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HOSPET

Hospet Travel Blog

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Breakfast in Hospet

On Monday the 13th July 2011, we set out from Bangalore in our hired car, heading up into northern Karnataka. A remarkably good motorway (autoroute/Autobahn) took us in the direction of Pune and Bombay. After 2 or three hours, we stopped at the village of Sira to take a quick look at the remains of the enormous castle, Still (partially) surrounded by a water filled moat, this castle is largely neglected. After passing through an outer gateway, we entered a weed-filled area between two sets of thick walls. As we walked along, dodging piles of animal excrement, clouds of small multi-coloured butterflies flew up, almost as if greeting us. 

We had intended to break our journey at Chittradurga, a small market town with a remarkable fortress, but when we saw the hotel (reccommended in our guidebook), we decided not to linger.

Kumkum seller in Hospet
The hotel was picturesque, but quite filthy. In any case, as we had arrived in Chitradurga so fast, we decided to reduce the amount we would have had to travel the next day by pressing on northwards to Hospet. From Chitradurga onwards, we left the four-lane National Highway(NH) number 4, and joined NH 13 a two laned road. 

Driving through India (or being driven, as we were) is never dull.

Every kind of vehicle is seen. Trucks of all sizes, and in all kinds of condition. Many of them had black threads hanging from their wing mirrors. These (nazar in Hindustani) are to ward off the evil-eye, and I can understand why they are so popular (see below). There are very few private cars, but many cyclists and motorcyclists.

Clay sculptor in Hospet
Numerous three-wheelers, often crammed full with passengers, buzz along the highway. Vans filled with goods and also crowds of people add to the traffic. Numerous busses and coaches thunder past with horns blaring. In addition to all of these, the bullock carts, usually pulled by two beasts, rumble along peacefully. Many pedestrians walk along the road, often gracefully carrying loads on their heads - often ladies bearing water in spherical containers. A cloth ring sits on the carrier's head between his or her hair and the load being carried. The fields on either side of the road are dotted with farm workers, both male and female - the latter wearing colourful saris. Although a few tractors can be seen, there are still many bullock drawn ploughs. 

Just before reaching our destination, Hospet, we drove past the reservoir that contains water trapped by the enormous Tungabadra Dam.

Drying cowpats for use as fuel in Hospet.
This hydroelectric dam, built many  years ago, was engineered by the late 'Keki' Parekh of Madras, the father of a good friend of ours. The waters of the reservoir were brown coloured because of the mud that was being stirred up by the waves being created by the wind. From the shore, the reservoir looked just like the sea.

We arrived in the town of Hospet safely, and booked into the Shanbag International Hotel. The rooms of this hotel are arranged in galleries that look onto an atrium. The staircases and the pillars of the atrium are made of white marble, and give the place an opulent feel. On opening the doors into the bedrooms, things begin to slide downhill, especially in the bathrooms where nothing works quite as it should. In all fairness, the beds were clean and comfortable, and the air-conditioning worked for half of that night!  Like many provincial Indian hotels, this one was designed to look great on its opening day, but it has crept downhill since then!

Hospet offers little of interest to the conventional tourist. I find everywhere in India fascinating, so Hospet was no disappointment. By taking a wrong turn whilst looking for the town's bazaar district, we came a cross a small canal along which there was a footpath lined with flowering cannae. It passed a number of small dwellings. At every doorway there were people sitting doing there domestic chores: cleaning, grinding foodstuffs etc. In one of them there was a sculptor who was modelling sculptures of Hindu deities in clay.

I am basically a carnivore, and like to eat meat at least once a day! That evening in Hospet we managed to find a decent restaurant (with good 'non-veg' food in another hotel, The Malligi. If you should ever go to Hospet - and you might well do so, as it is near to the famous ruins of Hampi - head for the Malligi: more or less the same price as the Shanbag, but is much better maintained. 

DAO says:
On the homepage!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2017
aloneinthecrowd says:
Congrats on your featured blog, Adam :)
Posted on: Mar 05, 2017
HORSCHECK says:
Adam, congrats on your featured blog. Well done and well deserved.
Posted on: Mar 05, 2017
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Breakfast in Hospet
Breakfast in Hospet
Kumkum seller in Hospet
Kumkum seller in Hospet
Clay sculptor in Hospet
Clay sculptor in Hospet
Drying cowpats for use as fuel in …
Drying cowpats for use as fuel in…
Hospet
photo by: AdamR3723