Have you read part one? Click here to Read.

Day two was sorted out from before. We were ditching bikes and taking auto. Since everything we wanted to see for the day was in another part of the town which was an hour away, the good thing was that everything was nearby to each other. Which meant we could cover many places. We didn’t have much info of places we were seeing but Sajal and Ram had it worked out. We checked out barring one room, so we could leave all our luggage here. The plan was sight-seeing till 5 or 6, come back, freshen up and leave. Train was at 9 and station was more than an hour away. To keep her legs straight and not get more injury, Arushi sat in the back. Because of her fairness, most people at Hampi assumed Arushi as a foreigner. She was asked by an aunty if her husband could take a photo with Arushi. And every time she hopped onto the auto, people gave sympathetic look to her assuming we have hitched a ride with her to loot her dollar money.

Vittala temple complex

Our first location looked barren and very disappointing. What we didn’t know was that a ride is supposed to take us to the historical place which is a kilometer away. There was this one boy who volunteered to take our empty glasses to throw in the dustbin. The dustbin was on the other side of the queue and we didn’t buy from him, so it wasn’t polite handing him over and asking him to throw. He insisted. Sarita and Arushi got talking with the boy and we learnt that he studied in school and came here on weekends to sell juice and fruits instead of playing at home. He carried himself quite presentably as well. The beautiful people of Hampi impressing us with encounter at a time.

Spread across massive endless ruins, Vittala temple complex is huge. It’s spread across all directions and had so many beautifully engraved buildings it will leave you overwhelmed.

A guide approached us. He showed his id card and he was quite professional in his approach. But I have never hired a guide at any place till date and had quite the misconception about needing one. However, the rest considered it and thank god for that. Otherwise this place wouldn’t have resonated with me. You wouldn’t know the history, how this place was once an architectural delight and what is now is less than 20% of what it once was, none of it will evoke anything in you.

Our guide with his fascinating stories about this place had a flair of a narrator. This temple complex houses massive halls where the royals danced and how it was covered with curtains to keep it private from commoners.

He showed the clever techniques used during those times for hinges in such a way that rain droplets would pass through without wetting any curtains. It was alluring and mesmerising, like living through the stories he was telling. He showed us where the royals got married and told us everything about every pillar and every design with so much love, it was like being transported to that time.

There was this small room of pillars where every pillar was supposed to make music and together you could weave a symphony. He quickly got onto showing us a demo. A crowd got around soon and trust me he wasn’t lying. He repeatedly made different musical sound from every pillar and put together a delightful piece. We were elated to no bounds. 

He showed us a secret hallway used by royals, it was beneath the ground, dark and so quiet you could almost hear your breath.  

Hard to imagine now but we spent a good 2 hours in that place. Even our auto driver said people don’t spend more than 40 minutes there. There were two more relatively minor places we visited which was just nearby. Queen’s bath, Stepped Tank, Dasara Dibba and Stone Doors.

Lotus temple

By now I was sunburnt, we were thoroughly exhausted and no amount of hydration sufficed the scorching heat we were under. But one look at Lotus temple and all our exhaustion vanished. Not only the lotus temple is a stunning piece of beauty, it is also surrounded by greenery. 

The park had many shades for us to chill in between the different structures present inside. If the lotus temple didn’t take our breath away already (which it did), the stables at the far end was a sight. 

Such were the mammoth of affluence back then that their stables are the size of cricket field, well maintained, beautifully crafted that thousand years later we come visit it and marvel at its beauty.

Virupaksha Temple

In the end we visited Virupaksha Temple. There’s a big ass elephant right inside the temple. Careful of monkeys because there’s just too many. The main attraction is a dark chamber with a slit on the wall towards the exit. The sunray pass through this slit forms an inverted shadow of the main tower on the wall, a kind of pinhole camera effect created with stonework. Usually someone around will show it to you.

Back to Base

The initial plan was to be back by 5 so we could visit a dam on the way. That was definitely not happening now that it’s already sunset. On our way back though, our autowala was on a roll. His playlist was so killer we paused ours. Classic hit 90s Bollywood song with a view of the city getting it warmish hue with the sun setting and wind on our faces, it was splendid. Dinner at our café which had become our spot was a sentimental affair. Great food, reminder of the previous mad glorious night, the comfort of sit down mattress cozy setting, one last tall glass of tea, none of us wanted to leave that place. If only there was no return tickets in place.

There is this one little thing that happened. On our way just before hitting the highway, the streets were pitch black. While taking a turn, from the little we could see from the auto headlight, there was a parked moped with two guys sitting on the edge overlooking the river making drinks. Right on the road, in the middle of nowhere. That sight and we all knew we had to do this someday. Park ourself on a deserted road and make a peg.

In the news at the station we learnt that the same leopard was last spotted the previous day around Anjaneya Hill, right around the time we were there. No wonder there was so much danger in the air. The minute we got onto the train, Ram got on with his dealing skills. We were scattered around this time too. He got us 6 berths next to each other except the lower two berths. The one that counted the most. The lower berth people hadn’t arrived yet and when they did there was no budging them. It was the same all over again, like last time. We were starting to get up when an idea struck me. I said to Arushi very politely to keep her leg gently to not hurt herself and touched her bandaged exposing it to the old couple to see. Arushi had forgotten about the broken leg and everyone had forgotten using the emotional card since it hadn’t worked the first time. Just that second Ram quickly taking que, jumped in with the two seats plus extra tickets as well it worked! We had the entire section to our self. Just being able to sit together and play cards to our heart’s content was everything.

Hampi was never in my travel list. I have never echoed with architectural places, let alone on a hot and humid month. I must have the cold breeze hit me (like hill stations) and not the loo. I must have water in the places I visit where I dive in and make merry. Hampi had none. But it had a halo feel to it like engulfing you in its aura. It was mesmerising. And for the first time a weekend trip seemed so short. I will come back again. For the vibe. For the homestay cafes, for the seeds and for the absolute amazing people. Hampi you are one of your kind. You are mood.