It was way back in feb 2011.
This is one of my most memorable travels due to the things that happened to us and also because I can never forget the beauty and vastness of the empire.
For the most part, this is a picture heavy post. There is no charm in words compared to the amazing sights I have tried to capture through the lens.
I hope it takes you back to your visit of Hampi and I hope it makes you want to visit Hampi.
The main area where food was being served on the occasion of the Utsav. People were gathered from all parts of Karnataka to witness the cultural festival.
Elephant freshly bathed in the Tunga-Bhadra river and being taken to the temple for a puja
There were very few moments and very few places we didn’t find anybody around us. We often had to wait long to take a picture without anybody else other than us in it.
Only some of the temples have puja being performed in them to this day. The others which are abandoned have become a house for bats look spooky even. Also some others are in ruins and have restoration in process.
This is one of my favorite pics from the lot. Away from the crowd, this guy finds a place of worship of his own.
One of my cousins was an architecture student at that time and had visited the place numerous times already.. so he led the way to a walking tour..
As we kept walking it was becoming more and more difficult to ignore the smell of urine.
Due to Hampi Utsav, people from all the neighouring towns, villages and generally from most of Karnataka were there.. There are special pujas performed and some cultural programmes like dances and classical music oraganized and free lunches in the form of ‘prasada'(food offering to people after worship to God) given. Its the biggest cultural festival in this part of Karnataka…
So the crowd was crazy, people eating from plantain leaves and areca plates and throwing them around and dogs feeding from them..
There were not enough toilets, so people peeing near tourist attractions!
We had to make our exit from the area where the main festival was happening in the evening and the scene was almost like a stampede. I was being surrounded by four guys around me to safe gaurd me from sick men who I could have killed. My blood was boiling as I was hurling curses at them.
And once we reached the exit.. it was a whole new struggle again to find an auto to take us to Hospet.. I was frantically trying to call a friend who lives in Hospet for help and the guys were trying their best to get us a ride.
Since we did not get a ride to hospet for a long time, we went to have dinner at the Mango tree restaurant. And after dinner, we realized it is all the more difficult to get an auto from there. We were stuck there for over an hour and I was almost in tears as my legs had given way by then and I could not walk any more. But after a while again, when we made our way out in the dark of the night, we were spooked out by a lone granny sitting on the rocks and chanting away!! Could not control my tears any more.
At last after about 2 hours after dinner and walking about 3 more miles(after an entire day of walking in the hot sun) we found an open-back auto with the driver crying!!(really)… and my cousin was hit by the police with a lathi as the auto was too full…. words cant express, we were trying to safe gaurd our money and cameras and I was hurling curses and crying.
But in all, its one of my most memorable travels… thanks to the guys!
If you plan to make a visit to Hampi, please avoid making it during the Utsav.