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It was 5.30 am in the morning and I was late. The journey to Hampi was supposed to start an hour ago. I rushed down the stairs ready to apologize to my husband for the delay( I had told him half an hour ago to load the car with luggage and that I will be down in 5 minutes). I was just about to receive comments on “how women say 5 minutes more” and take 30 minutes of time, when I saw the back seat of the car. Only that there was none. It had been replaced by a bean bag.
After grumbling for a few minutes about dismantling the car seat without my knowledge, I ended up sleeping comfortably on the bean bag, while we travelled through the Agumbe ghats.
Saurabh- While my wife was sleeping peacefully, we crossed the ghats, amidst heavy rains, muddy roads, many times stopping to wait for some heavier vehicle to lead the way in the roads that looked like small pond.
An Unexpected Stop – “Elephant Camp” Sakrebylu
Once the bad roads were left behind, we came across boards of elephant pictures. We had reached the Sakrebylu elephant camp. We had missed this spot on our map, We walked into the camp with a baby elephant by our side. The mahout (elephant caretaker) was taking him for a bath at the river. He had to wait for his turn on the banks of the river.
While it’s a little scary to go near a grown up elephant, who can resist not going near the baby elephant who is just as tall as you?The mahout was trying to control the baby elephant who was enjoying all the attention from the crowded visitors
We got to watch the elephants getting a bath, but the rains increased and so we had to skip the elephant ride.
On the way we saw windmills, Lots of them. We tried to get closer to it, through the railway line and ravines, until we had to stop because there was no walkable road ahead. At around 4:00pm we started to crave for tea. We could just see fields and trees, lots of them, but no sign of a tea stall anywhere.
Suddenly, we saw vast expanse of sea. We wondered if we were still along the coast of Arabian Sea, Then we remembered we had left the coast long back. (Actually, we verified with Google Map to be sure.) The vastness of Thungabhadra lake had confused us. It extended right up to the horizon giving us a feel of being back at the sea shore. We walked along the banks of the lake, and of-course, clicked a lot of selfies.
Finally, we saw a board that said “Hosapete 10kms” FYI: Hosapete means ‘New City’.
There is a tunnel which marks the beginning of the city. We stuck to our Google Map to cross the crowded city. A female voice from the phone said “13kms more to your destination”. – The Ruins of Hampi . We took about 45mins to cross the city.
We reached Hampi closer to 5pm. The city was quite confusing. We weren’t really sure which were the main sites or where we should be taking hotels, We wandered around trying to figure out the city and finally stopped near the Virupaksha temple.
The spectacular view of the temple was a treat indeed. We couldn’t wait till the next morning to visit this temple. None of us wanted tea or look for hotels first. We were not tired anymore, just mesmerized by the beauty of the temple. A fitting reward for our long journey.
A little boy was selling tea near the footwear stall.. I started chatting with him about his school activities over my cup of tea. While I was conversing with this little boy (in Kannada), another boy (college student) with his bag walked up to me asking if I am from Mangaluru. Well, my Kannada accent was a giveaway. He had been a student in Mangaluru for a couple of years so it was easy for him to recognize my accent.
He took us to one of the best restaurants “Mango Tree” with great food and accommodation which was at a stone’s throw away from the Virupaksha temple. For now, it was a brief pause in our exploration of this Beautiful City – Hampi.
End of Day 1
Travellers : Sthuthi, Saurabh, Manish
Mode of Transport: Alto car
Route Map :
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Read Day 2 here