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Friday, January 26, 2007

Hampi India: Video, Photo and Tourist Information

Along with my colleagues, I did visit Hampi last weekend. It was rather an un scheduled trip, planned in less than 48 hours. We wanted to attend a colleague's engagement ceremony in Bellary, Karnataka and we were not willing to travel all the way to Bellary from Hyderabad (350+ kms) just to attend one function. So the nearest tourist place being Hampi, it was decided to visit Hampi.

ನಾನು ಚಿಕ್ಕವನಿದ್ದಾಗ ಹ೦ಪಿಗೆ ಹೊಗಿದ್ದೆ. ಈ ಪ್ರಯಾಣದಿ೦ದ ಹಳೇ ನೆನಪುಗಳುಗಳು ಮರುಕಳಿಸಿದವು (I had been to Hampi long long back, sometimes in childhood and this visit refreshed the memories.)

This post is my personal account of Hampi visit. I've written a customized review that'll be useful for people planning to visit Hampi at Mouthshut.com. If you're looking for tourist information on Hampi (like best time to travel, what to see, how much time to spend, travel and stay, and other details) please checkout my review on Hampi available at the end of the post

Check out some videos first.

Video 1: Musical Pillars at Vittal Temple, Hampi.
The pillars made out of stone generate musical tunes when struck with hand. Different pillars produce different sound (that of Veena, Mrudangam, key board, horse gallop, etc). Each pillar generates a specific sound and this depends on its density, length, space etc. Without any musical instruments people of 15th century used to have concerts...


Note: The explanation for the videos are in Telugu language. Inconvenience caused by this is deeply regretted.



Video 2: Multiple faces: One stone representing different animals:


Video 3: Hampi museum
This one is lengthy. Ignore the noise in the video. No explanation here.

All videos were shot in SE K750i. (Read my review of this product here)


We left Hyderabad on Friday midnight and reached Hampi by Saturday afternoon loosing half day in travel which could have been used for more productive purposes.(reasons were many: driver didn't knew the way, the roads were pathetic, we started late and our estimate of required time was wrong)

We rented a guest house in Hampi, had refreshments, hired a guide (His name was Nagesh) and spent half day seeing key places in Hampi. Evening we went to TB Dam near Hospet.

The local residents of Hampi have kept all other professions aside to encash from tourism boom. Hampi has gained popularity after UNICEF recognition and Jackie's movie, "The Myth". One child was trying to sell maps to us and was saying "ಬೋಣಿ ಮಾಡಿ ಸಾರ್ " (Kannada for: be my first customer and make my day). I asked him its afternoon 2 PM and is it your first sale still? He replied that he just returned from school and just started selling his goods. Most of the houses are converted into Guest Houses and are rented to tourists and roof tops and open spaces are used as restaurants.

Bicycles were available for rent at Rs 40 per day, a cheap and useful vehicle to roam around and explore the place.

We left Hampi next morning, went to attend the function in Bellary and left for Hyderabad later in the afternoon.

Below are the photos we took during our Hampi visit. The first slide show contains only those photos showing Hampi, while second slideshow contains all photos, including individual photos of team members of our Hampi visit.



Nearly 200 images...ignore if you don't have patience/interest in seeing all of them.


Tunga Bhadra river (ತು೦ಗ ಭದ್ರಾ ನದಿ)was almost empty leaving no room for water sports while TB Dam at Hosakote was good.

Ideally one should spend minimum of one to two days at Hampi to get maximum benefit. Also when you go on a tour, the time spent on site seeing should exceed time spent on travel. But in our case, out of 48 hours we spent on tour 24 hours were lost in travel, 12 hours in sleep and refreshment and only around 10-12 hours were spent in actual site seeing. But since it was not planned in advance and still served the basic purpose of visiting Hampi there's no regrets or complaints about it. The trip gave a break from office and served as a refreshment.

Acknowledgments:
Laptop and Data Transfer courtesy: జయనంద న్ రెడ్డి గారు (Jayanandan Reddy)
Cameras used: Olympus FE 170, Sony DSC W5, Sony Ericson's K750i
(Sony DSC W5 Courtesy: జయనంద న్ రెడ్డి గారు,Other two are mine.)
Internet backbone for file uploading: Airtel Broadband.
Flash Slideshow: slide.com

A thought...
When our guide was explaining that in 15th century the land was so prosperous and all, my mind ran few centuries ahead... How would things be then? I guess guides will be explaining to tourists (say in 25th century) something like this: "In 21st century there were very popular IT cities called electronic city and Hi-Tech City, where there were many IT companies, where people used to use laptops and computers and develop high quality softwares, they used to sell these softwares to American companies and made a living out of it...in that time only they were able to interact with people across the globe using video conferencing...they had build very strong anti virus capabilities to protect themselves but..." leaving it to your imagination...

Some more videos:
Musical Fountain at TB Dam, Hoskote, Karnataka

Another video on musical pillars:

Leave your comments.

Similar: Karkala Photos| Golconda | Manipal Endpoint|SkandaGiri Bangalore |Anantagiri, Hyderabad| Bekal Fort |Abbi Falls Coorg|

Hampi: Tourist Information:

What is there in Hampi?
Hampi contains mainly rocks and temples and monuments dating back to 15th century which have historic significance.
The inherited heritage of the then kings are now under ruins and tell their story with silent tears.
Hampi main temple
How much time can I spend there?
Places of tourist interest in Hampi is spread across over 64 square kms. If you love history and archeology you can spend weeks here. A minimum of one day is needed to see the most important places. You can spend anywhere between half day to 2 days depending on your convenience

Travel and Accommodation
Hampi is around 350 kms from Bangalore and 450 kms from Hyderabad. Bellary is the nearest airport and railway station, from where Hampi is around 60 kms. Avoid going by road (till Bellary) as the roads are very very bad.

Hospet is the nearest town for hotel accommodation, In Hampi many people have converted their house into guest house and rent it to tourists, which is a relatively better option (both in terms of cost and convenience). Bicycles and bikes are available on rent for local site seeing. Depending on season/off season, your bargaining abilities, luxuries offered and other factors, accommodation at Hampi may cost anywhere between 100 to 500 Rs per person.

Best Time to Visit

October to February is the ideal time to visit Hampi. But post December the river thungabhadra, which flows nearby wont have much water hence you wont be able to indulge in any water sports (say boat ride)

During November (usually first week) there’ll be Hampi Utsav, during which you can find additional attractions like cultural shows, exhibitions etc. But at this time Hampi will be over crowded and you cant enjoy the natural beauty of Hampi (also it’ll be expensive)

Places to see
Virupaksha temple is the main temple, while other places are: Vittal temple, Kadalekai Ganesha (Groundnut shaped Ganesha), Lotus Mahal, Veerabhadra idol etc. Each piece of stone has its own story hence the list is endless.

Other useful information:

Only in main Virupaksha temple photography and videography are charged, rest of the Hampi is free to shoot.

Hiring a guide is a must if you need directions to visit various places and get some description of each place. Guides will charge around 250 for half day to thousand rupees per day, depending on various factors (your negotiation skills, season/off season etc)

TB Dam near Hospet is another place of interest, go there during evening to see musical fountain.

Carrying your own water will save you lot of money. A Rs 12 one liter bottle is sold at Rs 15-20 in Hampi.

If you’re a foreign national go with an Indian friend if possible. The locals here at Hampi adopt all tricks and techniques to extract maximum money from foreign nationals.

Hope this was useful. Additional photos and videos and description at my blog.

Related: Keladi Fort * Bekal Fort photos * Monkeyman in Chitradurga Fort * Skandagiri * Nandi Hills *Alamparai fort and backwaters * Mattur near Shimoga * Kodachadri * Gingee Fort * Golconda fort, Hyderabad * Hampi * Bidar *

2 comments :

Ravindra said...

Useful review. Only issue was I got here from Mouthshut review and there you said Roads are pathetic; but I was not sure if it was Bangalore to Hampi or Hyderabad to Hampi. Now it is confirmed that it is Hyderabad to Hampi.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Ravindra,

I'm glad you found the review useful. Happy to see that this post finally received a comment after 7 odd months...

I haven't checked Bangalore to Hampi road. Hyd to Hampi road was bad partially, from the moment we entered Karnataka border bad roads started...

That was 7 months ago. Hope roads might have improved now..