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Published: April 1st 2013
We stop by Bangalore on our way to Hampi (only briefly - it is not a nice place - it's a big dusty noisy and unappealing city, we arrived at night and left immediately the next day!!)
The bus journey from Trichy to Bangalore is 8 hours. We took a private company KPN. The rickshaw bring us to a recommended place (by him).Some rickshaw drivers can be trusted but you have to get lucky. Most will recommend a hotel who will give them a commission for bringing customer and you will see the price of your room increase! Bangalore is just a short stop for our next destination: Hampi.
16/08 to 22/08 : Hampi
We embarked on Hampi Island (Viripur Gadi) to settle down at Shanti Guesthouse for few days before moving to Shiva Guesthouse (recommended by friends).
Shiva is owned by Olgan and family. There we lived in a very basic way but which shows to us that you don't need much to be happy in life.
The volcanic landscape is a bit mad around here. Some talk about a magical and spiritual forces, others about aliens and some with a
geographical explanation. (Indians believe the Monkey god Hanuman placed the stones in Hampi) Either way whether by nature or a Hindi god - the scenery is otherwordly....
As a World Heritage Site, Hampi is very green surrounded with the rice fields on one side and desertic landscape and Ruins on the other.
It is a good start to try to understand the Hindu religion and history about the country itself. We took the service of a Rickshaw-guide to visit the Ruins who explain the Hindu religion and the history of the place. We did learn that the Arabs conquered Hampi during 1635 and destroyed some sites and temple to build their own legacy: Queen's palace - Lotus Palace - Elephant Stables.
A lot of places can be visited on your own as to be honest the Hindu religion is a bit complex (more than 3 millions names - reincarnation, avatars and divinations to remember).
On Hampi island, we visited the Hanuman temple monkey on the top of the mountain accessible by a 570 steps climb.
There is a nice contrast of colors between the green of rice field and coconut and banana plantation and the
reddishness from the arid landscape(lava stone).
The current situation in Hampi is difficult as they are destroying people's home built near or using part of the Heritage walls. The State want to restore the site as a World heritage monument. To enable them to do so and to have more visitors and more profit we expect, they move people away , give them a land (3km away from Hampi) and 130.000 Rupees. Of course for people who had a business, this may not be a compensation for the loss of profit but one can understand that some houses were at risk and it will have been not safe for any one to stay under some very old stones...
Hampi is definitively an interesting place to be, full of history and mysteries. We were looking for something original and authentic... this is it! Incredible India...
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