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Day 2 – Hampi

At half past 6 a.m., I was already wide awake. I peeped through the window and saw that I was in a barren land out of nowhere. I passed by many stations, of which I had lost count. I was feeling absolute lost as nothing at the railway stations indicated the next station. Some were even written in complete Hindi language. What we foreigners did was asking the train staff from time to time where we were.

Hampi Train Station

I finally arrived in Hampi at 8.00a.m. We took a rickshaw at the price of Rs150. Lucky we were born Asian as our fellow travellers from other continents were literally attacked by the rickshaw drivers.

Since it was too early to check in (only later we came to know that the check-in time in Hampi is at 9.00a.m.), we entered the main temple of Virupaksha. We had to pay Rs52 each (Rs2 for entrance and Rs50 for camera). We were then told to take off our shoes and the gate man pointed towards shoes rack at the opposite site of the entrance. Asked whether they accepted luggage, the answer was not affirmative. If you plan to visit Visupaksha, you can enter for free if you know the backdoor to Virupaksha – either from Hemakuta Temple or the elephant entrance.

Oh wait, you are now puzzled as to what is this place called Hampi?

It is medieval Hindu metropolises in the history of India. It’s another ancient city of the world. Prospered with glory during 14-16th centuries. It was discovered in 1800 by Col Mackenzie. A Persian visitor, once said, “The City of Bijayanagar is such that the eye has not seen, nor ear heard of any place resembling it upon the earth”. A Portuguese guest said, “The city is situated like Milan, but not in a plain…”

We explored the Virupaksha temple all out. It is the main temple for pilgrimage. Due to our attributes, we were mistaken as Japanese, Korean and mainland Chinese at all time. This temple is the most sacred to Saivas (worshipping Lord Shiva). Within it, there was a sanctum of the sacred linga. Walking behind the temple, we found our way to Hemakuta Temple. Due to the torn plants, we had to head back inside the temple for our shoes. We then discovered another entrance into the temple. For free.

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

With sun over our heads, we knew it was time to hunt for rooms. Ah, the temperature in Hampi was that of an oven. It could go up to 40 degree celcius. Almost all guesthouses were fully booked. We were left with the expensive ones. Josh and SY really knew how to cut a deal. I was overwhelmingly impressed with their bargaining strategy. We were then brought to Rashmita Guesthouse, with Rs400/night. Room is clean, complete with mosquito netting. Perfect for a basic room. Good masala chai too. Too bad it has only two rooms. Book in advance at +9482050621.

to be continued