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Published: August 23rd 2018
Our second day in Hampi started earlier than hoped due to the lack of curtains in our room and the general noise levels. This was more than made up for by the delicious breakfast the hostel provided, whilst sitting enjoying views over the river.
We walked back over Mantanga hill, passed the Achyutaraya temple & Sule bazaar and towards the Vittala temple, the ‘undisputed highlight’ of Hampi according to the Lonely Planet (we dispute this!). It’s around 2km from Hampi and along the way there are plenty of other temples and ruins to investigate. We particularly enjoyed having an explore in some caves made by the boulders near the river edge. There are often little shrines down narrow passageways which are fun to discover.
Once at the Temple we were greeted by hoards of tourists - many of whom wanted their obligatory white person ‘selfie’. Stephen is much more patient than I am and after the first 5 groups I refused to have anymore done (until after 11am at least).
Unfortunately the India archeological society seems to have increased loads of their prices from 8th August. It now cost 600 rupees each to get in (but only 40
for indians)! To put that into perspective, for both of us to get in cost pretty much the same as our accommodation. The temple is stunning, but the lack of information available makes the cost unjustifiable. The ticket does also get you access to the museum & another temple but they’re on the opposite side of the site and so this is only possible if you have a tuk tuk.
The Vittala temple is most famous for its stone chariot which transports Vishnu. It also has beautiful carvings and an inner sanctum lit by water reflections. Being a weekend it was very busy - I would recommend going mid week. Because of this, and the cost, we actually enjoyed the Krishna & Achyutaraya temples more.
After a delicious lunch at the relatively famous Mango Tree we walked west, along the river, to the Hampi ‘waterfalls’. It’s initially a very easy track to take, mostly paved, but as you get closer you head into bannana plantation and we relied on following the footprints in the mud. After scrambling up onto some boulders we were rewarded with beautiful views of the river whirlpools and rapids (they’re not really waterfalls at
Due to incoming ominous black clouds we soon headed back into Hampi for tea & cake at a German bakery. The cakes weren’t quite right but it was an enjoyable way of avoiding the rain.
In the evening we went to see the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi itself, the only remaining working temple. This is covered in ornate sculptures and engravings and is worth seeing. It is free to enter, although they will try to get you to pay for the ‘special entrance’ which gets you access to the temple elephant (you can see her through the bars without paying and we don’t really approve of keeping a lone elephant to ‘kiss’ pilgrims so didn’t want to go and meet her).
We watched the sunset from ‘sunset point’ on Hemakuta Hill. Despite being cloudy it was beautiful and worth making an effort to see.
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