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Old 20th January 2009, 18:31   #46
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I saw you suggesting guides, which is definitely a good idea to explore the places. .
- A guide is useful for two reasons, they act as 'time-keepers' to ensure that we cover all the important places by sun-down. They know the easiest routes from A to B and the best order in which to cover all the important places.

- I did spend a good couple of days on the net, jotting down all the 'must see' places at each destination and would discuss with the guide before starting off, to ensure that he doesn't skip anything to save time / effort.

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a) How we can ensure good (authorised?) guides? .
- Guides are available at each place if you start early and catch one, since the 'professional' guides start early at around 8.00am. The ASI (Archeological Survey) issues Photo ID cards to authorized guides.

- When you come across a group which has already hired a guide, just ask them about how much they paid, to ensure you know the 'range'. Ask the guide with them to suggest / provide the mobile number of another guide.

[We had bumped into a guide hired by someone else at Badami the previous evening, he made some quick calls and arranged for another guy to meet us the next morning]

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b) Will they be conversant in English?.
- As mentioned earlier, most of them speak passable English, since they deal with lots of non-locals / foreigners. If you cant speak / understand Kannada, you can always manage with 'Hinglish'.

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c) When you took the guide from Badami and after Pattadkal and Aihole, you proceeded onwards to Hospet, how did the guide go back? Also charges for the guides will be helpful.
- Guides will accompany you for the entire day and then take a bus back to base in the evening. You don't have to drop them back.

- Badami - Mahakoota - Pattadakal - Aihole, the quote will be anywhere between 500 - 1000. Rs.600/- seem to be the normal rate. I did not bargain too much since it is not every other day that we visit these places and a grumpy guide who may be tempted to rush through is not worth the couple of 100 rupees saved by driving a tough bargain.

Normally I bargain down to a reasonable amount / average rate and then assure the guide that I would put in a extra 150-200 if he makes sure that we covered everything. An enthusiatic guide is a good guide.

- Hampi, though we did not hire a guide [I have been there quite a few times and know my way around], the normal guide charges are apparently between Rs.500 for a 4 hour coverage to Rs.800 for a 8 hour / full day coverage.

- If you want to explore Hampi at your own pace (If you have already been there earlier), there are some excellent guide books available, we used an Eicher-Goodearth publication called ‘Hampi Travel Guide’. This book is also available at the ASI museum in Kamalapuram (Hampi). It provides a 'walking tour' of Hampi with the details of each monument.
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:25   #47
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Very well written travelogue. I am not yet (just finished Kollur), will complete the rest tomorrow.

Pics can be posted bigger for a better viewing.

Abhi
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Old 20th January 2009, 23:15   #48
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Very well written travelogue. I am not yet (just finished Kollur), will complete the rest tomorrow.
- Thanks Abhi!

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Pics can be posted bigger for a better viewing.

Abhi
- True. I resized the pictures to 500px width and reduced the quality to keep the file size smaller. The idea was to make them easier to upload (250+ pics uploaded) and faster download for the readers.

Will keep pic size to atleast 650px width from next trip. I will also factor in the slight quality change that is happening when the Tbhp server is putting the Logo-watermark on all pics...
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Old 21st January 2009, 00:47   #49
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Default Thanks a lot

Thanks a lot for explaining it in detail. With this, looks like it is doable in 4 days or rather in 3.5 days

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Hampi is around 360kms from Bangalore. [200kms to Chitradurga on NH4, 160kms from Cdurga to Hampi on NH13]. The road condition till Chitradurga is excellent, since it is part of the GQ. The road condition from Cdurga to Hampi is also good. The road seems to have been repaired recently, with all the potholes repaired. I did not encounter too many ore-carrying trucks, probably since ore export has almost stopped. - Total drive time to Hampi from Bangalore, with a 30min break, will be 6 hours. A 4am start will see you in Hampi by around 10am.
As Hampi will be the most attractive of them, may like to give more time to that. Also not sure if we can reach in 6 hours, if yes, we might follow the plan you suggested. Yes, we are planning to start at 4:00.

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Some 'Terms & Conditions' apply to these plans...
[1] Since it was just the two of us, we did not take too much time in covering all the places. Remember, the time taken by a larger group to cover a place is determined by the slowest member. While we spent ample time at each monument, took penty of photos etc. Not much time was wasted in getting from A to B.
We are also only two of us.

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[2] Have a good break-fast and a heavy dinner. We found that since lunch breaks involved going out of the way and losing atleast an hour during the day, we packed plenty of stuff to munch and skipped lunch.
I am not sure if we can follow these practice though.

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[3] We were not very fussy about lodges to stay, as long as the loo was clean, we just needed a place to spread our sleeping bags. So not much time wasted in hunting for lodges.
Though we do not have sleeping bag, planning to carry bed sheets, blankets, after seeing your earlier posts.

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[4] Since my ‘Navigator’ ;-) is very particular about being punctual, a 6.00am start meant just that… no ‘Indian Standard Time’ starts.
It is me who can play spoilsport here.

Thanks again for the superb support.
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Old 21st January 2009, 02:11   #50
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Awesome Travelogue! I have done most of these places too, but no patience to write them in the absolutely wonderful way you have done!
Keep them coming!
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Old 23rd January 2009, 18:09   #51
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Awesome Travelogue! I have done most of these places too, but no patience to write them in the absolutely wonderful way you have done!
Keep them coming!
Thanks Prashanth !
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Old 7th February 2009, 07:15   #52
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Work related stress made me wake up early this morning and check the mails. Then happened to come across this travelogue. The 2+ hour spent in going through this travelogue was entertaining and inspiring. hotstuff, you mentioned that though you have been traveling for years, this is your first travelogue. That is really sad, because such excellent write-ups/snaps are lost for fraternity.

hotstuff, keep traveling and keep posting the travelogues.
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Old 13th February 2009, 18:27   #53
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Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
Work related stress made me wake up early this morning and check the mails. Then happened to come across this travelogue. The 2+ hour spent in going through this travelogue was entertaining and inspiring. hotstuff, you mentioned that though you have been traveling for years, this is your first travelogue. That is really sad, because such excellent write-ups/snaps are lost for fraternity.

hotstuff, keep traveling and keep posting the travelogues.
Thanks @sbraj! I am really honored to know that you spent two hours reading my rambling account.
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Old 26th March 2009, 15:54   #54
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@hotstuff - Great travelouge and an excellent write up backed up by some superb photographs. It was like visiting all these places in person. Will surely do one myself in the near future.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:01   #55
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Default Great Travelogue!!!

This is one of the best travelogues I have ever read. I am s bit late to come across it though. With so many pictures and with so detailed description. It was just like being at that place. I guess how it will feel actually going there. I am already thinking of planning a trip there.

Historical ruins are one of my favorite themes of travel. Always get amazed by the architectural grandeurs and unimaginable amount of effort these guys put hundreds of years ago with so much less technological help in those days.

Thanks a lot for such picturesque account.
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Old 7th April 2009, 21:20   #56
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@hotstuff - Great travelouge and an excellent write up backed up by some superb photographs. It was like visiting all these places in person. Will surely do one myself in the near future.
- Thanks!

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.... Historical ruins are one of my favorite themes of travel. Always get amazed by the architectural grandeurs and unimaginable amount of effort these guys put hundreds of years ago with so much less technological help in those days...
- True, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is that many of these monuments were built over a period of almost a 100 years... so one generation would have started work... and only the future generations would see the results. Talk about patience...
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Old 29th June 2009, 21:24   #57
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Comprehensive and clear coverage,interesting read. Keep up the good work.
Hampi is a place I wanted to see and this travelogue would help me to ensure I cover all the interesting places around Hampi and add some perspective as well.
You could add more photos like the one on the Belur/Halebid.

Last edited by marlinspike : 29th June 2009 at 21:27.
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Old 29th June 2009, 21:42   #58
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This is a great write-up. Comprehensive, clear, precise yet entertaining and with great pics. Will aspire to this sort of a travelogue. Really enjoyed reading it.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 04:06   #59
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A well written travelogue. Please keep up the good work. Since I am from North, this provides me a wealth of information and inspiration.

And some superb photography. Wow. Definitely a five star thread for me.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 12:42   #60
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Deserves 5 stars.. Cannot be better than this, great narration, even minute details are tracked and recorded.. Hats off..
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