Sunday, January 1, 2006

Karnataka: Hampi Circuit

Decemeber 2005
Karnataka circuit- 14 Days, 2250 Kms by car




Places covered
Hampi Circuit
Sharvanbelgaon circuit

Karnataka Jain Circuit
Costal Karnataka
Dandeli

December 4, 2005, Sunday: Pune-Kholapur-Nipani-Staundi-Kothali-Mudhol (375 Kms approx)
We started at morning around 8 am. We reached around 12.30/1pm a place called Staundi which is just after Nipani on Pune-Banglore highway (0.5 hrs after Kolhapur). The 275 Kms Drive was pleasant. After visiting the Jain temple we had lunch and we proceeded to a place called Mudhol. Mudhol should be close to 100 Kms. On the way we visited another marvelous Jain temple at place called Kothali. The roads were pretty bad as this was internal road. We reached at around 5pm and stayed at Hotel called Kollar.

December 5, 2005, Monday: Mudhol-Badami-Pattadakkal-Aihole-Hospet (275 Kms)After having breakfast in the early morning and started at again 8 am to reach Badami around 10.30am. Not sure but this be close to 100 Kms. The red colored mud road where tar was virtually non-existent for half of the drive also had huge potholes and large stones.

We went directly to Badami caves which are picturesquely located on a mountain overlooking a large reservoir of water. (The famous scenes from movie Guru were shot here later). There were 4 big rock-cut caves with some carvings on a steep mountain. There are proper steps to climb. The largest and most ornamental is the third cave dedicated to Vishnu. Afterward we visited the famous Devi temple and proceeded to Pattadakkal.


Pattadakkal
Pattadakkal is 30/40 Kms away from Badami. There is large area with beautiful temples build by Vikramaditya II of Dravidian, Aryan and north-Indian styles all at one place with marvelous carvings. The temples are called Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna. And this was where the

crowning ceremony of the king had happened. After visiting a Jain Basadi with two large elephants in the front we had lunch in the garden nearby and proceeded to Aihole.


Aihole
Aihole is some 15 Kms from Pattadakkal. Called as ‘Cradle of Indian Architecture’, Aihole is said to have close to hundred temples mostly in ruins scattered all around the village. We could locate only one temple is re-constructed properly. After visiting that proceeded to Hospet


Hospet
Aihole to Hospet is close to 120 Kms. We reached Hospet at around 8.30 and stayed at KTDC hotel. This was a pretty long day.


December 6, 2005, Tuesday: Hampi
Early morning we had a huge breakfast in a big fast food joint called Shanbag. Any Dosa item - Masala, set, sada doas all were for 10 Rs. Idly, Idly-Vada was for only 6 Rs!!! After heavy breakfast we proceeded to Hampi.


Hampi, called the land of surprises was discovered by two local princes- Hakka and Bukka. The mighty and wealthy Vijaynagar empire was fallen after combined attack of Muslim Sulatans of Deccan in 1565 AD.


The current allowed visiting area was spread over 25 acres with well built internal roads but completely isolated. Guides were available at 500/- front gate. For all the places we had to go by car, visit and then proceed further. The list is endless- 6.7m tall Ugra Narshima seated under 7 hooded snake, 3 ft tall Gigantic Shivalinga which is permanently in water, The beautiful architected Hindu-Muslim fusion styles of Lotus Mahal, Virupakha Bazar, 15m square and 1.8m deep stone structured Queens bath, Erotic sculptures on Achut Raya temple--- all are fascinating!


At one point I accidentally forgot my keys inside!!! Some of the nearby drivers helped. After removed the Driver seat window lining we succeeded after almost an hours try!


In the evening we returned to Hospet, had lunch at same shanbag (Rs15 for mini meal)/Idli/Dosa..
 
contd...

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