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Old 30th January 2009, 22:32   #16
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Nice travelogue and good pics. You pics of Gol Gumbuz & minnarats has come extremely well. Also, do explain about some history behind these monuments (if you know). It will be helpful for the people here to know about some history and relate them with the pics.
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Old 30th January 2009, 22:41   #17
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Default Pattadkal

Travelling through a narrow but smooth road, winding through the table mountains and the green fields we reached Pattadkal, 11 km away from Aihole.

Pattadkal got its name from Pattabhishek Kalam (Coronation time), as number of Chalukya kings had their corronation done here. As mentioned by smsrini, our guide also told that as Malprabha river folows from south to north compared to other rivers which flows from north to south the place is considered holy. (Though if I remember my school days geography, most probably Indus and all its tributeries flows from south to north)

Pattadkal has one large complex of temple and it is a Unesco Heritage site (alongwith Hampi), whereas Bijapur, Badami or Aihole are not made it to the list yet.

Once you enter the complex, this is the panorama unfolds before your eyes.
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The main two temples are Birupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples, also known as Trilokamatadevi and Lokamatadevi from the queens' name who built those temples.

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Nandi in front of Virupaksha Temple
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Apart from these two, the complex has another 5 temples.

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Kashi Vishwanath Temple
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Jambunatha Temple
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The sun was coming down and thus got some good shots at the evening light, though from the back sides of the temples.

Immediately we started towards Badami. On the way, after a km or so, saw a Jain Mandir on right hand side, went in took some snaps and proceeded.
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Sun was coming down quickly and the table mountains on the sides had a red hue on them.
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People returning from field with their cattle.
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Took a diversion to Mahakuta, following the road signs. It also has an Chalukya temple but puja continues there, so you have the shops around, the temple painted in green, mike and all the parapharnelia. Definitely missable.

Now came the best part, the direction board showed Badami Station 15 km in one direction (the way we came from) and Badami 16 km in other. Was thoroughly confused, and asked few of the drivers of the Sumos and Indicas parked there and followed the road directed towards Badami.

Reached Badami at around 7:15, went to the Mayura Chalukya, but room rates were on the higher side (Rs 700) and no hot water. Made few calls to other hotels and got into Hotel New Satkar. Rooms were ok to spend the night, however the cook in the restaurant was wonderful.

So there ended day 2.
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Old 30th January 2009, 23:10   #18
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Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Nice travelogue and good pics. You pics of Gol Gumbuz & minnarats has come extremely well. Also, do explain about some history behind these monuments (if you know). It will be helpful for the people here to know about some history and relate them with the pics.
Thanks Srinivas.

For the history, posted link to the wikipedia, but may be it is worth giving some snippets inline.
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Old 31st January 2009, 00:38   #19
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Default Badami

Day 3: 26th Jan, 2009

Normally I am a night person, however in this trip I was hitting the bed early and waking up early. Day 3 was no exception. We left the hotel at day break and reached the Badami cave complex. While we were reading the information tablets the ticket counter opened, and we were the first one to buy the tickets.

Badami has 4 cave temples (Admission Rs 5).

Cave One
This cave, reachable through a flight of stairs from the complex entrance, is dedicated to Shiva. It's the oldest among the four caves, probably carved in the latter half of the 6th century.
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On the right cliff wall there is capitavating figure of Nataraja striking 81 dance poses (one for each combination of his 18 arms)
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The left cliff wall also has a sculpture.
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After entering the porch, on the left hand side has a large figure of Harihara - half Shiva and half Vishnu.
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On the opposite wall to that is a large figure of Ardhanariswara - half Shiva and half Parvati.
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Cave two
This cave is dedicate to Vishnu and very simple on design.
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The front edge of the platform is decorated with pot-bellied dwarf figures in various poses.
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On the left wall of the porch is a Varaha figure, 3rd incarnation of Vishnu. It also contains Naga, a snake with human upper body.
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On the right wall is Trivikrama, fighting with demons.
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The ceiling panels contain images of Vishnu riding Garuda, Gandharva couple, swastikas and 16 fish arranged in a wheel (photographs in same order).
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Natural Cave
Between cave two and three, there are two sets of steps towards right. First one leads to a natural cave.
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The second one hits a closed collapsible gate, beyond which it goes to the hilltop South Fort (done by Tipu Sultan).

Cave Three
This cave, carved in AD 578 under the orders of Mangalesha, brother of King Kirtivarma, is the most elborate among the four. This cave is again dedicated to Vishnu.

On the left hand wall is a large carving of Vishnu sitting on the coils of the snake. This is unique as typically one finds the figure of Vishnu lying on the snake (Anantashayan)
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Next to it is a figure of Varaha
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On the opposite side there is sculpture of Narasimha (4th incarnation of Vishnu)
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And another Harihara figure.
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The pillars of this cave are also have designs while the others have just plain rectangular pillars.
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Hit the limit on pics in a post, to be contd...
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Old 31st January 2009, 08:07   #20
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Wonderful narration and pics again. You have captured which is rarely mentioned in TBHP very well. This according to me, calls for a 5 star rating which I have rated this travelogue.

Abhi
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Old 31st January 2009, 13:07   #21
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Nice pics. Keep them coming. Enjoying every bit of your travelogue.
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Old 31st January 2009, 14:18   #22
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Default Great work!

I loved the lucid way you give road tips and fill us in on the History. I intend to do the Bijapur, Badami bit someitme in the future and this shoudl help.

Fantastic pics too - which camera did you use?

Cheers and keep it coming.
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Old 31st January 2009, 20:11   #23
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Default Badami - Part II

Cave Four
This cave is dedicated to Jainism. The sanctum contains the statue of Adinatha, first Jain tirthankara.
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Apart from that it also have other tirthankara's figure carved in the wall.
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Just out of the small exit (diagonally opposite to the main entranace), there is a tomb.
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A little walk down is the Yelemma temple, the front steps of it leading to the Agastya Tirtha tank (remeber the pic from the natural cave).
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Came back to the cave complex parking lot - had tea from the nearby stall and biscuits which we were carrying. Seeing the food a monkey came dangerously closer and we took refuge inside our car. It was really a good decision to start early, as we covered the place before the sun is glaringly hot and second the number of tourists were still low.

Now it's time for the other temples which we had seen from the caves on the other side of the tank. After taking direction from couple we took the right from the main road, first 50 m through a busy bazar, but as we progressed, the road became narrower. Ultimately it was just enough to steer my safari through, I was really worried what happens if another car comes from opposite direction. But thankfully none came, so I assumed it should be a one way

Parked car near the Archeological Museum, and took the stairs towards the Shivalayas.

The lower shivalaya
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The upper shivalaya
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In between the lower and upper shivalaya we had to pass through this narrow chasm.
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Also we got to see the remains of north fort
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The view of Badami from up there
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The day being republic day, flag was hoisted
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And the school children after attending the flag hoisting program
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We visited the Archeological museum after coming down, they obliged us to go in 5 min early than the scheduled opening of 10:00 am.

Just 500m ahead are the Bhutnath temples.
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One was closed, and it seems the guard on duty there was on leave and thus couldn't be opened
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The second one was open thankfully.
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Agastya Tirtha Tank
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Upclose view of the temple.
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While looking for the good angle to take the photo, realised one path going behind the temple and saw some of the figures on a open cliff wall.
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Following the path, reached one small Vishnu temple, where it has Vishnu in Anantashayan.
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And further down there is another cave, the entrance is very low and I had to crouch down to fours to enter, but the inside is high and spacious. It has a carving of Buddha and a small one of Agastya muni.
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By the time we completed it we were really hungry, and quickly came back to have breakfast, a quick shower and checking out from hotel. Waited for half an hour while getting our washed in hotel, and headed out around 12:30.

Next destination - Hampi.

Last edited by arindamray : 31st January 2009 at 20:15.
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Old 31st January 2009, 20:22   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Wonderful narration and pics again. You have captured which is rarely mentioned in TBHP very well. This according to me, calls for a 5 star rating which I have rated this travelogue.

Abhi
Thanks Abhi. How do you do the rating? Is it visible, I can't see it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Nice pics. Keep them coming. Enjoying every bit of your travelogue.
Thanks Srinivas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
I loved the lucid way you give road tips and fill us in on the History. I intend to do the Bijapur, Badami bit someitme in the future and this shoudl help.

Fantastic pics too - which camera did you use?

Cheers and keep it coming.
Thanks Ravveendrra.
I have used three cameras -
Canon EOS 350 D (DSLR) - most of the pics are from these
Canon Powershot A75 (Digital P&S) - pictures taken from car
Pentax MZ 50 (Film SLR) - only for few wide angle shots, not yet developed.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 00:20   #25
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Default Hampi

So it was a delayed start from Badami after getting our car washed. Enquired at the hotel lobby about the route to hospet, and they confirmed the route suggested by TheMAG and Smsrini, Belur and left turn to Gajendragarh and then continue straight to Kushtagi to meet NH 13 and turn right towards Hospet.
The day before I was scared to drive through a fair going on around the Banashankari temple, and got it clarified I can take a bypass which goes around Banashankari and I don't have to drive through that mad rush.
I was also apprehensive about the road condition from the reports between Belur and Gajendragarh, but he was little surprised and assured me that nothing wrong with the road.
So we followed the route, the first right turn is for Banashankari bypass, clearly marked. The left turn towards Gajendragar is almost at the end of Belur, so asked couple of times for the direction, but don't worry, it is again clearly marked.
The road condition was pretty ok, with some portion getting fresh coat of tar, and getting widened as well, so any body travelling after a month's time should have a smooth tarmac. Alternate route isto travel straigt till Ron, and then take a left towards Gajendragarh, this way all the roads are proper two laned road.
After reaching Rushtagi, came to a T-junction showing Bijapur to left, so I quickly took a right only to realize, I have to follow the Bijapur direction for a while and after reaching NH 13, take the right turn
We were pretty apprehensive whether we will hit the similar traffic jam, but today luck was in our favour and there was none, so we took the left turn opposite to the TB Dam and proceeded towards Hampi. Reached Kamalapura Mayura hotel at around 3:00 just before they were closing their lunch. So had a hearty meal, and then completed the check-in formalities over there, and hopped on the car again for the next round.

There is a road almost opposite to Mayura (a left and immediate right, to be precise) which leads to Hampi. First place which came on the way is Saraswati temple.
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Note that this templa has two Garbhagriha (Sanctum's) seen from two Stupa's (the other one at the distance is the Gopuram)
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A little ahead is the Queen's bath, a very plain structure from outside, however nice from inside. On the roof there was some work earlier (seen from early photograph) but none is in existence now.
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Further ahead on the same road is Octagonal bath.
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And then comes the Prasanna Virupaksha or Underground Shiva temple. This temple could not be ventured into, as lot of water was stagnating there. The authorities should act immediately before it does irreparable damage to the temple.
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Note the roof of the temple (beyond the first structure which is a gate) is at the ground level.
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We took a diversion in front of this temple, which leads to after a T- junction, Zenana enclosure in the left fork and Hazara Rama Temple and Mahanavami Dibba on the right.

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Temple view from the front.
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The cournece, not easily visible, is still ornamental.
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There are few granite pillars within the temple mainly made out of sandstone. This is the only place where use of Granite was observed.
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Hazara Rama Temple from back side
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The sculptures on the wall
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Mahanavami Dibba
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Next to Mahanavami dibba there is a spectacular stepped tank, the geomatrical symmetry just take your breath away. This tank was filled by the aquaduct, which also can be seen there.
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We thought it will be a good idea to pick up a guide book on Hampi, and it was almost the closing time of shops we rushed towards Hampi bazar. At the entrance we were charged Rs 40 (Rs 20 for entry and Rs 20 for parking) for the car. It could be a good idea to park it before this point, as cars are only allowed another 500 m or so, beyond this point.

So we parked the car in the bus stand, and rushed towards the bookshop (located near Birupaksha temple) and picked up Hampi Ruins by A.H. Longhurst. The other two which I liked (but didn't pick ) were Hampi travel guide puablished by Eicher and Hampi by Fritz and Michell, this one is highly recommended (I might buy this one, if I find one in here).

Entered the Virupaksha temple gopuram, but decided to come back early morning next day. Lights were slowly fading away, so we came back quickly and saw the Kadlekalu Ganesha.
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The temple that houses Ganesha.
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By the time we reached the other Ganesha, it was already six and promptly closed by the security there. So came back to the hotel, read part of the book just bought, negotiated for some guides but finally decided against, had dinner and called it a day.

End of day 3, however Hampi continues...
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Old 3rd February 2009, 01:17   #26
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Default Hampi part II

Got up very early next day, it is still dark outside. Got ready and was ready to check-out (as it was 12 noon check out and not 24 hrs), but the manager was not up yet. Waited for some time but then decided to keep one luggage at the cloak-room as a deposit and to settle the bill later - hotel run by government, you see.

As we roll our car out towards hampi, I could see the color change of the sky in the rearview mirrors. Today first stop is at Ugra Narasimha and the Shiva temple nearby.
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Then proceeded towards busstand and parked the car there. Walked upto the Birupaksha temple. The camera charge is high here, Rs 50/-; but what the heck I was not going there every other day.
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The huge gopuram can be seen from very far
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Saw the temple elephant Lakshmi.
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The entrance of the temple
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The gopuram at the side
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The long corridors with ornamented pillars
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Some of the figures
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Kalyan Mantapa int the complex
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We also saw the pinhole camera effect, where one can see the main gopuram inverted on a wall.

After completing that had a quick but filling breakfast, and walked towards the other end of Hampi Bazar, where slowly the modern hullabullahs gave way towards the remain of old world charm.
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There are some structures which are two-storied.
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At the other end of the street, we saw the monlithic bull.
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There are two options to visit Vittal temple, one is through small trek of 2-3 km from this place or there is motorable road through Kamalapura, we decided to walk.

Hampi bazar, Gopuram of Virupaksha temple can be seen at the farthest end
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First on the way is a small temple of Anjaneya.
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The road leads to Achyut Raya temple.
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The first gate
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And the second gate
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Temple views from different angles
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The base of the corridors are having the different animals used during war.
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Some more sculptures from this temple
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Courtesan street just outside Achyutraya temple.
Travelling in history-img_0334c.jpg
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Old 3rd February 2009, 02:40   #27
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Default Hampi Part III

After a brisk walk, we reached the vittal temple (admission Rs. 10, same ticket can be used for Zenana enclosure on the same day). This is the most beatiful creation of this period.
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The view of main matapa, which is currently out of bound as it is currently dangerous and restoration work is goin on. Please note each of the pillars has been done on a single piece of stone, and each of the small pillar are carved out.
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The building stands on a richly carved basement, decorated with a procession of the king's horses, conventional swans, and some exquisite mouldings, including the beautiful bracelet moulding.
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The steps leading upto the hall are flanked by two large stone elephants.
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The hall also had 56 carved pillars, when tapped used to give musical notes. This area also have sculptures of people playing various musical instruments.
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Steps on the side was flanked by this lion like figure
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Note the dress on the horse rider, certainly the european influence.
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It also houses the most notable Hampi structure, the stone chariot.
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Just out of the Vittal temple on the back side of it, there is a gateway.
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And King's Balance or TulaPurusha-Dana, where king used weigh gold equivalent to his own weight and distribute among the poors.
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On the way back, we visited the Varaha temple
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Front view
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The duct to take the water out also has nice design on it.
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and also took a glimpse of life beside the Tungabhadra.
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By the time we reached back to the bull, the photgraph gallery was open, and it has an absolute gem of collection of photos by two photographers one taken in 1856 and from the same angles in 1983, which clearly shows how it changed over time. ASI also had added similar photographs taken in 2004. Forgot the name of these two photograpgers, will try to find out from the net.

Now after all these long walk we needed some replenishment, and it was in form of tender coconut. Now hopped into the car and started returning towards Kamalapura.

First stop was the Sasivekalu Ganesha.
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Further down we stopped at the Krishna temple.
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Front view
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Pillared hall
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Brick and mortar work on the gate
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This stupa is almost intact, look at the detail work on this.
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On the way clicked a quick picture of the Sister stones.
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Looks like I have again hit the upper circuit breaker on pics. So wait for the next and last installment on Hampi.

Last edited by arindamray : 3rd February 2009 at 02:42.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 23:36   #28
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Default Hampi Part IV

We headed towards the Zenana enclosure, our final destination in Hampi.
Travelling in history-img_0378c.jpg

The queens place had been razed to the ground, however the basement itself gives the impression of the magnitude and quality of work.
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The enclosure has multiple watch towers. There is one which has an octogonal cross-section.
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The most complete structure in Zanana enclosure standing today is Lotus Mahal.
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From Lotus Mahal, a path leads to the elephant stable.
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It's almost 12 noon, and we have covered all the major attractions. Now it's time to wind up, so went back to the hotel completed the check-out activity, wanted to have the lunch also, but as it was not ready, we bade good bye to Hampi and started our journey back.

Lost our way in Hospet, didn't see any road sign and continued straight to end up in NH 63. Asked for the direction, and the guy piloted us in his motorcycle to almost 2/3rd distance to NH13.

Journey back was uneventful accept for the timing and average speed we were doing on the sections. Reached Dobbspet Kamat at around 5:15, refuelled the car and us. Started back towards bangalore in a cruise speed of 100-110.

Reached the NICE road intersection at 6:00 (got a glimpse of traffic jam even before that), decided to take it all the way to Hosur Road to avoid cutting across the city. However could not find the way beyond Bannerghata road and was forced to take Banerghata road and after stop and go traffic in all major intersection reached home at 8:15.

Statistics coming in the next posts.
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Old 3rd February 2009, 23:50   #29
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How can the travelogue be complete without the pics of the travellers.

First the ever reliable car:

Day 1, In Bijapur
Travelling in history-img_0022c.jpg

Day2, In Aihole
Travelling in history-img_0123c.jpg

Day 3, In Hampi
Travelling in history-img_0369c.jpg

Day 4, On the way back
Travelling in history-img_0391c.jpg

The travellers:
Travelling in history-img_9700c.jpg

And one for the road:
Travelling in history-img_9696c.jpg
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2009, 08:30   #30
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In the pic featuring you and your wife, How did you take the pic wih camera in your hand? Did you use 2 cameras in your trip?

Abhi
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