So, a few weeks ago I took a trip to Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site, located in the Bellary district of Karnataka. Our hotel was situated in the nearby town of Hospet (also known as Hosapete), which is 12 kms from Hampi. The town is well connected by rail and road.
TRANSPORT TO HAMPI
There is an overnight train to Hospet that you can catch from either Bangalore or Mysore. We took a road trip to Hampi from Bangalore. As you drive, you can see hills, trees and large rocks. The trip took us 6 hours in total. Starting at 6am in the morning, stopping for breakfast and toilet breaks and reaching Hospet at about lunch time. The road to Hosapete is fairly good, consisting of the national highways for the most part, with some bumpy roads as you get closer to Hampi.
You will know you are near the town once you reach the Tungabhadra River valley. After reaching the river it was another two hour journey to the hotel. There are a wide variety of hotels that you can find in the town; make sure to check reviews and photos before booking online.
After settling in to our hotel room, we went downstairs to the reception to get a map of Hampi. Not to worry if your hotel doesn’t have a map — you can buy one from local street vendors or guides as you enter Hampi. The map should locate all the temples found at the heritage site. Each temple will have a number against it, which makes for a good itinerary.
The first monument that you will find as you enter the Hampi gates, is the Sasive Kalu Ganesha. This structure’s name translates to the ‘Mustard Seed Ganesha’.
The monument is an open plain pillared Mandapa (porch-like) structure of the god, Ganesha. He is the Lord of Wisdom and Knowledge with the head of an Elephant. He is the son of Shiva and Parvathi.
The structure is 2.4 metres tall, with elaborate carvings. The belly of Ganesha has been made to look like a mustard seed.
When you see the sculpture from the front, Ganesha is sitting on a pedestal, while, from the back you can see Ganesha sitting on his mother Parvathi’s lap.
Don’t worry if you are afraid of heights or trekking, there are relatively flat stairs (as you can see from the image on the left ) to easily get you to the top. From the top of the hill, you can see breathtaking views of the many temples in Hampi. Make sure to wear your trainers or sandals with good grip, rather than flip-flops (like me — whoops) as the terrain is quite difficult to walk on. From the top of the hill, you will be able to see the other side of Hampi. Find the broken Gopuram of one of the temples, on the left and the large banana plantations to your right. Past the plantations, lies the Tungabhadra river. As you walk further, you can find the Kadale Kalu Ganesha, translated to the Peanut Ganesha. Unlike the Sasive Kalu Ganesha, the Kadale Kalu Ganesha is guarded by a gate, which is locked for most of the day.
Please comment below if you need any advice about travelling to Hampi or how to plan your day when you are out there. You will find the amazing views and temples we found as we climbed to the top of the hill, in my next blog. Follow me to keep up with the traveller tales.
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