Saturday, 16 January 2010


Friday 15 January: Boulder-strewn landscape with a ruined city, ancient temples and thriving Hampi Bazzar on the banks of the fast-flowing Tungabhadra river.
Virupaksha Temple with its erotic carvings is the focus of the village while Vittala Temple is the tourist highlight with its hefty stone-carved chariot that would take a team of elephants to shift. Nearby are Royal palace and watchtower remains and the magical
Tungabhadra where traditionally crafted coracles - woven with palm fronds covered with rice-sacking and painted with pitch - still ply their trade as fishing boats and passenger ferries.
Monday 18: Strolled along the river bank to Vittala Temple, took an UNESCO eco-friendly electric 'golf-buggy' (40th mode of transport) to the road junction, walked back to the scary coracle ferry (41st mode) to climb to 'Monkey Temple' on top of Anjanadri Hill. Great day out through rice paddy-fields, banana plantations and palm groves.
Tuesday 19: Great views from Mathanga Hill and thali lunch at Shiv Moon restaurant, typically chapatis, rice, dhal, a couple of vegetable dishes, spicy chutney, cool curd and sometimes a desert. Entertained by black-faced, long-tailed Langur monkeys dancing on the guesthouse roof.
More commercial than when I was here previously - the curse of UNESCO World Heritage Site status I suppose. Despite or maybe because of the ban of meat dishes and alcoholic drinks, Hampi is still an extraordinary place to visit.
Pictures of Hampi.
Bus back to Hospet for dinner and an ice-cold Kingfisher at Manasa restaurant, before boarding the 8:10pm Hampi Express sleeper to Bangalore.

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