Trip Period: 16th Aug to 18th Aug 2008
Approx Distance (To and From): 1405 Kms
Motor-bike: Bajaj Pulsar (180 cc)
Friend in the trip: Anirudh Lungare
Trip Route: Pune > Satara > Kolhapur > Belgaum (Karnataka) > Hubli – Dharwad > Amriteshwar Temple – Annigeri > Koppal > Hospet > Hampi > Hospet > Hubli – Dharwad > Belgaum > Kolhapur (Maharashtra)> Satara > Pune[divider]
Almost after 6.5 years, I am writing the story of that crazy wet journey. When I look at the snaps, each kilometer of the journey starts running in front of eyes. All that fun (nonsenseness) bring thrill & joy. I am sure I will cover the story with all the main aspects of it…. This trip is memorable not only due to the monsoon but also a worst incident which happened in my professional life right after coming back from the trip..!
15th August 2008 (night): Monsoon was at it’s best. After enjoying 15th August holiday, I called Anirudh and asked him if he want to get crazy. Yes..No..Yes…& Yes..he responded. I reached his home which was nearby around 9 pm. For sure – It wasn neither a great time to start a bike ride nor a season to be on highways. With rain coats & couple of cloths, we both were on Pune-Satara road around 10.30 pm.
Anirudh used to like adventures and was always try to grab any such opportunities. He was excited and was talking lot. Since we didn’t had music arrangements, talking was a ultimate entertainment. Rain was catching us almost all the way. Pulsar 180’s headlight was providing enough light to see the road in that rainy stormy night. How crazy was it…..humm! Thanking to those dhabas, tea-stalls on highways which gave us not only shelter but also hot tea to get warm.
We crossed state boundary around 3 am and felt tired. Nipani to Belgaum is kind of humanless area and a woody road. Wet cold of early morning compelled us to halt..but where? After looking for place to stay for while, we found a small village. I stopped the bike at a bus-stand for shelter. Rain was heavy and cold was killer. Even I don’t remember when we slept on the benches of the stand. It was surely a sweet sleep after long drive.
16th August 2008: Woke up around 8.30 am as the stand started getting busy with buses & passengers. No shy! After all we were passenger too 🙂 We got ready in the stand canteen, had breakfast of Wadai Sambhar, the speciality of the south. With good sleep & food, we felt energetic.
Amruteshwar Temple – Annigeri
After crossing a traffic of Hubbali city, I saw a sign board by Karnataka Tourism – ‘Amruteshwar Temple’ – near Annigeri town. We decided to check in. Going through the tiny lanes of the town, we reached in front of the jwell. Though the temple looks like any other from outside, someone like me can surely catch the archeological importance of it.
Amruteshwar – the lord Shiva, temple dates back to 1050 BC and is a fine example of Kalyani Chalukyan Art. Annigeri was a capital place of Kalyani Chalukyas, though for a short period and is birth place of famous Kannada poet ‘Adikavi Pampa’. Wow.. such a great place of historic importance! The temple is protected monument and I must say that well managed as well.
We spent almost an hour in and around the temple. The soapstone temple was giving a pleasant feeling in that cold wet day.
After having tea and snacks, we marched forward. Our target was Hampi! I still remember that cloudy sky and lonely windy road. We were happy so far but worried about the weather. Crazy two decided to keep on driving non-stop until we catch our destination.
Though it was tiring, the journey was awesome. We were observing Karnataka closely through it’s villages, farms, lakes and all those wonderful people with their traditional attires. We were happy 🙂 We kept running all day and entire night. It was a tough route as hardly any tea-stall or hotel was open on the road.
17th August 2008: After all night run through the bad roads, we finally entered in the diameter of amazing place called Hampi. Mighty ‘Tungabhadra Dam’ welcomed us with its open gates. We were lucky to be here in monsoon and around 15th August. This is the only time in the year when all the gates of the dam are opened. Force of water was scary but beautiful.
Bridge over the outflow of Tungabhadra river is also beautiful and we spent a good time watching the water body. Just like Amruteshwar Temple, this was another unplanned treat for us.
I must mention about the bear sanctuary which is situated just before Hampi. This gives support for the presence of mighty bear ‘Jamband’ and his bear army in Ramayana.
Finally we entered in the ruins of Hampi. Wow.. amazing..I could understand Anirudha’s reaction, as I have been here before during my Kanyakumari trip on 100 cc bike. Those mighty stones reminds us the lines from Ramayana depicting Kishkindha Nagari of Sugriva & Hanuman. Hampi used to be called as ‘Pampa Kshetra of Kishkindha’. Monsoon was a perfect season to visit the place due its peaceful atmosphere & lush greenery.
First we satisfied our stomachs and started satisfying our eyes & souls. We started with the darshana of Lord Virupaksha. Mighty Gopurams of the temple in the main bazaar is the first site of attraction. We bought our offerings for god and entered through grand entrance. A cute temple elephant welcomed us by giving blessings with his trunk 🙂 Temple is big with mighty gopurams. Many sculptures depicting stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata are attractive. Big corridors, Sabha Mandapas and Yadna Bhavana.. temple got everything.
After peaceful darshana, we got surprised to see the view in front of us once came out of the temple. Ruins of marketplace, Virupaksha Bazaar, with a giant monolithic bull, the Nandi in the middle. The Nandi is called as Yeduru Basavanna by locals. Amazing…
As we had to roam around quick, we hadn’t gone into the temple above. Camera did its job with it’s zoom 🙂
We decided to explore Hampi as much I we can in a day as we need to join our office back on next day..so bad!
On our route we first mate with Krishna Temple. For some reason, the gate was closed, hence we had to satisfy only with Gopura darshan. It is a beautiful temple for sure. Damaged gopura but still amazing one.
We rested here for a while and moved ahead. On the motor road, a amazing piece of ruins adds a royal touch. ‘Talarighatta Gate’ along with fort wall welcomes you to the royal safari. Passing the bike through the gate was a Royal feel 🙂
6.7 meter high Lord Narasimha’s monolith is scary at first instance and amazing when we get close to it. Though Laxmi’s idol is now destroyed, one can see some signs of it. It is called as ‘Laxmi-Narsimha’ or ‘Ugra Narasimha’ due it’s angry face.
Beautifully carved ‘Torana’ over the idol adds the perfection. Sheshnaag creates shelter for the god.
Something which we just saw in pictures till date was in front of us. Happy 🙂
After having lot of photo sessions here with great lord Narasimha, we saw a great Shiva Linga nearby – Badavi linga. In a closed shrine, the great monolithic Shiva Linga is placed, surrounded by water. Peaceful..it is!
Devotees / tourists were throwing flowers over the Linga. Eyes carved on the Linga are making it alive. A small ray of sunlight was making the shrine enlightened. Very simple..very calm..!!
We had sugarcane juice here and I bought small shiva linga made up of black stone just as a memento of the trip.
Akka Tangi Gudda / Sister Stones
On our way we saw two huge stone boulders collapsed on each other. They are mighty and placed right beside the roadway.. or I will say..the road is placed right near to the boulders!! Due the sign board we could recognize the name and story of the place. ‘Akka Tangi Gudda’..a local name of the Sister Stones. We saw many tourists were giving amazing poses for snaps..some of them were funny!
One of the folk-tale says about the cursed sisters who tried to ridicule the place. For me, it was a nature’s miracle!
Queen’s Bath – The Citadel
Queen’s bath, as the name suggests the citadel is grand and beautifully made for beautiful queens. Lush green lawns around the place adds a touch of elegance. Various corridors and rooms make the place big and decorated.
We were on our way moving ahead, spending 15-20 minutes at each attraction. It was hard to hurry at those amazingly attractive places but time was a constraint.
Not only these monuments but also the rocks, various ruins, hills and each & everything in Hampi was mysteriously good to watch. We never saw such giant rocky hills, such big area of ruins, such big group of monuments.
Saraswati Temple, Brahma-Vitthala Temple and Hazara-Ramachandra Temple are the few ones which are famous and attractive on the way.
Among all, Vitthala temple which is the best attraction of the area is amazing and iconic. Stone Chariot of Vitthala temple is world famous and an icon of Hampi!
Once you enter through mighty gopuram, the amazing chariot welcomes you. I dont think that the elephants placed in front of the chariot are at their original place. Wonderful to hear that the chariot was actually getting used in the temple. Another best part of the temple are Kalyana Mandapa and Mukh-Mandapa. Wonders… pillars of the mandapas creates real sounds of various musical instruments like drum, tabala, dhol etc.
Another set of amazing monuments are Lotus Mahal (palace) at Zanana Enclosure with couple of watch towers and Elephant’s stable. The stable is massive and presents good examples of mix art which can be determined through it’s domes. Ganigitti Jain Temple adds a flavour of additional religion in this Hindu kingdom.
Well done!! We did a great job in covering most of the important monuments in a day. I agree about insufficiency of the time, but was happy at that time for exploring the place in faster manner.
Tired..tired..sleepy… wow non-stop run and a long day. Still we had to get back by next day morning. Run started again. Goodbye Hampi!! We were on the highway again. I remember that funny incident when we were relaxing at a bus-stand of a village on the road around 3 am in the night. Police men inquired us and both of us were without driving-licence. Insane.. how we forget such an important document behind? but we did. It was a well settled matter by Santosh. We had to escape, we did. After continuously running for two & half hour we reached Karnataka border. Rain started and it wasn’t a good time for us anymore. Cold & water..we just got frustrated. All night’s run made us sleepy. Can’t believe now..how could we manage couple of nights without sleep, continuous rain and freezing cold highway…!
Some how.. we dragged ourselves back home.. I was in office around 6 pm on 18th August 2008 🙂