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Old 25th March 2011, 11:02   #1
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Default The Majestic Empire : Hampi

A family road trip was in the offing for quite a while now; and since we lived earlier in Pune and then Gurgaon, the south was pretty much unexplored by my parents. Our earlier plan was to go to Chikmagalur and I'd troubled ampere, karthikk, sushrutha and addy considerably for route and place queries. But then dad read about Hampi on his flight and Hampi it was!

After last minute searching and directions from ampere, the plan took shape and our next stop was going to be Hospet.

Although suggested by many to start as early as possibly, we started from Bangalore only by 0645 on Sunday. We got on to Banerghetta road and then took the NICE road entry. The toll from BG road entry to end of the NICE road (i.e. NH4) is a whopping 100 bucks! Now as the NICE road ends, there is no sign board for EXIT to NH4. Hence, we ended up taking the exit on to Bangalore; and had to take a U-turn slightly ahead to connect to NH4.

Once on the NH4, traffic builds up but you can still maintain decent speeds. I read somewhere that NHAI can start taxing toll 250km from City Corporation limits but here toll start pretty soon. You first pay toll for the Bangalore-Neelmanagala stretch : Rs. 26/-. Furtheron, traffic reduced considerbaly and the drive was a breeze. There is another toll booth at Sira where you shell out Rs. 26/- again and that is valid on the next toll booth. It being a Sunday late morning, there was very less traffic so I was doing 100 km/hr easily. We were on the lookout for the Hiriyur exit. I guess we took the 1st exit and had to drive considerably on the service lane. It was just after the 2nd exit that we found the round-about mentioned in Google maps. We took a 90 deg right and got on to SH19. So, this had been B'lore-Neelmangala-Tumkur-Sira-Hiriyur. Google maps is slightly confusing at Hiriyur and we couldn't find the landmarks mentioned so we relied a lot on HTC Maps.

Now SH19 is another beautiful drive; it reminded me of the Baroda-Ahmedabad superway. The only thing is, there is not much traffic. So, try not driving through it late at night. The only difference is, this highway is mostly barren so can get boring. Also, the heat gets on to you if you are driving in the day. On SH19, we followed the Hiriyur-Chalkere-Hanagal-Rampura-Obulapuram-Bellary. Obulapuram is in Andhra Pradesh so you pass through AP for a few kms.

We were not aware of the Hospet Bypass road (in the hurry, did not read Sanjay's travelogue else would have known it). While passing through SH19, around 30km before Bellary, the road is parallel to the Railway line; the 2 are just a few feet away. We saw the sign-board Sanjay has mentioned but did not take it since it said Hospet bypass (a bypass is a road which bypasses a city so "Bellary bypass" would have made more sense). What is worse, neither Google maps nor HTC Maps had that road. So, we continued on SH19 till Bellary and the last 20 km were bad. The road is small and in not-so-good shape. Add to it, all the lorries carrying iron ore. We entered Bellary and found the road to Hospet. Here, we got onto NH63. The first 10km of NH63 again are not very good since it is mostly Bellary outskirts.

After that, we saw where the Bypass would have joined. NH63 is decent and about 40 kms before Hospet, the condition is suddenly very nice. The road is slightly wider and freshly laid. By about 1330, we were near Hospet. We thought of going to Hampi, checking out accommodation there and then coming back to Hospet to decide where to put up but hunger and heat got to us and we settled in Hotel Malligi, Hospet. So, it had been a 7-hour drive from B'lore to Hospet through some beautiful, some bad roads and through heat.

There are no restaurants or good eating places once you leave NH4 so you can only stop for a road-side tea.

Now Hospet : We checked in, had food and then rested for a while. The manager said it would be best if we left Hampi for the next day and checked out Tunga Bhadra dam in the evening. So, at 1600 we set off for Tunga Bhadra Dam. It is about 6km from Hotel Malligi (which itself in pretty much in the centre of the city). You have to park your vehicle and walk towards the dam for about 300m. The dam is huge and has a small garden and a restaurant. Above on that hill is the Govt. Guest House so if you are staying there, you can climb a Light-House kinda structure. After the dam, we went to the adjacent Garden where there's a Deer Park, Aquarium and Light-Music Fountain. The Garden is beautifull maintained. The Light-Music Fountain is at 1900 and is slightly disappointing since it is only for 15min and there's not much Light-Music co-ordination. That we had the Mysore Vrindavan Garden Musical Fountain in mind made it even more boring!

After checking the whole place, we left for the hotel and called it a night.

The next day, we had a heavy breakfast and left for Hampi at about 0930. We reached the main Hampi bazaar, found the KSTDC office and asked for a guide. Strangely, the ID cards of all the guides there had gone for "Renewal" so no one had proof of being a Govt. approved guide. We appointed one nevertheless. For Rs. 800/-, he promised to show us all the imp. points in about 7 hours. So, we set off for Hampi sightseeing. Hampi has more foreigners than Indians and all of them are roaming around enthusiastically on bikes/mopeds.

You know the value of something only when you don't have it : Americans don't have the history that we do hence every little rock/temple is a big thing for them. They listen intently to all tales of Ramayana in Hampi. We Indians on the other hand are like : Oh, Temple! So, what?! There's one on every corner.

I'll just list the places we visited (in order) : Hampi Bazaar, Virupaksha Temple, Sasivekalu Ganesh, Kadalekalu Ganesh, Monolithic Bull, Achutharaya Temple, Bala Krishna Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha, Badavilinga, Palace of King Krishnadevaraya, Zenana enclosure, Lotus Mahal, Elephants Stable, Hazara Rama Temple, Kings Audience Hall, Bhojanasala, Stepped Tank, Mahanavami dibba, Queens Bath, Tenali Rama Pavilion, Museum, Bhima's Gate, Talarigatta Gate, Vittala Temple, Narasimha Temple. The guide came along with us in the car. At Vittala Temple, you park your vehicle 1km away from the temple and either walk there or travel through battery-operated vehicles.

We wound the day at 1730. I'll probably write about these places in peace later.

There's something I'd like to mention. After seeing Chittorgarh in Rajasthan and now Hampi, I am amazed at how brilliant Hindus and Jains were at architecture. Every temple has inate carvings and beautiful architecture. Be it, the pillars of the temple producing musical notes, roofs that had marvellous paintaings, palaces that were built in such a way that they could be easily cooled during summers, building of water reservoirs at a higher plane than the city and having aqua-ducts to transport water, ancient Kings had an eye for design. And all this was ruined by the Mughals and Sultans. It burns your heart when you see beautiful idols of Hindu/Jain Gods and Goddess desecrated by the Afghan rulers.

Anywho, the next day, we had decided to go to the other side of the Tungabhadra river i.e. old Hampi. We set off from Hospet and found the road to Anegundi. It is about 35kms from Hospet. The road is very good for 15kms and average for the rest. It passes through towns so you have to slow down there.

After Anegundi is the Anjanadri Hill where Anjanamati prayed for the birth of Hanuman and where he was born. We parked our car at the foothill and started the climb. Till the top there are 480 steps and plenty monkeys on the way. And it being Hanuman's birthplace, people were worshipping monkeys! We climbed up, visited the temple and then got down. We next visited Pampa Sarovar which is not maintained at all. Shabari's Ashram is right besides.

We wound up the old Hampi and got back to the hotel at 1300. After freshening up and lunch, we started for Bangalore at 1530.

We took the same route as the one to reach Hospet. This time, we notice the Hospet bypass board and decided to take it and Voila! we avoided all the mess in Bellary and connected to SH19 at the place we had read "Hospet Bypass". We cut short around 30kms and all the bad roads. The toll for this road is Rs. 12/-.

At SH19 where we crossed AP, we wanted to take a pic signifying crossing the border. So, I got down from the car and took a pic of the Police Checkpost. 2-3 guys idling their time away needled the cop in charge and he got down asking why I was taking the pic. I explained and he asked me to delete it. In the meantime, I asked him who he was. He got an ID card and guess was pissed I asked him for identification. I walked towards the car and asked dad who was driving for a while to rush quickly. The cop got there and asked us to wait, started howling at me for asking who he was. Mum tried explaining but guess he was terribly needled. This time however, dad just drove off. I then took charge of driving after letting dad drive for 30kms. Mum was upset till we crossed the other side of AP! Realized 3 things from that incident :
1) never take pics of such things
2) in India, you either need to be someone or know someone.
3) there is a distinct region/language bias.

We then continued through the route we had taken earlier. On NH4, the entry on to NICE road is not properly mentioned so we ended up taking NH4 all the way, got into Bangalore and came to BTM via Malleshwaram, Mekhri Circle, MG road and so on. We reached home by 2300. Took longer because of the speed limit enforced by dad and a halt for snacks/dinner.

Overall, a wonderful trip. Apart from the heat, it was all great. There's so much history in that place so you remain in awe of our ancient civilizations!

Stats :

Bangalore - Hospet : 399.6 kms (NICE road-NH4-SH19-NH63), 7 hours
Hampi sightseeing (old and new) : 100kms
Hospet - Bangalore : 379.2 kms (NH63-SH19-NH4), 8 hours

Toll : B'lore - Hospet : Rs. 192/-
Hospet - B'lore : Rs. 104/-

Pictures will follow shortly.

PS : ampere, thanks for the route details!
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Old 25th March 2011, 11:27   #2
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

The pictures start :

1, 2 : Tunga Bhadra Dam
4 : Garden at TB Dam
5 : Hampi Entrace
6 : Virupaksha Temple Entrance
7 : Virupaksha Temple
8 : Kadalekalu Ganesh
9 : Lakshmi Narasimha
10 : Badavilinga
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by libranof1987 : 25th March 2011 at 11:34.
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Old 25th March 2011, 11:46   #3
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Basement of King Krishnadevaraya's 1st wife's Palace

The Majestic Empire : Hampi-dsc00326.jpg

Lotus Mahal

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Jain Temple : the Commander of the King's Army was a Jain so he built a Jain Temple there.

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Elephants' Stable

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Basement of King Krishnadevaraya's 2nd wife's Palace

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Tresury House

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Bazaar at Vittal Temple

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Vittal Temple

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Stone Rath at Vittal Temple

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Mahanavami Dibba

Click image for larger version

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Last edited by libranof1987 : 25th March 2011 at 11:48.
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Old 25th March 2011, 11:56   #4
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Queen's Bath

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Stone doors

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King's Audience Hall (Judgement Hall)

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Tank for drinking water storage

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Swimming tank for King's guests

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Holes made in stone. Some special bamboo stick in inserted and water is poured causing the bamboo to expand thereby breaking the stone.

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Carvings at Bala Krishna Temple

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Old 25th March 2011, 12:03   #5
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Old Hampi Bazaar

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Sasivekalu Ganesh

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Anjanadri Hill

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Old and new Hampi across the Tungabhadra river

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The climb on Anjanadri Hill

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Pampa Sarovar

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Hote Malligi

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The ride!

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Old 25th March 2011, 13:28   #6
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

So you finally made it! Nice snaps of the dam. In the second snap of the TB dam, is it water all over the horizon? Looks amazing.


Now I have one more suggestion! Do the trip one more time, but with friends. (Winter is better). You should leave the car at the hotel, rent a bicycle and go all over Hampi, where ever you like! Its a totally different experience!
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Old 25th March 2011, 13:49   #7
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Good TL and some nice pictures.

My last visit to Hampi was during Hampi Utsav in 2004 and it was awesome. Happy to see that they maintain this wonder well, it was not the case during my visits. We stayed in same hotel Malligi.

If you liked Hampi I strongly suggest Ajanta and Ellora caves in MH for your future plan, amazing :-)
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Old 25th March 2011, 15:28   #8
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
So you finally made it! Nice snaps of the dam. In the second snap of the TB dam, is it water all over the horizon? Looks amazing.


Now I have one more suggestion! Do the trip one more time, but with friends. (Winter is better). You should leave the car at the hotel, rent a bicycle and go all over Hampi, where ever you like! Its a totally different experience!
Thank you!

Yep, the water spreads over the horizon. The dam backwater spans over a huge area.

About the winter plan, will keep it in mind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
If you liked Hampi I strongly suggest Ajanta and Ellora caves in MH for your future plan, amazing :-)
Thanks!

Well, I've been there My uncle stays in Aurangabad so been to Ajanta-Ellora couple of times.

From the folks at Hampi, I heard Badami (some 150kms from Hampi) has quite some caves too. Will plan that sometime later this year.
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Old 25th March 2011, 16:23   #9
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Nice pics Libran. Hampi has to be savoured leisurely and never hurriedly. It surprises you everytime you go there.
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Old 25th March 2011, 16:49   #10
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Great pics and a very detailed narration pal.Hampi is one the world map now and has architecture style similar to halebidu/belur. Please post some more pics.
On the OT - The architect and culture of karnataka makes any one awe-stuck. Together with IT, this state has mix of best of old and new. Unfortunately its only politicians who are breaking world records in corruption and are bringing fathomless shame to this state world wide. Just look at debilitated state all the cities are and compare them with Humpi. It is old but had better designers than the current era.
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Old 25th March 2011, 16:55   #11
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^^^ Fauji has made a good point. I have been to hampi now for 9 times on

1.Bajaj Chetak
2.Bajaj Boxer
3.Hero honda CD100
4.Bajaj Pulsar
5.Tempo Traveller
6.M800
7.Swift
8.Fiesta
9.Punto

Everytime I've seen something new and even now I've not covered all the places. coming may, I'm going there once again

@libran0f1987,
Nice pictures. brings back all the memories of these places.
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Old 25th March 2011, 17:00   #12
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Default Re: The Majestic Empire : Hampi

Thanks folks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
Great pics and a very detailed narration pal.Hampi is one the world map now and has architecture style similar to halebidu/belur. Please post some more pics.
On the OT - The architect and culture of karnataka makes any one awe-stuck. Together with IT, this state has mix of best of old and new. Unfortunately its only politicians who are breaking world records in corruption and are bringing fathomless shame to this state world wide. Just look at debilitated state all the cities are and compare them with Humpi. It is old but had better designers than the current era.
Unfortunate but true! Will post pics later at night. The kind of foresight the King (=> his Architech) is marvellous. Be it having an aquaduct at an incline or ensuring pests don't get into drinking water, it is sheer genius that lead to Hampi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Nice pics Libran. Hampi has to be savoured leisurely and never hurriedly. It surprises you everytime you go there.
True! One needs to spend a few hours at each place to actually soak in all the history. Probably the next time, I'll keep a few days for this place.
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Old 25th March 2011, 20:23   #13
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Buddy.. Your pics remind me of my Hampi Trip. That was my first long drive, way back in 2007. First Long drive as in I was driving. I was a new driver then and my car was hardly a month old. went during Dusshera. Nostalgic photos. I have many pics from exactly the same perspective, guess we are like minds.

Good photographs and a detailed narration. Will wait for more.
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Old 27th March 2011, 22:23   #14
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Congratulations @libranof1987 and thanks for sharing your trip with detailed info. & fantastic pics.

Can you please share some more info on the places to see -

are there any guide available - where and how to hire them?
2 days enough to tour Hampi in detail?
Do we get local auto/taxi or better to take our own car to see places in/around Hampi?
While touring, are there any restaurants available for lunch, snacks or better to carry or return to hotel for lunch etc. ?
What are the start and end times of visiting the magnificent architectures ?

Too many queries - hope you don't mind

Last edited by AvonA7 : 27th March 2011 at 22:27.
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Old 28th March 2011, 09:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
Congratulations @libranof1987 and thanks for sharing your trip with detailed info. & fantastic pics.

Can you please share some more info on the places to see -

are there any guide available - where and how to hire them?
2 days enough to tour Hampi in detail?
Do we get local auto/taxi or better to take our own car to see places in/around Hampi?
While touring, are there any restaurants available for lunch, snacks or better to carry or return to hotel for lunch etc. ?
What are the start and end times of visiting the magnificent architectures ?

Too many queries - hope you don't mind
There are plenty guides available. But be sure to go to the KSTDC Office in Hampi Bazaar and ask for an official one. Chances are the person in charge will call someone whose ID card "has gone for renewal". But, the guides are generally decently aware of history. They charge 800 for the whole day. As per the guides, 7 hrs is what it takes to cover Hampi entirely.

2 days should be enough to cover Hampi; both sides of the river. You will get autos to roam around in Hampi and if you stay in Hospet, most of the hotels have attached travel desks who will arrange a/c cabs. So, it's not necessary to have your own vehicle.

You can dine in Hospet; while on the move in Hampi, the guide will take you to the KSTDC restaurant. You will get good food, don't worry. But do carry a lot of water. In Hampi, apart from the Bazaar, there is just the KSTDC rest., nothing else.

I'm not sure when the monuments open but they close at 1730.

Good luck

Last edited by libranof1987 : 28th March 2011 at 09:20.
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