Hampi Travel Blog› entry 3 of 14 › view all entries
December 17th, 2006 – by: hauteboy
I had purchased AC1 tickets to Hospet the closest town to Hampi with rail service; tickets in india are broken up into three different AirCon classes and non-ac sleeper on overnight trains. The cabin was very basic, a 2 person upper/lower bed and no room to store luggage. The windows are heavily tinted and sealed, making it hard to see the countryside go by (but our train was at night so not much an issue). The conductor soon came along and provided clean sheets and blankets, and I fell asleep soon after leaving the station. I awoke a few times in the night, then finally got up when my cabinmate got off at an earlier station. It was light by this point and i could see the view going through the flat countryside.
We arrived at Hospet junction around 7:50 AM and immediately one of the autorickshaw touts attached themself to me and said do you want to go to hampi, etc. He quoted a really expensive price (according to the LP book), we haggled and he came down some (still expensive), but a guy was standing nearby and said that is a good price (of course he is friends with the driver). I agreed anyway, the difference only being a few $$ then set off for Hampi, about 13km away. We passed by lots of people going about their morning duties, bullock carts with bells on their horns, etc. The area around Hampi was surrounded with huge boulder strewn hills and banana plantations. The auto soon arrived in Hampi Bazzaar, which was full of tacky tourist signs for Internet, Henna tattoo, etc. I first went to visit the Virupaksha temple, spending awhile with a guide there before wandering around the side of the temple where I watched a snake charmer and a group of elaborately dressed and made up Sadhus.
The ruins here are simply amazing though, well worth the trip and I can see why people would want to spend lots of time here. The scale of this place is just immense. Parts of it are Muslim influenced, other temples are like Ankor Wat, but the surrounding scenery of strewn and stacked boulders definitely makes this a unique place. Since I was only here for the day I'll miss viewing the sunset/sunrise, which are very popular. There were several school trips visiting the ruins today, all the kids were shouting and waving hello. I hit most of the major ruins today, but there were still a few ones that could only be reached by walking from Vitthala.
After Vitthala, we came the long way back to the Hampi town for a late lunch (4:00) at the Mango Tree restaurant, a really relaxing place overlooking the river below. I had paneer masala and a mango lassi and sat awhile chatting with a Dutch girl and British guy sitting next to me.
So I'm back in Hospet now awaiting my train back to Bangalore. The train stations here have a quota system, there weren't any tickets available on the Hospet to Bangalore route, but there were seats available when booking the previous station (Munirabad) to Bangalore. I planned to just get on in Hospet and hope noone noticed.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!