Thursday, May 30, 2013

A ride through a forgotten era...... Hampi

Route Taken: Bangalore-Gooty-Mantralayam-Yerigeri-Siraguppa-Kampli-Hampi-Anegundi-Virupapura Gaddi-Muneerabad-Koppal-Hubli-Dharwad-Bangalore.

The initial plan was to attend a marriage of one of my cousins in Dharwad on monday, So had a weekend spared to combine it with a ride around Dharwad. Initially the plan was to do Dandeli but shelved it to do it in the rains, Next immediate option was Hampi. Mom popped in and added Mantralayam into the itenary. 

Day 1: 
Since i had less work on a friday, decided to take one more day off and started the ride on Friday morning. Reached Gooty in appx 3.5 hours, all thanks to the beautiful BLR-HYD highway. 

Meanwhile this happened  

Since it was a weekday the traffic was also not much. The entire route was dry as expected but the early morning chill made it easier. Also with not many good eateries on this stretch, was forced to stop at Raviteja Hotel Just before Gooty Toll Plaza. This place was equally bad as any of the other places on this route. 

Sexual Discrimination  

Took a diversion from Gooty towards Mantralayam. What a relief Beautiful two lane roads which are freshly laid. By now the temperature was hovering in the 40 deg mark. 

Not too far from Gooty, cops stopped for excise checking, in fact they stopped all the vehicles. They made me empty my entire luggage when they realized that they couldn’t make a buck when it came to documents. Idiots wasted a good 45 min in the process. Things started getting too tiring because of the relentless heat, so much that with every break, a litre of fluid was being emptied. Eventually reached Mantralayam, only to know that things started getting worse. Scouted almost the whole of mantralayam for a place to dump my luggage and crash for the day, was unsuccessful at 90% of the places, reason being “You are not provided accommodation if you are travelling alone” kind of logic. Finally succeeded in convincing the guy at Punnani Guest house to give accommodation on a condition that I need to provide the contact number of a family member as a confirmation that your family knows about your prescence at a particular place. Though not getting accommodation travelling alone(reason: There are instances of people committing suicide while travelling alone, so the hotels/guest houses/resorts wanna play safe) was not something new to me, but found it ridiculously irritating that they speak to your family member as if you are a Kindergarden Kid. 
Checked into the dirty room provided, freshened up and straight away head to the Temple dining hall for Lunch. The entire town was baking hot by noon. After a wholesome lunch head back to the room to get a little nap to stay away from afternoon heat. Got up in the evening to visit the temple for Darshan and head to the river bank for sunset. 

Sunset At Mantralayam 

This was the temperature at 6.30 in the evening 

After having nothing but fluids and fruits for the rest of the evening, decided to call it a day.

Day 2: 
The agenda for the day was to go from one oven to another(read from Mantralayam to Hampi). Got up at 4.30 for a early darshan and more importantly, Prasad J after stocking up some fluids and fruits left for Hampi. It was the first time that I was taking this route. The deviation from Adoni-Raichur road opened up the country roads with almost Zero traffic, road conditions were not much of a concern. Infact I had missed the Deviation towards Urkunda, which I was told was a faster route to Siraguppa. With no regrets on taking this route reached Siraguppa. 
There are basically 2 main routes from Siraguppa to Hampi, one via Bellary and other by the banks of Tunga Bhadra. The route by the banks is a good 40 kms shorter than Bellary stretch. Once you turn right after siraguppa, life starts becoming messier by every km travelled. Though the map said that I was travelling the river, not a drop of water was seen anywhere  It took me around 2 hours just to reach Kampli.

One of the "best" Stretches towards Kampli 

Heat was getting the better off me, The KA side was few degrees cooler but still in 40s 

Reached Hampi by noon and decided to stay at Viruppapura Gaddi, The “Happening “part of Hampi. 

There are basically two routes to get to Virupapura Gaddi by bikes in this season. One, to take a ferry from Behind of Virupaksha Temple and two, ferry from Vijaya Vittala Temple to Anegundi. Virupapura gaddi is appx 7 kms from Anegundi.

Actually Virupapura Gaddi is an island Behind the main temple of Lord Virupaksha. Now that there is no water once can easily ride/drive through it, otherwise one has to park their cars on the Munirabad-Gangavati road and take a ferry. Ferry operates from Morning 7 to evening 6. The ferries transport bikes at Rs.10/- per trip. None of the ferries transport cars. Once you are on the island, its like you are totally isolated from the outside world, so peaceful and calm. Also the accommodation on this part of the the river is comparatively cheap and also many folds neater because its frequented by foreigners mainly. Found a decent enough accommodation at Shanti guest house. Absolutely loved the place.

Few pics of the place where i Stayed

After a powernap on the swing, set out to get a good vantage point to witness Sunset. Though Matanga Hill was the best bet for sunset, but the ferry timings made me give it a second thought. Found an un named hill and spent some time there for a good view, but was not lucky enough as it started getting cloudy and the sunset was not visible. 

Day 3: 
This was a really taxing day, in terms of physical endurance. Had plans of climbing up Matunga hill for Sunrise the aerial view of the whole of Hampi and few running around here and there. Over slept in the cozy room of mine only to realize that it had already been 6.30 so took good amount of time to lazily get ready and have a wholesome breakfast. 

Took the ferry to other side. One needs to be very careful riding on the side ramp of the stairs. All my effort to get the aerial view of Hampi went down the drain when the police told that access to the top of the hill has been closed due to some reason. So went to the the Achutaraya Temple behind Matunga Hill. From there saw a few people on top of Matunga hill, wondered how would there guys have climbed when the trail was closed. So searched for few other options to get to the top. After few failed attempts finally got to the top, panting like hell. Since it was the start of the weekend not people populated the small temple town. Didn’t do much out of the box stuff, but visiting Monuments, as time was a constraint and had to reach Dharwad for the evening..
Few Pics of Virupaksha Temple 

Ruins of the Past 

Body Balance  

Pics from Courtesans Street

Pics from top of Matunga Hills 

Ugra Narasimha Statue(one of my Fav in Hampi)

Lotus Mahal

Few Pics from Vijaya Vittala Temple 

The Musical Pillars 

After Lunch Started for Dharwad . To my surprise the Koppal road was beautiful to be ridden with not much traffic. Few pics from te stretch : 

Reached Dharwad for the night, was blessed with a good amount of rain to cool both the man and the machine. Soon after the wedding the next day, left for Bangalore clocking apppx 1300kms in the process.