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"How you live your life is up to you.

Maybe you had to leave in order to miss a place,

Maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.

You can't control the past, but you can control where you go next..!!"

Well if you ask me what's so special about this place, I would say most of the time beauty lies in the simplest of things. The scenery of Hampi feels right out of a History book and if you are a history buff then it should definitely be on your list.

Hampi, the heritage capital of Vijayanagar, a 14th century Empire in Karnataka, famous for its historical and magnificent architecture is well worth the visit. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hampi was part of Mauryan Empire back in third century BC. It was the capital city of Vijayanagara Empire in 1336 AD.

There is one particular episode named 'Kishkindha Kaand' in the famous mythological literature, "The Ramayana" which has special significance concerning Hampi. The episode took place when Lord Rama and Lord Laskhman reached the Land of Monkeys. The place where they reached is said to be Hampi.

DAY 1: 29th February, 2020

Much excited for the trip we left from Bangalore early morning at around 5:00 AM. We were eight of us and it was a seven hours journey from Bangalore to Hampi.

We took the NH-4 route and drove till Chitradurga covering 215kms and then reached Hospet after driving another 150kms.

There were no proper restaurants on the way hence we had brunch at around 10:45 AM. Google maps were misleading the routes, we found few restaurants on the maps which did not even exist in reality.

Route from Chitradurga to Hospet was pathetic but kudos to my friend's driving skills😉. We also encountered five toll booths on the way and paid INR 250 (approx.) on each toll as well as found a lot of connectivity issues.

At around 12:00 PM we arrived at our Hotel in Hospet - Hampi International. After checking in, the receptionist handed over our room keys and everyone got freshen up.

It is a 3-star hotel in Hospet which also features a restaurant. They provided free WIFI. Overall stay at this place was good. Rooms were pretty clean, proper and staff was helpful. Food was good but their service was quite slow.

Their new building had an open air swimming pool on the third floor which we could not use as it was quite sunny during the day and they allowed the entry only till 6:00 PM.

We were all set to leave from our hotel at around 1:30 PM and visited few of the cultural heritage sites famous for their stone architectures.

Pathabhirama Temple

This temple is a

bit off from the main tourist trail and is notable

for its size and completeness.

Pathbhirama Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama

and houses a shrine of Goddess Laxmi.

Ancient Kunthunath Ganagitti Jain Temple

Small and old jain temple dedicated to 17th Thirthankara Kunthunatha. One can see influences of Late Chalukyan Style and Jain Sculptures.

There is hardly anything left to see in the temple now. However there is a care taker, who may help you with it's history.

Hazara Rama Temple

The Hazara Rama temple is another beautiful attraction. It is believed to be the private place of worship for the royal family. As the name depicts Hazara Rama (a thousand Rama), it is dedicated to Lord Rama and it's walls exhibit the significant chapters of Ramayana through pictography.

Queen's Bath

The private royal bathing chamber of Vijayanagara Kings and Queens constructed by Achyuta Raja. A massive verandah runs around a big rectangular pool with a number of balconies projecting into it.

It is an empty structure now and the walls have lost it's shine. The floor of the bath has some empty sockets that were used to support pillars that have been part of a canopy which were destroyed during Mughal attacks on Hampi.

Stepped Tanks

Like many Hindu temples in India, Hampi's majestic temples have accompanying stepped tanks or basins used for religious and ceremonial purposes.

These stepped tanks are also known as pushkarnis, as the water in these tanks was considered as a part of the sacred river The Ganges.

Octagonal Bath

It is an octagonal shaped bathing area made in the form of an octagon with a verandah surrounding it. The construction of the structure in octagonal shape is elegant and shows the architectural beauty of the ancient people.

Reached back to our hotel at around 8:00 PM and moved to our respective rooms. After freshening up went to the dining hall to hog our dinner. The restaurant's service was extremely slow. Even after ordering regular food items, it took them almost an hour to get our food to the table.

We finished our dinner, chit-chatted for a while and dozed off to sleep.

DAY 2: 1st March, 2020

After having our breakfast, around 9:30 AM we started from our hotel for our next sight visits.

Underground Shiva Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also called as Prasanna Virupaksha Temple.

It is not just an underground temple, it lies under water. The inner parts of the shrine is always filled with water.

According to one theory it is the water of Tungabhadra river that flows inside through a canal.

Lotus Mahal

Also known as Chitrangani Mahal or Kamal Mahal, one of the most beautiful structures left undamaged during the seize of the city. The archways and the balcony with the domed construction resemble a half opened lotus bud.

Elephant's Stable

The Elephant's stable is a wonderful structure that provided shelter to royal elephants of the grand Vijayanagara Empire.

The stable comprises of 11 domed chambers which are large enough to accommodate two elephants at a time indicates the importance that was attached to the royal elephants of the empire.

We returned back to our hotel at 1:00 PM and ordered our lunch. As expected our ordered lunch got served to our table by 2:00 PM. We finished our lunch and left from the hotel by 3:00 PM.

It took us almost an hour to reach the famous Virupaksha Temple.

We took a tour of the place and saw few near by temples like Narsimha Temple, Hemkunta Group of Temples also known as The Sunset Point.

We roamed around the place, captured few snaps and then left from there.

After walking around 500 meters from Virupaksha Temple we reached our final destination for the day - The Coracle Ride in Hampi.

All of us enjoyed the beautiful sights of sunset while riding the Coracle which costed us around INR 400 per head.

Again we faced difficulty here while doing the online payments due to low/no connectivity so we had to make the entire payment by cash.

It is advisable to carry enough cash as it is difficult to find ATMs as they were situated quite far and apart and were crowded with queues.

At around 8:00 PM we reached back to our hotel and found a cafe while exploring the hotel's new building. The ambience was quite cool and was filled with foreign tourists. We sat together, played fun games, enjoyed our dinner & drinks and went back to our rooms.

DAY 3: 2nd March, 2020

We left for our next destination after finishing our breakfast at around 9:00 PM - The Vijaya Vittala Temple.

In order to reach there, we hired a buggy ride as taking any vehicle around the temple can cause vibrations that may destroy the beautiful temple. The buggy costed INR 20 per head, and carried us till the entrance of the temple.

We also hired a guide for full day who helped us understand the history behind the Vijayanagara Empire and the significance of each architechture carved on the walls of The Vijay Vittala Temple.

The temple is quite a famous sight for movie shoots. One of the songs from the Hindi Movie: Rowdy Rathore was shot here. Attached is the video reference for the song.

Enjoy 😜😛 😂😄🙈

We were amazed to know about the various historical facts related to the temple's significance all thanks to our guide, he is the real genius. He not only enlightened us with various historical facts but also clicked amazing group portraits.

In the above snap the building behind the stone chariot is believed to be built for the queen's dance performances. The whole building used to be covered with curtains so that no one except the royal family members should see her dancing.

There are hooks made on each corner of the building to hold the curtains. These were multipurpose hooks, during rains they were used to give pathway to rain water for harvesting. While during festivals these hooks were used for diya and lighting decorations.

The walls were carved with various small sculptures signifying the scenes of Ramayana and each of the pillars in the building were said to produce the sound of different musical instruments whenever the queen begins her dance performance.

Above is a snap of the famous Stone Chariot sculpture from the Vijaya Vittala temple which exists on a fifty rupees note. The chariot was believed to be driven by virtual unicorns. That sounds so cool..!! 😮

At around 12:00 PM

we left for our hotel, finished our lunch and checked out from there by 1:00 PM. After driving for an hour at around 2:00 PM we reached the famous Tungabhadra Dam. It is advisable to carry caps, hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, water bottles, etc. throughout the trip as it was quite sunny. We stayed at the dam for around 30 minutes till the local bus came to pick us up and dropped us near the parking area.

We left for Bangalore at around 3:00 PM and stopped by at a restaurant at Bangalore Mumbai Highway near Chitradurga - Upadhayay Veg Restaurant for tea break. As we entered the restaurant we got a table for ourselves. We ordered few of the items and the waiter delivered it wrongly so, we politely asked him to replace it. The waiter started shouting and was very ill-mannered. Even the management was foolish and they started passing racist comments.

We tried to cancel our order and leave the place but then they started to pick up a fight and made us pay for everything that we ordered which was not even served to us. The restaurant is not at all recommended, they treat their customers bad and con them for money.

Everything has its ups and downs, when we travel, its obvious to encounter all kinds of people, deal with unexpected situations but its up to us how we take it. So we decided to move on from there. After leaving the place behind we found another restaurant, had our tea, drove past from there and reached Bangalore at around 9:30 PM.

In the end, we visited new places, came across new people, learnt about amazing facts and culture of Vijayanagara Empire, made new memories, enjoyed living at the moment and rest doesn't even matter...!! 😉😉😊

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