DAY 1: HAMPI


DAY 1 HAMPI:

We had our bus @ 10:30 pm, my brother dropped 4 of us to majestic bus stand. Bus started  only @ 11:30 pm. We could mange to get some sleep after that. We reached Hospet around 6:00 am. I had already  confirmed a  Indica car from Local travels. I called him up and asked to pick us up.. Checked-in a hotel, freshened up, had breakfast and started our journey to Hampi, which was once a  prosperous trading centre,  during rule of Vijayanagar Kingdom. Below are the places, we visited on first day...

1. Hemakuta hills
2. Hampi bazzar street
3. Kadlekalu ganesha
4. Krishna temple
5. Ugra narasimha  & Badavi linga
6. Mango tree
7. Royal enclosure .

DESTINATION 1. HEMAKUTA HILLS


We reached hemakuta hills around 8:30 am. Hemakuta hills includes  Sasivekalu ganesha at the foot of hills, further  one can trek  the hill, where we can find some beautiful shrines and mantapams, beautifully carved rocks, and  cluster of pyramid shaped temples..


picturesque views of Hampi from hemakuta hill
Picturesque view of hampi from hemakuta hills.
Some shrine in Hemakuta hill.
Some shrine in Hemakuta hills.



 
Sasivekalu Ganesha: Sasivekalu ganesha is first thing we visited in hampi, which is located in the base  of Hemakuta hill. This Ganesha is about 2.4 metres tall and ironically named as Sasivekalu or mustard seed. The God is seated in a large open mantapa with plain rough square pillars. The right hands hold the ankusa and broken tusk, while the upper left holds a looped pasa or noose.The lower left hand and the trunk are broken. The belly is tied with a snake. This Ganesha is fashioned out of a single boulder in sitting position. According to inscriptions found nearby this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri in memory of one of the vijayanagar king – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD).


Sasivekalu Ganesha1
Sasivekalu Ganesha

Sasivekalu Ganesha2.
With my parents in front of Sasivekalu Ganesha

 
Pyramid shaped temples :We took  some snaps near Sasivekalu ganesha, then climbed hemakuta hills. It was nice breeze, and we had great  fun taking snaps and enjoying the picturesque views of hampi all along the hills. On the top of  Hemakuta  hills is a cluster of beautiful temples. According to the inscription , the temple was built in 1309-1310 
A.D. 



Beautiful carvings on one of rock in hemakuta
Beautiful carvings on one of rock in Hemakuta

One of rocks in Hemakuta hill
One of rocks in Hemakuta hills

 
Temples here are  stepped pyramidal in shape, resembling the Shikharas of Jain temples. Hence these temples are also mistakenly called as Jain temples, but most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It would take around 30mins to visit this Sasivekalu Ganesha & Pyramid shaped temples in Hemakuta.


Pyramid shaped temples on top of Hemakuta hil
Pyramid shaped temples on top of Hemakuta hills



Ponda kinda thing near shrine of hemakuta hil
Pond kinda thing near shrine of hemakuta hill




 
DESTINATION 2.  HAMPI BAZZAR  STREET

We then went to Hampi bazzar street. This street has  Virupaksha temple on  one end of the street  and  Matangi hills on other end. (Achutaraya temple on top of hills). Also a small pathway  on same end of Matangi hills, leads to the river bank and Kodanda Rama temple).


Virupaksha temple:Virupaksha or  Pampa-pati  temple is the oldest and the principal temple located @ base of the  Hemakuta hill. The story of the temple is an interesting one. It is believed that Parvati was born in this region as Pampa, She wanted to marry Lord Shiva, who was deep in meditation on the Hemakuta hill. She did meditation and won him, and shiva agreed to marry her. There is now a small temple dedicated to the goddess, with the lake named after her, as Pampa Sarovara.  Temples  main entrance is  through  the chariot street,  now popularly called the Hampi Bazzar. After  Darshan in the temple we left to Matangi hills. We had to walk from Virupaksha temple to Matanga hills,  Problem is cars are not allowed in this Hampi bazzar street. (One can hire bikes and travel around hampi.)



Virupaksha temple 2
Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha temple1
Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha bazzar: This street is about  2 kms. The east end of the temple ends at the foothill of the Matanga Hill. Both sides of the street are lined with a series of old pavilions, some of them are two storied. These structures were once part of a thriving market and residence of the nobles.  I was astonished that  Precious-stone, Gems,Gold,Diamonds were once sold on this very same street :A small pathway from Virupaksha bazzar  at the east end leads along the river bank to Kodanda Rama temple.  When you reach almost end of  the street, you find a road on the left leading to Thungabhadra river, and one straight road leading to Matangi hills.   Since my parents had already visited this place, and dint want to trek matanga hills,  they sat  near one of the  mantapams of the hampi bazzar. Me n ramesh walked towards matangi hill. 


Hampi bazzar ,caputred from steps of Matanga hill
Hampi bazzar, captured from steps of matanga hills

Hampi bazzar, where Gold,Diamonds were sold once.
Hampi bazzar, where gold,diamonds were sold once..

Matanga hills:At the foot of the Matanga hills we  saw a Nandi  statue, took a snap of Nandi and headed further to see a board saying this leads to Achutaraya temple. Ramesh dint show much interest trekking that hill, as both were already tired, and it was really really hot. But i  walked further to find a small anjaneya temple, and  saw a small cave kinda thing, where i saw some paintings.. I took some snaps of  paintings and picturesque view from the hill, and walked further. I saw a group of  people walking back and  asked them about,  how long  do i need to trek further  and what would i find there. There answers were not motivating, and learnt that  i need to trek atleast other  30mins 1 way, to find  Achutaraya and veerabhadra temple,  Since ramesh dint accompany me further. I decided to  walk back, and we both returned to foot of the hill, sat  for a while where my parents were taking rest , then we all headed to Thungabhadra river..


Matanga hill @ end of  Hampi Bazzar
Matanga hills @ end of Hampi bazzar

Nandi statue @ base of Matanga hills.
Nandi statue @ base of Matanga hills/
 

Tungabhadra river & Kodandarama temple:This is on Hampi bazzar street itself. A small pathway  on same end of Matangi hills, leads to the river bank and Kodanda Rama temple. After walking  in hampi bazzar street n trekking matangi hill, i was very discouraged to know that you need to walk 2kms more to reach Thungabhadra river. I cursed  for not allowing car  in the  Hampi bazzar street . We finally reached the river.  We sat for some 30mins, soaking our legs in the river, washed face( After this i felt it was worth walking 4kms(to n fro). and felt  all refreshed and energized.)  and left to next destination. (We skipped Kodanda rama temple, as its again a walk of km from banks of  river).  While in Hampi be ready to walk a lottttttt...


River Tungabhadra
River tungabhadra

Kodanda Rama temple, Tungabhadra river banks.
Kodanda rama temple on banks for river
(Image from net)

 
DESTINATION 3. KADLEKALU GANESHA

Next place was  Kadle kalu ganesha which is  4.5 meters (15 feet)  This giant statue of Ganesha was carved out of a huge boulder  The belly of this statue resembles a Bengal gram (Kadalekalu, in Kannada) and hence the name. We took some snaps and headed to next place...


Kadlekalu Ganesha 1
Kadlekalu ganesha

Kadlekalu Ganesha 2
Kadlekalu ganesha


DESTINATION 4.  KRISHNA TEMPLE
This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513 AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state). The main idol installed in the temple was the figure of Balakrishna (Lord Krishna as infant). This divine idol has now been transferred to the state museum in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple is really big and easily takes atleast 30mins to watch completely, we can find a  dedicated  kitchen in the temple, may be used for anna-danam (Charity of food) in those days.  You can see the carvings of  Lord Vishnu's incarnations in this temple.This is one of the few temples where the epic stories are carved on the walls of the tower.  We thoroughly enjoyed watching all the carvings and taking snaps  of different wall structures of the temple....



Krishna temple 3
Krishna temple

Krishna temple 4
Krishna temple

 
DESTINATION 5. UGRA NARASIMHA  & BADAVI LINGA

Ugra Narasimha and Badavi linga statues is  in a barren field on way to Kamalapur...This is the biggest statue in Hampi and is of 6.7 meters in height.

  Ugra Narasimha statue, has been constructed out of a single boulder. As per the inscriptions found, it was carved in 1528, during the rule of Krishnadevaraya. This idol of the Narasimha was well designed and has large bulging eyes and broad chest, and it is a architectural beauty. Here the Lord is in cross-legged yoga position with the belt supporting the knees. Originally, during the glory days of Hampi, the Goddess Laksmi was seated on his lap. This is confirmed by the presence of one of her hands on the back of the statue. The carving of hand of the Goddess has the finger nails and rings still intact. But due to the destruction in 1565 A.D the Goddess Laksmi statue was badly damaged and today we can only see the Lord Narsimha alone without the Goddess. The Lord is sitting on the coil of a giant seven-headed snake called AdiSesha. 

Badavi Linga  is just beside the  Ugra narasimha idol.  This lingam is of 3 m height and stands in the midst of water. The local legend has it that some poor local women of Hampi offered to install a Shiva Linga if  her luck turned excellent.  And once her wish was fullfilled,  Shivalinga was carved out. 


Ugra Narasimha
Ugra Narasimha

Badavi Linga..
Badavi linga

DESTINATION 6: MANGO TREE:



 Straw mat n Granite slab in Mango tree.
Straw mat n Granite slab in Mango tree.

Lunch in Mango tree..
Lunch in Mango tree.

It was around 3:30 pm by then, we were too hungry, and asked the driver to take us to some good restaurant.  He took us to a place called Mango tree. I almost cried, when i learnt  that we need to walk almost a km  passing through dense banana plantation. But once we reached the place, was really  impressed with the view. Under an  sprawling mango tree, on a slab of granite, a chatai (straw mat) is laid out for people, which is  facing the river of Tungabhadra ... I still cherish the chapati they served, it was neither wheat nor maida. (when i asked him, he said mix of all grains).. It was soo soft, and food was really tasty, and also the ambience was superb...


DESTINATION 7 . ROYAL ENCLOSURE .

By the time we finished lunch, it was 5:00 pm :). Driver rushed us as things are closed after 6:00 pm.. We immediately left to place called  royal enclosure. This place is  Spread over an area of 59,000 square metres, it is believed to have once housed over 45 buildings, all used by the royal family. It also includes the  Zanana Enclosure , Elephant Stables, Hazarama Temple, Queens bath, underground chamber, mahanavami dibba in same complex..

Zenana enclosure  & Lotus mahal: 
 The Zenana enclosure is a huge  complex enclosed by tall walls on four side. It was a secluded area reserved for the royal women. This enclosure includes  Watch tower and mahal/Palace. The younger queens mahal is destroyed now,  we can only find basement.  But we can find beautiful  palace of Elder queen called Lotus mahal. This beautiful little two-storey pavilion, situated within the 'Zenana' Enclosure, is one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture, with its typically Hindu Base and its Islamic super-structure. We took some snaps here and headed to watch tower..


Basement of younger queens palace.
Basement of Younger queens palace.

Elder Queens Lotus Mahal
Elder queens lotus mahal
 

 Elephants stable:A building which is dome shaped served as the quarters of the royal elephants, is situated nearby the Zenana Enclosure.There are a total of eleven domed tall chambers, out of which the center one is particularly decorated and big. This was supposed to be for the musicians to perform the talents during celebrations involving royal elephants.  The mahouts enter the elephant compartments through manholes located at the rear of each hall. We took several snaps and headed further.


Elephants Stable 1
Elephants stable

Elephants Stable 2
Elephants stable

Hazara rama temple:Hazara Rama Temple is located in the middle of the Royal Centre, and is assumed to be the place of worship for the royal members. This temple was set aside for royal ceremonies only. There are lots of fascinating sculptures showing some of the important events from the epic Ramayana. 


Ramayana Carvings on Walls of  Hazara rama
Ramaya carvings on walls of Hazara rama temple

Beautiful  Carvings on pillar of Hazara rama
Beautiful carvings on pillar of Hazara rama temple

This temple is richly carved, where every inch of the outer wall is filled with carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana. This temple showcases the architectural beauty and the cultural heritage of the erstwhile Kingdom. 


Ramayana Carvings on Walls of  Hazara rama
Ramayana carvings on walls of Hazara rama temple

Ramayana Carvings on Walls of  Hazara rama
Ramayana carvings on walls of Hazara rama temple


Underground chamber:This underground chamber is adjacent to the Royal  palace. The Kings discussed most important issues and held secret parleys with his ministers here.  This has two entrances. We went through a entrance and came out of the other one.  They have ensured  enough sunlight is let in through a passage for this Underground chamber..


Entrance of  Under ground secret chamber
Entrance of under ground secret chamber

Inside Underground secret chamber
Inside underground secret chamber.

Queens bath:Queen's Bath, located in Royal Enclosure, is a rectangular building with the long veranda inside approaching a square tank of 6 feet depth from all sides. This is considered as the Royal bath, where the king and his wives had their baths. It's believed that water in the tank was filled with perfumes and fragrance flowers for the royal family. Outside the Queen’s bath lies the pond encircling the building. Bridge like structures are seen at some points where one can cross the pond. The building is designed such a way that intruders could be prevented from walking into the place where the royal women take their bath. 


Queens Royal  bath.
Queens Royal bath.

Queens bath..
Queens bath.

Mahanavami dibba:Once we walked  into this  place,  we  could only see it as a bigg land with lots of basements.. But was astonished when i read that it  once housed royal houses and royal ceremonies were conducted here.. Mahanavami dibba is one such structure, which  is pyramidal 3 tiered structure, with height of 8 mts used for royal ceremonies.  Once u Stand on the Mahanavami Dibba you get a  wonderful view of the surroundings. We  can find  basements of the buildings which once housed the royalty! Little survives to tell us which was once the king’s treasury/residence. We also found a steepped water tank, and few other  structures, which i could not recognize..At the backside of the platform  we can find a double sided staircase exist.  It was around 6:00 pm, by then and  it was already getting dark there with no street lights. We decided to leave, as we had to go back to hospet for night halt...
Mahanavami dibba, the royal place..
Mahanavami dibba, the royal place.

Mahanavami dibba
Mahanavami dibba, the royal place.


DESTINATION 9. UDDANA VEERABHADRA TEMPLE

We started back to  Hospet, and on the way, driver stopped to visit this last place for the day...This is  located near the main road midway between the Sacred Center and the Royal enclosure.The 3.6 meter high monolithic idol of Uddana Veerabhadra is the main deity here. The idol is carved with four arms holding an arrow, sword, bow and shield, depicting the warrior nature. A tiny idol of Daksha too is placed nearby.  We took darshan and started to hospet, on the way, stopped by, near this Resort, took some snaps...


We reached hospet and had dinner, i asked driver to be here tommorrow by  7:30am tomorrow. As we had to go a place called Anegundi for first half of day, and vittala complex and kamalapura museum in Hampi , which we could not cover today.. I suggest  you allocate min 2 days in Hampi....




Uddana VeeraBhadra swamy temple entrance
Uddana veerabhadra swamy temple entrance.

 Kishkinda Heritage Resort on way to Hospet..
Kish kinda resort on the way to Hospet..












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