Hampi : Places to be!

If you have read the previous post, you ll know that I made it to Hampi. An ancient kingdom capital which finds references since the epic Ramayana in the Hindu mythology.
In the first day at Hampi, I walked about and went to the main temples around the place. Then, a little walk down to the Vitthala temple to visit the coveted stone chariots. With that, my day 1 was at an end.

The second day, I had a bicycle tour planned. The tour began at 0900h sharp at the Virupaksha temple. A temple tour and a history lesson later, we were on our way on cycles.

We stopped at the Kadalekalu Ganesha temple to observe the beauty of the carvings on the columns.

On the other side of the street is what used to be the market of Hampi also known as the Krishna Bazaar.

Past the bazaar and the temple across the road, we rode our cycles down the path to the Badavilinga temple and the Lakshmi Narsimha Temple.

Along the way, we stopped at a few places to have coconut water and a few ice golas, all very welcome due to the hot weather and the cycling across the terrain. One must always remember to stay hydrated!

Our subsequent stops were at the Queens Bath and the public bath. Honestly, neither were too impressive. Public bath was basically a stepped well, thats it.

Next up, our stop was the Lotus Mahal. The mahal was pretty, that’s for sure; what was more interesting is the ingenious way to keep the place cool. The walls are double layered and have a means to make water flow through them. So, as the air circulates, it looses heat to the water in circulation and keeps the inhabitants cool.

Our next stop was literally next door to the Elephants’ Stable. It used to be the royal stable for the procession and war elephants during their time of reign.

From here, we rode our bikes nearby to a quite place where we had lunch served to us. Homemade lunch comprising of rice, chapati, dal, tomato curry, cauliflower and potato curry and papads. Loved it. After riding the bicycle for hours, the food felt doubly tasty.
Once we were done with refilling ourselves, we were en route to the Hazararama temple. Filled with intricate architecture, this temple depicts various scenes from the Ramayana, and that is how it derives the name, Hazara Rama (thousand Ram).

Once past the Hazara Rama temple. we parted ways, and returned back to the village. I went to sleep.

On the way back we stopped briefly at the Saasivekalu Ganesha.

Woke up in the evening to sporadic firecrackers bursting about, owing to Diwali.

It was fun to see the kids dancing about the firecrackers, felt happy and good 🙂

I was scheduled for a bus ride back to Mumbai next evening, so I went to bed quickly, for I wanted to go to the other side as quickly as I could and venture about a bit.

On the third day at Hampi, I took the ferry across the river Tungabhadra and rented a Honda Navi from the other side.

The Honda Navi

My itinerary had the Anjaneya Hill, the Sanarpur lake and the Hampi waterfalls.

En route there was a stream, in which there were ducks. Hundreds of them, and all were trying to swim upstream. Seemed like a ducks’ school of swimming.

The ducks!

It is quite amazing that how small the world is. At Hampi, while riding to Sanarpur lake, two wonderful ladies found me, a little confused of a turn and looking hither dither. The offered to help with the way to the lake, turned out, they were friends with some of old friends from college. Of the two, Akshita, is a gifted sketch artist. Do check out her sketches on her instagram profile.

Sudha and Akshita at the Hampi waterfalls

Later I returned back to the hotel, for yet another bout of sleep.

The return journey was equally torturous worth of 15hours of bus journey. It was outright horrible and I hated every bit of it, but then, maybe it was just me.

My learning, Hampi is an amazing place to be and is a must visit. It is better if you visit with a friend, but then I met people who were solo camping on the banks of the river too. It takes at least 3 full days to travel around and explore the place. So, fix a time, and get there; you ll love it.

Cheers!!

From the food bowl of India!

Hi there,

In this post, let me take you to the fields of my village. My village, Birati, is located in Hooghly district in West Bengal, India. Agriculture is still pretty much the mainstay source of income for the majority of the population out there.

I was there for a couple of days last month, and it was the beginning of the rice plantation season. So, here is what transplantation of paddy looks like. Transplantation is when the saplings of paddy are moved from the nursery where they germinate to the fields where they shall actually grow to become lush green paddy.

A tubewell coupled with a motor to irrigate the fields

Man carrying a produce of earlier crops

Testing the Autofocus on my camera!

My father and uncles on the way to a field inspection

Transplantation in progress

Man with a bunch of paddy saplings

Transplantation of paddy saplings in progress

In about three months time, these fields will turn golden yellow and the rice plants shall be ready to be cut, sheafed, thrashed, and go on to become edible rice grains. That is also the time around Durga Puja, so, I will be in my village for the same. An update can be expected on this topic. Plus, posts with insights into a Durga Puja at a bengali household shall be up too.

I was at a noodle making workshop lately. While learning how to make noodles, some amazing photo opportunities did come up, and I shall share them here, in the next post. Stay tuned.

Cheers!!