice pictures of the temple structures smsrini -

how well are the temples maintained ? are there regular pujas happening or are they purely archaelogical sites ?
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Old 30th December 2008, 16:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Even Ashish was thinking err..guessing wild (I suppose).
no, no, i was thinking in the same line of srini.
but, srini has asked everyone to guess.

@snaronikar: your sign fits current scenerio.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 30th December 2008 at 16:06.
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Old 30th December 2008, 16:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
@Srini: Thanks for clarifying. Even Ashish was thinking err..guessing wild (I suppose). But the angle you have shot the pic is nice and all the thoughts will come to the mind while guessing...cannot help it. Its a human brain.

Nice pics and narration. Will some more of pics flow or is this all ?

Whaat bored already ? I'm still in 1500AD and have to travel another 1000yrs back in time !

@snaronikar, stay tuned some more to come... Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole.

cheers!
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