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Published: August 23rd 2018
We arrived in Hospete pretty much on time (only 1 hour late) - I had found the slightly larger 1st class beds on the train much easier to sleep on. Unfortunately Stephens was wonky so he hadn’t got much sleep. Overall there isn’t much difference between the 1st & 2nd AC classes so its probably not worth the extra money. There wasn’t a food cart on this train either, and we didn’t even get any tea! We did, however, get a steady stream of staff wanting a ‘selfie’ with us.
Trying to find a tuktuk to the boat crossing to Anegundi, where we were supposed to be staying, we discovered that the river crossings were shut. They had been shut for over a week, so our accommodation knew that before taking our booking & offering to meet us at the boat landing area. Given the annoyance and cost of getting a tuktuk an hour each way to get there by land we decided to stay in Hampi itself.
You do not get as much for your money here as you do elsewhere in India. 1600 rupees has got us a double room in Achana guesthouse, with bathroom. It’s more
or less clean (sleeping bag liners will be used). The shower trickles (but it’s better than the one we were shown which was just a bucket!), the doors too low (we keep hitting our heads), there are no towels, no curtains, no soap and no loo roll. On the plus side it’s got a fab view of the river, the food is good, and the staff really friendly. It’s a lovely atmosphere.
After breakfast and a shower we went for a little explore. We ended up going Hemakutu Hill, the hill immediately behind the bazaar. It was more of a power walk than gentle meander as we tried to get away from the tauts and tuktuk drivers. Once slightly up the hill, the crowds thinned, and the view is stunning. There are temples everywhere you look and the geology of the area is bizarre - with strange, giant boulders all over the landscape. Going over the hill to the far side we found Krishna temple and an old bazaar complete with step well. We also saw statues of Ganesh and Narashima (Vishnu in man eating lion form).
We headed back into town for lunch and then went the
opposite direction to the heritage gallery, which has photos of Hampi from the 1800s, 1980s & 2004. Climbing up the steps behind we saw a large statue of Nundi (the bull) and then carried on over the hill (Matanga Hill) to discover stunning views. As you descend the other side you enter the Achyutaraya temple, a 16th century temple, which you can explore at your leisure. Next to this is the Sule bazaar and step well. We carried along down to the river, seeing a few more temples, before trying to get back along the river path. Unfortunately the river path is currently in the river as the water level is so high! Instead we had to go back over the hill and into Hampi.
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