Hampi, Vijayanagara Empire – Part 2

Hampi, Vijayanagara Empire – Part 1

Started the next day with Achutharaya temple walk, it is like walking from one village to another. But with the difference that it is all ruins and one has to imagine a rich village there. When you are there for few hours, this is not difficult. We start imagining how it should have been. Between giant rocks, the temple lies all ruined and isolated. Except for parrots and squirrels, there is no life in it.

Achutharaya temple

There were multiple trees sprouted between the rocks. And there was good fragrance from these jasmine kind of flowers. There were few small brids that we not seen here. Most of the sites had Plumeria tree that must be hundreds of years old.

Plumeria at Vithala temple
Jasmine like flower tree

Through the village bazaar (again a long & broad one), we reached Tungabathra river and took the coracle ride. Native people here takes pride in sharing the place history. Our coracle man took us through the river explaining the Sukriva and Vali story. There are a lot of monkeys in here and can understand why apes played an important role in the epic.

Hazara rama temple was the temple for royal families inside the royal enclosure. It has the story of Ramanayana depicted all over the walls.

Ramayana Carvings on the wall

Royal palace is most ruined of all. Just the bottom structure of the entire palace remains. Rest of the entire palace is burnt to ashes. Secret room in basement, step well and the performance gallery is clearly visible. Excavation of these places begun 40 years back and it was jungle back then.

Step Well
Royal Palace remains

There is a zoo few kilometers from Hampi and we took an hour ride in the zoo. Safari vehicle takes us through the Lion, Tiger, White tiger enclosures and drop us at zoo. Being a regular visitor to Chennai Zoo, this did not excite us but the zoo is maintained well with selective animals and birds. There was leopard, jackals, black swan to name a few. My daughter was thrilled when a Lion chased the vehicle and she was excited through out the zoo trip.

We visited Malyavanta hill in the evening for sunset view, but missed it by few minutes. It was still worth the view of Hampi and Tungabathra from there.

Anjanadri hill in a morning, its said to be the birth place of Hanuman. It has 575 steps, there is shade half way and climb is not too difficult. While it got sunny when we went up, the view of Hampi and Achutharaya was still beautiful. Evening would have been the best time. Enroute, visited the Sanapur lake and the route to the lake was scenic. After reading about the holiness of Pampa Sarovar, we went to visit the pond but it was under renovation and there was no water in it.

Tungabadra river from Anjanadri hill

There is something to do with the restaurants in Hampi. May be the hippi culture that existed before. There are only few restaurants in Hampi and all of them have same menu card with continental to italian to north indian. It is all too expensive. We could not find a normal south indian restaurant in the town. Mango tree near Virupaksha temple and Whispering Rocks near Sanapur lake were good.

Sanapur Lake

Archeological musuem at Kamalapura has Hampi model and other monuments, jewels, coins collected from excavation sites. There are also before-excavation and post-excavation photos of some of the sites we visited. As the vijaya nagara empire came to an end in mid 16th century, this city was looted and evacuated. Nearly 3 centuries, this city was untouched and excavation began only after mid 20th century. Vijaya Empire was considered as the second biggest trade center during its time, getting totally exploited and evacuated in few decades is not believable. Especially when Tungabadhra river is flowing, soil being so fertile. Why would the entire city go back in civilization totally. That made me a point to read the detailed south indian history.

Hemakutta hill Sunrise View

We went to Tungabadhra dam in a evening for sunset view and muscial fountain. Good for a evening visit. Visited Hemakutta hill for sunrise view and ended the Hampi trip with more questions.

Tungabadra Dam

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