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Published: August 25th 2018
Today started with a short cycle down the road to Bhima’s gate. We stopped on the way to look at the Ganagitti Jain temple, a fairly unremarkable place. The gate itself was slightly disappointing in that it was missing its city walls on either side (the maps suggest you can still see them). Being a rather plain structure it was clearly functional and not used as the main gates for guests etc.
We next headed over to the Zanana enclosure, an enclosure with complete walls all around containing the treasury, a water tank, the queens palace (ruins) and the lotus mahal, a beautiful 2 storied pavilion. This is another of the sites you have to pay to go into, and is considered one of the main attractions in Hampi. They are doing a lot of work on the gardens at the moment and so it should soon look stunning. At present it’s a pleasant area and they have some interesting artefacts in the old armoury but the lotus mahal is no more stunning than the bandstand we saw yesterday and you are unable to enter any of the watch towers. Unlike the guidebooks we felt this was missable.
the back of the Zanana enclosure are the magnificent elephant stables and guards enclosure. These are well worth visiting and are free to see. In fact we could have walked into the back of the Zanana enclosure from here and there’s currently no security on the back door. There are some temples to explore around the back of the stables and another city gate.
Behind the Zanana enclosure you can see a hillside covered with old temples. There’s currently a fence between you and them though (they appear to be putting a fence around the whole site so I’m sure you’ll soon have to pay to see anything). We decided to see if we could cycle around the fence and explore up the hill. It was easy to do and scrambling up the boulders was a lot of fun. There are 2 temples right at the top of the hill, perched precariously on top of some boulders, and we could not work out how they were built - there is no obvious way up without resorting to climbing....
By this point the ever stoic Stephen was looking rather pale. Claiming to be ok we cycled into Hampi for
some lunch. After eating he looked worse and after some persuasion we handed back the bikes and got a tuktuk back to the hotel. Stephen insisted we got dropped off at the Queens Baths to look around before walking back. They are beautiful, you can see the spouts from which the ladies used to be sprayed with scented water whilst they bathed.
Once back at the hotel Stephen unfortunately succumbed to a rather nasty vomiting bug (I have no idea what’s caused it given we have eaten the same things). Leaving him with plenty of water I headed off to look around the museum. This is worth seeing. It has a model of the area and artefacts from all around the site (which explains why most of the shrines are missing their statues). It also has examples of the writing from the time which makes me wonder why there seems to be so little information about the site available. The most interesting thing for me to see was a series of before and after pictures of their ‘excavation and conservation’ work - some of the buildings they seem to have just completely rebuilt!
I tried to be useful
and get some cash out but 2 ATMs were empty and the 3rd wanted to charge a lot. On my explore I did at least manage to see some of the back streets of the village and ended up playing a tiny bit of football with some kids. It’s a very safe area but down some of the smaller backstreets I did start to feel a little vulnerable and so headed back to the hotel.
My evening finished with a swim before dining alone. I have also been checking Stephens heart rate and breathing rate every few hours to make sure he’s ok!
(Spoiler alert - he is now fine again)
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