Estern Hemigway said that never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Well, this was my first and certainly not the last trip with two people I am closest to. How could I be not excited! Long phone calls discussing the details, listing the things we want to do and of course the selfies we want to take and photos we want to click. Endless planning for a perfect trip. We were going with 30 unknown people and that’s all we knew till the trip day and luckily the cities we choose has an awe-inspiring history and that added the dramatic flavor to this whole trip. Every feeling was new in an old but ruin city.
We were to leave on 21st December 2017, at 4:15 AM and the timing itself stated that we wont be sleeping well for that night. We had to reach Pune Railway Station around 03:30 and since my place is very far from station I decided to stay at my friends place. To my surprise, most of my packing was done by my mom, since it was very hectic day at office and also, my whole family came to drop me at friend’s place. Perks of having a loving family, I guess.
When we reached Pune Junction, we met the volunteers of these wonderful organisation, who help people to explore different forts and destinations, called “Gadvede”. And like their organisation, they were wonderful. To be honest, at first, I had this impression, that it is going to be just three of us, enjoying our little time off in our own little world, but I am so glad that somehow the world expanded and we were able to welcome many amazing people in our world. And all thanks to four people who made that process enjoyable. Rohit, Shantanu, Prasad and Ashwini our managers, as shall call them, made sure that everyone got along, well almost everyone.
It was a morning train so instead of sleeping we decided to stand in train doors, feeling the fresh cold breeze and watching sun come up. It was a sight to behold. I even managed to capture a perfect sunrise as my journey photograph.
Remaining train journey was all about getting to know co passengers, playing games and capturing some train photographs. We were to get down at Hospate around 8:00PM, which is around 12 KM from our first destination Hampi. The day was tiring and after completing our dinner, we went for short walk which ended with us having pan.
There was a time when I used to travel by train every 3 months just to meet my granny or masi, but then we started travelling by car. Now that I have traveled by train again, I realised how much I missed the train travels.
Our Day 2 started with authentic South Indian food, Upma and Shevai. So mandetory local food eating was off my list and it was time to take another destination off my bucket list – Hampi The Ruin City. Everyone has a bucket list of places they want to travel and hampi was among top 5 in mine. I had read sooo much about this place and had seen soo many beautiful pictures of this city. It was very difficult to stay clam. I was excited beyond anything.
Our tour started with Mr. Hussein, our tour guide for the day. First place he took us to was Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple in Hampi. One thing you should know about the Hampi is that, though once it was the second largest city in South Aisa, all you can see now is a lost glory of the city. Every monument built out of giant granite rocks could have been a grand wonder but the rivalry with the mughals lead to the down fall and destruction of the city, now all you can see is a ruin city. Same is with the Sasivekalu temple. A grand broken Ganesha murthy depicting the glorious and ravaging history.
It is said that, near sasivekalu temple there was an university of architects, where students were taught to build temples and other structures. Hence you can see the small demo structures leading to the grand monuments & temples and all are ruined. The techniques they used such as the rock balancing techniques and stone cutting techniques were very modern for their era. It made me wonder, were they more developed in 15th century than we are now? Or just because we could click a picture of their work made us more developed?!?
The next stop was at Virupaksha temple, one of the very few temples who survived destruction of the city. The Shiva temple was built in 7th century. You can google its history. The temple has beautiful carvings inspired from Chinese and Roman style and not to mention it has an enormous Pravesh Dwara. The real beauty of this structure can only be felt. No picture can describe how you feel when you touch a 13 centuries older pillar or when you look at a painting which is that old. But at least I can give glimpse of its beauty.
Another big temple is now considered as a statue, because it was broken during the trashing of the city, known as the Narsimha statue, It is one of the biggest sculptures in the city.
A city that big, has to have kings palace and queens palace. Unfortunately all you get to see is their base. After the attack sultan burned down the entire palaces and other structures, leaving us with more imagination. But a fine structure survived. The structure is built like a lotus and from there it derived its name ‘Lotus Mahal’. A masterpiece which was used by the queens as socializing area. It is a two storied mahal, the base is of Islamic style architecture and the 1st floor was of Dravidian style. The mahal had an unique air conditioning system which consist of use of clay pipelines. Who wouldn’t want to take picture in front of such amazing structure? And so we all clicked picture standing in front of the mahal and then on the beautiful lawn in front of the mahal. I almost have around 200 photos of this place. Different people and different angles and different life-time memories.
Our Last stop for the day was the famous Vithala Temple. This place was my main attraction for the trip, I was very exicted to see the musical pillers, which produce the music of 10 different musical instruments. It is said that when the piller were is good condition, there music could be heard from the distance of 200 meter. Then the second attraction was Garud Ratha, a huge chariot,with fine sculpturing. The wheels of this ratha rotated around but due to damage and hampering, it has now been cemented to the ground. The sculptures of temple consist of different stories of Mahabharata, Ramayana and Panchatantra. Some sculptures had its own specialty. You could see a angry bull from one angle and a roaring elephant from another. And when you see a masterpiece of brilliant architect and creativity, you wonder, THIS PEOPLE WITH LIMITED RESOURCES COULD ACHIEVE SUCH EXCELLENCE LIKE PRODUCING MUSIC FROM STONES AND ALL WE DO IS PLAY LUDO! Its good to see something astonishing in you life. It does have some kind of soothing effect on you. I love such moments.
The day ended with a golden sun setting by the Tungabhadra river and a cup of Chai.