Day 2 (Contd)
After calming ourselves, we proceeded to the Steeped Tank. This seemed a very popular place because it was crowded with school kids. Trying to capture a good shot without the kids ruining it, required a lot of patience and tact. The Arien, who is not a master at this, managed it. It was a pretty warm day and the noise was killing me. This was a beautiful place but at 12 noon, with loads of school kids yelling around me – I was ready to leave.
The next place we had to visit – which was a looong walk away, was the Mahanavami Dibba – a apart of the Royal Enclosure. The Mahanavami Dibba is the tallest struture in the enclosure and looks like an elevated giant square. This structure had numerous well-engraved carvings on the panels, largely of elephants. The Arien kept shooting pics as fast as he could before the school kids landed. There was absolutely no shade and after we climbed atop the structure, we found a lot of ppl standing there – who were not visible from below. We had foolishly thought that we would be the only folks there 😀 We realized that we were in the middle of nowhere, literally, and it was time we moved on. Naturally, we could not sit down on the hot stone slabs, like the others. The lady in the picture actually shows us how bugged she is with the heat and the climb.
The next place that we were walking up to was the Queen’s Bath. This was a massive structure and looked slightly weird. There was this beeg pool ( I assume) in the middle and these funny balcony-like structures – which were inward-facing (i.e looking at the pool). Assuming the Queen did take her bath here – why would she have so many ppl observe her. It probably was the King’s Pool and all his queens probably observed him from the balcony (Utterly hilarious :D) Because it was cooler inside the structure, I wanted to spend some time here. 🙂 Hampi in December is still warm during the day. The Arien had amazing angles – thnx to the sunlight filtering in and so he was busy and then as usual, a lot of folks joined us and we knew it was time to leave. Both of us were hungry but we still had some more places to visit which the Auto driver took us to in soooper fast speed.
Next up was the renowned Stone Chariot, the popular symbol of Hampi. It was really hot by the time we reached here and thanks to the teeny single row carpet – we could manage to walk. I wanted to spend some time here but it was sooo hot and the Arien was getting cranky. So, we left without spending too much time here. Of course, not without taking this lone picture of the Stone Chariot. There were some panels that were embedded in the floor and this was probably for lighting purposes and I felt that the place would look grand at night. By then, we really wished we could break for lunch but the Auto driver told us that we had one more spot. Well, we grinned and proceeded.
The next stop was actually another popular statue, the Ugra Narasimha. Narasimha looks like he is smiling and manages to look terrifying at the same time. It seems, a statue of Lakshmi was also carved but was badly mutilated and is now no longer part of the statue. Narasimha (part human-part Lion), is seated on the Adisesha (snake) whose heads tower over him, as can be seen in this picture. It is a huge structure and as usual, trying to take a snap with just the structure was almost impossible but the Arien managed that.
We were of the assumption that the Auto driver would now drop us back, but he told us there was one more stop known as the Akka-Thangi (Sister Hills) which was on the way. This is simply an unusual rock formation where two boulders have created an arch above the road. According to the Auto driver, it was supposed to me two sisters who were married to men from two different villages and hence cold meet only at the border or some stuff like that.. 😀 Lots of tourists were taking a picture of the natural rock formation and so we did the same. If the angle is a lil skewed, blame it on the Arien who was by now very hungry and very angry. Then comes the shocker. The Auto driver does not drop us at the place where he picked us up but asks us to continue the rest of the journey by walk. We pay up but the Arien is furious and so I decide to stay silent. It was a warm day and the walk was anything but nice. It was a loooong walk and we decide not to take a coracle ride and so we keep walking and walking till my feet feel like leather and both of us are totally, completely exhausted.
At last, we arrive at the Virupaksha temple and I start praying that the food is good. We reach the board and see “Five Minit Walk” and we are ready to sit down right there. Somehow, we summon energy to walk till the resturant, which was not as close as we would like it to be. When we finally reach the place, we find a lot of folks there and we have to wait. I settle down on a chair while the Arien tells the person-in-charge that there are two of us and also finds himself a seat. In 15 minutes, the person-in-charge calls to us and with great effort, we get up and walk towards him.
We have to sit on the floor and there are mats. The food was actually placed on a slightly higher level which was perfect for when you sit on the floor. I was sure our feet would start yelling. Actually, it was quite comfortable! The food was traditional karnataka style on a banana leaf with papad and all that. The Arien had this huge grin and I honestly did not have any complaints. We sat for a while after finishing up, to soak up the place, relish the food, and stayed silent till we realized that other folks may be waiting for us to leave. On a totally hectic day, the lunch was the yummiest, bestest thing to happen. There were a lot of foreigners as well as a lot of kannadigas. We took the boat back to the river-side and then drove our car back to the restuarant. We were done for the day. We thought ’bout going to Anegudi, the next day but we were very tired. We had dinner at the place we stayed and did not venture out.