Badami Hampi

When Mummy decided to come to Bangalore, I started planning for a trip to some place. After lots of deliberation I decided on Belur and Halebidu since it was new for me too and Mummy would also enjoy the history that she taught me in class 6. So I booked the bus tickets for Belur before she came.

Day 1 – 18 May 2019

We sat on the bus to Belur and enjoyed the good sleeper seats at night. We were supposed to reach by 6:30am. We were still in the bus till 8am when I finally started panicking where we had reached. After a few Google searches I realised we had reached Belur near Badami instead of Belur in Hassan district. That is how I found out there there were more than one place called Belur in Karnataka itself. When I realised that Belur was a small village in Bagalkot district, I wanted to cry and Papa was also angry on the phone about how I booked wrong ticket. So I called Jessica and she gave me the idea of taking Mummy to Hampi instead of wasting the weekend in Badami. Now that I had a plan in mind, I felt better and we talked to the bus conductor to drop us in Badami itself rather than taking us to Belur village.

After getting off the bus, we decided to go to a hotel for few hours to freshen up. We randomly entered a hotel and it was the same hotel (Anand Deluxe) where I had stayed during my Badami trip. They gave us a room for ₹200 for 1-2hrs. After freshening up we booked a cab for ₹4200/- for taking us to all the places in Badami and dropping us in Hampi. I booked return train ticket from Hostpete to Bangalore and cancelled my bus ticket from Belur(Badami).

Since I went to the same places I won’t be writing the history of these places again. Please read my Bijapur Badami Hampi blog for the history. I will only write the complete history for the new places I visited this time.

Our 1st stop was Badami Caves. We took our umbrellas and water bottle with us since it was 40°C. Mummy read the history of all the 4 caves from the sign board. The caves were as beautiful as I remembered.

After the caves, we went back to our car. The reception guy from our hotel also joined us for his own benefit which we came to know later. The road was blocked near Badami Museum and Fort so we had to walk on narrow path to go there. The museum has sculptures and artefacts from in and around Badami. It was too hot so we did not climb up the fort. We clicked pictures on the steps and returned.

We then walked to Bhootnath Temple. Agastya Lake was mostly dry this time. I tried to recreate some of my pictures from last time by standing on the edge of the wall. By this time, Mummy was questioning whether we were paying too much for the car since all these places were near each other and we had to walk all the way in-spite of having a car.

Then we went to Banashankari Temple. It did not have long queue like the last time I went there. The floor was burning and we ran to the cloth spread on the path to the temple. The temple and the idol was pretty. We could not take pictures of the idol. While returning I rang the bells again by climbing the wall like last time.

Our next stop was Mahakuta Temple. This temple had a huge tank or kund where I had seen too many semi-naked men the last time. This time maybe due to heat, we saw less people. The temple floor was blistering hot and we had to run around the shadow area. Even after running I still felt like I burned my foot.

Next we went to Pattadakal Group of Temples. This was one of my favourite place from the trip the last time, so I was looking forward to going back to this place. As soon as I entered the premise, I remembered why I loved this place. It was magnificent view. Despite the heat, Mummy enjoyed this place and we clicked lots of pictures. By the time, we came out of Pattadakal premise, we were very hungry. I remembered that I had got very tasty food in ₹50/- last time. So we asked the driver to wait for us while we eat, but the reception guy urged us not to eat there because he wanted us to eat in his restaurant which was near Aihole.

He asked us whether we wanted to eat 1st or visit Aihole since it would close by 6pm. It was already 4:30pm so we asked them to take us to Aihole before restaurant.

Aihole was our last stop so we took our time visiting all the places in the campus. We sat there for a long time and asked many people to take our pictures. We also visited the Museum which had almost the same information as Badami Museum.

Finally we went to eat at the reception guy’s hotel. When we reached the restaurant, the electricity was not there, so we sat in the garden and ate our food. After having lunch at 5:30pm, we finally started our journey to Hampi.

We asked Papa to look for a hotel for us since we were not getting proper connection on the way. Papa searched for Oyo Hotel called Ananya Comfortss in Hospete which is 13km from Hampi. We told the reception guy that we were thinking of staying in Hospete since he understood Hindi better than the driver. He said OK and we thought he understood but later we realised he didn’t understand properly because the driver crossed Hospete and took us to Hampi like the original plan. We had reached Hospete at around 8pm and by the time we reached Hampi it was 9pm. We then asked them to search a good A/C Hotel for us since it was too hot there. Hampi mostly has home-stays and guest houses and doesn’t have proper hotels. So the driver talked to some of his contacts and found out 3 hotels in Hospete which had A/C rooms. After showing us one Non-A/C hotel, they finally took us to Hotel Malligi which had A/C rooms for ₹1500/-. It was 10pm and we were very tired so we did not look for other options and booked this room.

Day 2 – 19 May 2019

The room was very comfortable so we slept well. We got ready by 9:30am and booked an auto for ₹1000/- to visit Hampi.

On the way to Hampi, bhaiya stopped at Ananthashayana Temple. Auto bhaiya told us a local folklore about the temple. According to his story, the temple was built for the reclining image of Lord Vishnu, known as the Anantashayana Padmanabha (the one who is resting on the ananta or endless snake, Shesha, and who has a padma or lotus, from his navel – nabha, the lotus on which Bhramha is seated) by King Krishnadeva Raya (1524 AD) of the Vijayanagara Empire in memory of his deceased son. The idol was built in a small village in Chattra. When the sculptor finished making the idol, Lord Vishnu paid a visit in his dream and said that he need not carry the idol. He just needs to show the way and the idol will follow him behind. The only condition was that the people taking him to his destination should not look behind. So, next day the sculptor gathered Vishnu’s devotees and they started walking towards the temple. One the way in Holalu, one of the devotee looked back and the idol established itself there and didn’t move. So a temple was created at the new location and the Ananthashayana Temple was never used as intended. The temple is within a prakara with three gateways on north, south and west. The main temple is in middle of this enclosure. The main Garbhagriha is rectangular and has openings to the Antarala in the front. In the front of this is a Rangamandapa with opening to the east and closed on south and north.

Our 1st stop in Hampi was Virupaksha Temple. The last time I went there, the main entrance was undergoing restoration so I couldn’t click good pictures of the gopuram. So this time I was happy to see no scaffolding around it. We went inside and took out our hats as it was sunny. When we reached the temple we started clicking pictures of the ceiling which had scenes of Ramayana drawn on it. After sometime we realised that Mummy’s hat was missing. We guessed it might have fallen off her head when she shifted her sun glasses from her eyes to her head. We tried searching it for 10-15 min around but we couldn’t find it. Mummy was regretting that at home she accidentally broke my Cabo White Rum bottle which is only sold in Goa and now she lost my hat. But I consoled her and asked her to buy me a new hat instead.

We then climbed the Hemakuta Hills which was beside Virupaksha Temple. This hill is sprinkled generously with a large number of temples, archways and pavilions. The whole of the hill was fortified with tall wide stonewalls, the ruined remains of which can be still be seen. According to the myth, Shiva did his penance before marrying Pampa. Kama , the God of Love, felt sympathy for Pampa for her love towards Shiva. He disturbed Shiva from his deep meditation. That attracted Shiva’s wrath. Known for his anger, Shiva burned Kama with his third (fiery) eye. Rathi, Goddess of Passion and also Kama’s consort pleaded for mercy with Shiva. Shiva grants Kama’s life back, but only as a character and not as a physical being. On Shiva’s marriage with Pampa, Gods from the heaven showered gold on the place. This hill in Hampi is called Hemakuta, literally means heap of gold. We climbed halfway and clicked pictures of the view. We did not have too much time, so we didn’t explore the hills.

Next we went to Kadalekalu Ganesha situated on the slope of the Hemakuta Hill. The towering statue of Kadalekalu Ganesha has a height of 4.6 metres (15 feet). The giant statue was carved out of a single huge boulder. The belly of Ganesha has been chiselled in such a manner that it resembles a Bengal gram (known as Kadalekalu in the local language). Hence, the statue has been given the name of Kadalekalu Ganesha. It is one of the largest statues that exist in Hampi.

Next we went to Sasivekalu Ganesha where I had already gone the last time. I told Mummy about the story why a snake was tied on his tummy. Mummy was amused and liked how people imagined Ganesha and his eating habits in funny ways.

We then went to Krishna Temple and saw Krishna Bazaar on the other side of the road.

Then we saw Lakshmi Narasimha Temple and Badavi Linga which are located next to each other. On the way back Mummy bought a red hat for me.

Our next stop was Prasanna Virupaksha Temple or Underground Shiva Temple. We went inside and saw a Shivalinga inside a dark chamber using our phone flashlight. While returning a guide showed us lots of bats sleeping in the temple.

On the way auto bhaiya showed us a mosque and asked us to walk till Hazararama and he would pick us up there. We got down and saw The Mosque in Danaik’s Enclosure. Arguably one of the most ambiguous localities in Hampi, the Danaik’s Enclosure (also called Dannayaka’s enclosure) is a systematically partitioned campus.

Archaeologists and historians are at different opinions about the erstwhile status of this area. The arguments vary widely. A section of the experts believe that it is here the state mint was located located. And hence a portion of the campus is called the Mint.

Others believe that this was the area of the city’s administrative and high-ranking officers. That the word Danaik refers to commander in chief or the Mayor of the city. The seat of the Danaik in the enclosure as evidence supports this argument.

Yet another school of archaeologists believes that this had been used as a military training area for the elite army. The presence of the Mosque inside the campus is shown as the presence of Muslim trainers (horse riding) from the northern provinces. Also supports this thesis is the presence of the array of granaries at the north and the Bhojanasala (Dining Hall) at the south of this area.

The Danaik’s Enclosure area may be split into three sections. The northwestern area that houses the Mohammedan Watch Tower (a very good specimen of Hampi’s military architecture), ‘The Mosque’, ‘Band Tower’, the Idgah (an open payer area), the seat of Danaik and the recently discovered Shiva temple just outside of it. The rectangular pits around the palaces are believed to be once secret treasures. The northeast area houses the palace base of Vira Harihara. The southeast section that is popularly known as the Mint area.

We walked to Hazararama Temple and clicked lots of pictures before going back to our auto.

Auto bhaiya informed us that across the road the structure that we could see was Pan Supari Bazaar. This name is mentioned in an inscription of Devaraya II, confirming the name’s authenticity. One of the reasons behind the unique name of the market place may be due to the presence of a large number of areca nut plantations in the area near the Royal Enclosure. During the imperial days of Vijayanagara this was a royal street that led to the palace. This stretch is the most traceable part of the street that remains today. It is thought that the Pan Supari Bazaar was a significant trading point during the peak days of Hampi. The beauty and popularity of the Pan Supari Bazaar can be estimated from the fact that the market place had several pavilions, temples and water tanks on either side of the road passing through the market.

Next we went to Zenana Enclosure were we saw the basement of Queen’s Palace, watch towers, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables and museum. This is a huge enclosure and the weather was too hot so we were tired by the end of the trip there.

We then went to Royal Enclosure where we saw stone door outside. When we entered the enclosure we saw Mahanavmi Dibba which was the royal stage. We walked to Pushkarni and I told Mummy what I knew about it from the previous trip. The tank was empty due to summer. We were exhausted but I wanted to show mummy the underground secret chamber. I saw a familiar structure and asked Mummy to walk till there and we would return if it was not what I thought it was. But we were in luck because that structure was the Underground Chamber. So I took Mummy down to the chamber with our phone flashlight on. I was happy that I could show it to her because I had found the chamber quite fascinating when I visited.

Our final stop before lunch was Queen’s Bath. Restoration work was in progress but we were allowed to go around the place.

Auto bhaiya then took us to Green Restaurant for lunch. Nestled on a banana plantation in Kamalapur near Hampi is Green Restaurant that makes local, organic and wholesome food. With simple outdoor (great for big groups) seating under the shade of trees and indoor shack style seating, the completely vegetarian restaurant and cafe is known for their unlimited thaalis. Their rather extensive menu has Chinese, Italian (we saw pasta and pizza), North and South Indian food. We ordered Mushroom Fried Rice and Momos along with Mango Shake. By the time momos arrived we were full so we packed the momos for later. Our bill came to ₹300/- and we also paid for auto bhaiya’s thali which was for ₹200/-.

After lunch we went to Vitthala Temple. It was too hot so we decided to take battery operated car to reach there. We saw Gejjala Mantapa, Kuduregombe Mantapa, Pushkarni and Vitthala Bazaar on the way. The new ₹50/- note depicts the Stone Chariot of Vitthala Temple. I had seen a few picture ideas of this online and I tried recreating it. Since last time we did not know about the musical pillars, this time I tried to search for it. The musical pillars in the main building was out of bounds. So we tried to tap the pillars in the other Mantapas and we could hear and feel some vibrations in the pillars. Since this was our last stop we relaxed for some time in one of the Mantapa before exploring the area. While returning we saw a foreigner with a guide and he pleaded the security guard near the main building to allow the foreigner to tap the musical pillars. He hesitated to allow him as he saw us watching the group. When we moved away, the guard allowed him to tap the musical pillar and I heard a clear note of music.

After this we walked to the bank of Tungabhadra River where we could see Anjaneya Hills. Auto bhaiya said that it was only 1km from Vitthala Temple if we could cross the river there, but by road it was 15km. After sitting for a few minutes we went to get the battery car back to the entrance.

I wanted to take Mummy on a boat ride to the other side. I knew there were boat rides near Virupaksha temple. So we asked auto bhaiya for boat ride and he said there was one ferry point nearby where he could take us. It would be cheaper than booking a coracle boat. He took us to a place where stone bridge existed in Hampi during Vijaynagara empire. The Ancient bridge of Hampi is believed to have been constructed by Kampabupa in the 14th century. Kampabupa was the brother of the king Harihara II, the emperor of the Vijayanagara kingdom from 1377 to 1404. The bridge was built at a point where the River Tungabhadra bifurcates and the rejoins again. The result of the bifurcation was the formation of a tiny rocky island. The ancient bridge ran through this island. We got a ferry ride to the other side and would take the same ride back in 15min. When we reached the other side, we climbed the Boulder hill and clicked pictures. When it was time to go back the boat driver called us.

Auto bhaiya dropped us at our hotel. He was really impressed that even with so much heat we did not shy away from seeing all the places and even climbed the boulders. We took rest for a while in our rooms before going to the station. Even though we didn’t intend to visit Badami Hampi, it ended up being a fun trip!

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