Saturday, December 9, 2017


Hampi- a small village in Bellary district of  North Karnataka  is a very significant place in history and architecture . It is one among the  36 UNESCO world heritage sites in India. It is approximately 350 Km from Bangalore, 320 km from Goa, 380 km from Hyderabad.

This place was always in my list of travel, as I have read a lot on the magnificent Hindu Vijayanagar empire and their extraordinary architectures, holding a  historical importance  in Indian history.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. It is also known as Kishkindha-Kshetra (A place where Lord Ram met Lord Hanuman in Ramayana) or Pampa-Kshetra (The old name of Tungabhadra River)

Entrance of Ruins of Vittala Temple

History and facts to know about HAMPI:

Just highlighting few points which I have read and known about Hampi.

1. Hampi was a royal residence for Hoysala empire in  till 13th century (known as virupakshapattana) which later became the capital of the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire of Sangam Dynasty in late 13th century.

2. Fall of the Hoysala empire and compounding with Rise of Vijayanagar empire : The Hindu Deccan kingdoms(Hoysala empire, pandayan empire and others) were raised and attacked by sultans all over the Deccan region leading to the downfall of the empire. With The fall of Hoysala empire and ruins of kampili kingdom emerged the Vijayanagar kingdom (sangam dynasty).

3. Hampi became the capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom famous for its rich cultural heritage. A strategic location bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides. They ruled south INDIA for over 200 years. It is a prosperous, wealthy empire as cited by the Portuguese and other European Travelers backdated .

4. It was considered to be the world second largest medieval era city after Beijing and richest trade cities. (1500’s). They fostered infrastructural development , mandapas, indo Islamic architectural buildings.

5. The disputes between sultans and Hindu continued throughout their rule of 2 centuries. The Battle of Talikota between sultans and Vijayanagar empire lead to The massive destruction infrastructure of Hampi. The city is said to have been looted , burnt and abandoned by the end of the battle of Talikota by sultans... The remains of the massive architecture and the ruins is now the been visited in Hampi. Still there is lot of archaeological survey's been carried out.

6. Check the new 50 Indian Rupees Note. You can find the stone chariot of Hampi in the back side

New 50 rs note with Stone chariot
 Best time to visit Hampi?

Winter season: The best time to visit hampi would be from october to February. On Average the temperatures will be 30-33C in the morning/noon which will turn to a comfortable temperature to about 17-24'C in the evening/night.

Summer time: Not advisable as it will be scorching hot. As most the places you will be visiting is open ground. You will get dehydrated easily with the heat.
(You should enjoy the stories of Hampi, so don's heat stroke yourself by planning in summers)

How to reach Hampi?

Nearest station:
Hospete Junction (HPT), 13km from Hampi
16592 Hampi Express is a perfect option if you are travelling from Bangalore for a overnight travel of 8-9 hours of travel. You have Good connectivity for trains from Goa and Hyderabad as well.
You can easily get an auto hired from the station to Hampi. You can contact Raghu, Automan: +919483505969   (Should not charge you more than 200-250 Rs)

Nearest Airport: 

Hubli Airport is the nearest Airport which is 170 Km from Hampi. (It is an expensive option, and I would not recommend it). I would rather suggest to land to Bangalore International airport and connect to any of the train available.

Travel by bus: 

The KSRTC as well as private bus also has options to reach Hampi by overnight travel from Goa, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Travel by Road:  

Personally for me, exploring by road is always the best option from Bangalore/ Hyderabad/ Goa if you have more days to take rest and explore Hampi.

Where to stay in Hampi?:

The automan would leave you in the temple side of tungabadra river. If you are lucky you can watch the small elephant (Lakshmi) taking the morning bath in the river. We were lucky I believe. You have to take a couple of minutes ferry ride to go to the other side of the river where you will have all your stays place clustered together. This side is called Virupapur gaddi.

Bathing scenes of Lakshmi

Shanti Guest House : (Cost of 1 room is 1500Rs -Max 2 Person) Book in advance during season time.

Mougli Guest House & Restaurant: (Cost of 1 room is 1500Rs -Max 3 Person)- Contact +91 9448217588

These 2 are the best options if you really want to experience a nice home stay away with basic amenities, intact with nature. We stayed in Mougli Guest house, a pleasant guest house, surrounded by greenery and rice field. They serve good English breakfast . There is a nice swing outside every hut which is the best part to relax with a good book with your favorite music plugged in your ears.

You can also book yourself in Hotel clarks, Orange county, Hyatt place, Heritage palace. These are some of the good luxury hotels in Hampi.

FOOD-Where to eat in Hampi?

1. Breakfast option:  As there is lot of foreigners visiting this architectural heritage city, the restaurants have customised to their taste buds. You wanna try out good English Breakfast, Spanish breakfast in Mougli, Shanti guest house itself. German Bakery is also a good option for good European style breakfast.

If you want to try Indian breakfast, there is couple of local sellers for good idlis, Maggi or bread omlet.

2. Lunch /Dinner options: If you roaming around Virupapur gaddi side of Hampi. You can find eating options in the same place/ Guest house.

If you exploring that side of Hampi, Anjener hill (Monkey hill), you have very limited options (almost no restaurants). We literally starved after exhausting cycling for 15 km in sun.

If you are in the other side try our Mango tree, Tamarind tree restaurant, chill out in Bamboo restaurant. We had in Tamarind tree restaurant close to the vittala temple. Try out the Tamarind Tree Thali and spinach bajjis, they were really yummy.

We found a Localities who were so kind to cook just for us. They really filled our tummy with very good Indian food (Masala Rice).  I am attaching you the location. If you are near by, it can help you.,76.479663
Selfie with localities who exclusively made food for us

Transportation within Hampi

Hire a cycle/Bike:  If you can cycle around 15-25 kms (To and fro) for a day  I would strongly recommend you to hire a cycle. +91 8277092106  you can contact to hire a cycle or bike. That's what we did. Cycling around in between the paddy field and mountains is must to experience. Except the initial 1-2 km is bit of unmade road. Most of the roads are good to cycle around.

Hire an auto: you can talk to same auto man for siteseeing. He will charge you 1200 Rs for the whole day.

Things to carry:

1. Carry waters, you have break down to have fresh sweet coconut waters on the way to keep you hydrated throughput the ride.

2. If you are dust allergic please carry something to cover your nose ( Dust can trigger your sinus). As I faced this problem, which can be annoying in your travel.  (optional)

3. Sun Glasses, Sunscreens,

4. Some light snacks (if you are particular about eating during travel)

5. Wear comfortable light clothes, shoes (To walk/Cycle)

6. (If you are cycling) Take a head light with you, cycling back late after the sunset (there is no street lights). Cell phone lights or Small cycling head light is preferable. (We dint have one, so I strongly recommend for safe drive)-- But this experience to drive in dark roads is just a add on to our adventure.

My next post will contain the list of places you can look out in Hampi :)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Avalabetta Hill Top-Karnataka


                 Bengaluru, a city flooded with traffic jam every nook and corner. With weekends on board,  I keep hunting for my next unexplored destination. I personally love to go to a much peaceful place, away from gadgets,  where I can experience some fresh air touching my face, some sweet chirps of bird putting a smile on my face, where i can just keep pressing the acceleration without any hop on and off of clutch in traffic signals.

With scorching summers of Bengaluru, most of places road trip destination around bangalore is a bit dry till monsoon can revive it.  So, was the plan to avalabetta, which is pretty close and can be planned for a one day trip. 

Avalabetta known for the scary hilltop view is around 110 km from south of Bangalore. It takes comfortably about 3 hours drive through NH 44. I would highly recommend to start early, so that you would not miss the sunrise. We missed the sunrise by 30 minutes.

NH 44 to Avalabetta 
Sun rise @ 5.58 am

You can easily google out the destination. We took a diversion from peserandra and its about 18 Km drive from there.  If you wanna really relax, just open down your windows feel the fresh air and lush green lands outside. The road is covered with colorful gulmohar trees, medicated smell of eucalyptus, and cooling tamarind, neem trees, sprouting along side of the road.  We halted here and there in few farms, spoke to localities and uprooted some seasonal fresh vegetables for home. You can pay them some decent money and they will be very happy. 
Fresh carrot uprooted by localities 

Carrot farm

Some grape yard on the way

Cauliflower farm

My favorite cauliflower

A pic together with cauliflowers

Driving down further, we reached the spot by around quarter past seven. you have a good parking place for car and bikes. The panoramic view around is bit dry as it is summer time, but i have heard post monsoon the place is very green.

I would, recommend to take good amount of water bottles, small packed breakfast or snacks as there are no shops available in the base on the hill. You can find localities selling water bottles and some tender coconuts. You need to walk from the base to the top of the hills. You can reach the hill top within 30 mins of medium level climbing. Ensure that you carry some food and enough water. 

Avalabetta hill top
Avalabetta Hill top, BEHIND BAR !!!:P

There is a narasimhar temple in the top, looked to be built under the cave of the mountain, which eventually is renovated with cemented koburam. After a short dharshanam, we headed towards the scary point, avalabetta hill top. Unfortunately due to some security reasons, the hilltop is closed a month back. So if any one wants to visit to take some crazy picture on the hilltop, please do not go, as you will return disappointed as there is no way you can get there. There is police guard to ensure that no one climbs of the bars.

Here we go !

Smaller version, just to compensate the visit

so, there are some view points here and there to click some picture. There is giant tamarind tree near to the temple, where you can lie down and sleep for hours except that you would feel hungry.  No air conditioner can replace that cool breeze beneath the tree. It is something, one should feel and cant be expressed in words.

After spending some good time, we started back revisiting few farms and back to home.  

If you have any doubts, post in the below comments. I would be to happy to help if i can :)