Hampi, a place of architecture symphony is situated about 360km from Bangalore. The place got its hit from a recent Malayalam movie “Anandam”, where they depict each and every masterpiece of Hampi, which made it a must visit place. I always wondered what it is there in Hampi that makes it magnificent and attractive for tourist to visit. I decided to make up my mind and schedule my journey towards Hampi on Wednesday by taking a day off from my busy office life.
Early Morning Ride
I woke up early about 4.30 in the morning and prepared myself for the big day. Normally it is difficult to get up early in morning but today was completely different as the exciting day has polished me up and ready as early as possible. I borrowed bike from my friend and a hoody to keep me warm during the shivering morning ride. I set my google map towards Hampi and started off by 5 in the morning. It was freezing cold and hoody kept me warm inside. I had my earphone in my ear to keep me navigated which kept me awake during the ride. About an hour after I hit the road I was cruising in 100kmph NH-7. If this sounded big, then ‘Yes’, at these speeds even a split second can cost your life. The widen roads where I didn’t have to pay toll fee seemed like a heaven to ride on. The scenery was nothing different compared to other highways as you get to see green field by side, villagers crossing by time to time and Daba’s here and there.
On my Way to Hampi
About 200km to the ride, I started to feel hungry, but I didn’t wanted to stop anywhere. Just wasn’t in any mood of stopping. Enjoying the beauty of nature and seamlessly riding on this road suppressed the feel of hunger. The big and heavy trucks was flawlessly flowing through the roads. They didn’t even bother about small bikes. We had to overtake the big ones, tough this was easy, the longer the trailer, it took a little more time to overtake. At these times, our concentration will be 100%, not even a minute mistake. But it was kind of fun overtaking the big ones. Finally about 12, I reached Hampi. I wasn’t feeling hungry, but my thirst was at its brim. The tender coconut which was there by side of road filled my thirst. Tough it didn’t fill my stomach, it gave a good go ahead. The first temple I visited was the biggest and the main in Hampi. I parked my bike by side of it and marched towards it. Much to my delight, I could see foreigners coming out of the temple and it was obvious for us to find them here. The temple was a master piece of architecture which was built in early 1500’s. The beauty was the lake beside the temple which made it look awesome from lake shore. I had a pure taste of water from this place and targeted my next location to ruins. The ruins is stretched to about 1sq km and it was impossible to cover the whole area in this limited time. As usual, I clicked some pic in an around the spot and settled down to have a 10min break.
Start of Corner Roads
In meantime, I had a lemonade and a sweet which made my lunch. The iconic Hampi signature was the lion chariot which was made of a single stone. I headed towards it which was a 12 km ride from the ruins. It was about 1.30 noon and sun was pouring its full energy onto the Mother Earth. The narrow roads was a welcoming sign for my bike since my bike was made for cornering and I was doing just that. On the way I had to take a turn to Queen’s bath. It was a single structure made completely of stone. Coming to the point it was nothing to see. I had a quick round around the bath, had a masala soda and headed towards lion chariot. I parked my bike on the given parking spot. The cornering made me to drink another sugarcane juice which I saw while walking from parking to the spot. When I reached the spot, I found that either you have to walk for 2km or you can take tramp to get there, but you had to pay for the tramp. I thought of no more and hurried, took the ticket and got into the tramp. It was so hot at this stage, my shirt was fully soaked in sweat. I took the back seat where you had to sit in opposite direction to where the vehicle is going. Onto the 2km ride, the beauty was immense and I captured everything in my mobile. Finally after 5mins, I reached the lion chariot, surrounded by big walls, made like a castle. To enter here also you had to pay 30bucks. When I got in, I could see chariot in middle of this huge place. I took a glance and sat inside a shelter made of some kind of yellow stone. My tired body was screaming for rest, which made me to lie down, put my alarm to half an hour, closed my eyes and to a relief I slept at the very moment.
My alarm sounded at 3.15, still at this point I was sweating like hell and there was no
stopping for it, but the eagerness of 373km back home kept my brain up and alive. I got up, took the tramp and got back to the place where my bike was parked. I had a drink of sugarcane juice- again to hydrate myself. I reached near the bike, hopped in and set my google map towards home, it showed a whopping 8hr drive. With all my will I started- better start than never. It was around 4 that I started downhill and now I had only one motto- to reach back, back on time.
About this time, sun was setting down, calming down its rays and my sweat started to ease off. Soon I was in NH-7 by 6pm and cruising around 90kmph. I took a stop to fill my bottle with water from a dabha. By this time, I began to notice a drop in speed. I stopped and got down to check what the problem was to find out the front tyre is punctured. I had to run a half km journey ahead to find out a puncture shop. He barely took 2 minutes to fix it, but I being the foreign and not understanding a thing he’s saying, he charged me 200 rupees. I had no choice but to pay him and got back to road. Around 7pm, I could see lighting starting to emerge up and by no time thunder storms started. I thought it was a usual dimple lightning and storm, but no, it was way more than that. The NH-7 road that I was going through was now in complete darkness apart from the obvious lights from trailers and trucks. I could see the lighting strike from heaven to earth, the rays spreading down-to say the fact-this scene can’t be created, it can only be felt. The golden lightning rays pouring down onto mother earth. This put a fear on me as I was a sole person riding my bike and thunder storms was heavy enough to kill anyone. The fear made me to go slower than usual. Just a moment later, sprinkling of rain started. I didn’t bring any raincoat or jacket with me for I had only my hoody with me which was made of cotton and will absorb every water it gets. But I ignored the fact and moved on. Within no time it started to rain heavily. The problem riding in rain is you can’t see where your going- your eyes will be flushed with water and the rain drops will punch into your skin which is not at all a good feeling. I had to keep my helmet visor open, since I had to see the roads, but if I keep it closed the glares from vehicles coming in opposite direction will object my view. I moved slowly but it was unimaginable rain. The cars was all going past me with hazard lights on and here I was all wet, the jean, shirts, everything you can imagine is now soaked in water. I was doing merely 30kmph which will take me nowhere, so I stopped near a shelter. I parked my bike and got by side of this old shelter.
Hampi Main Temple
A guy was also standing there. I could see he was looking for rain to calm down since his apache bike was parked outside. I enquired on him to find out he was also travelling to Bangalore. It took about half hour for the rain to calm down to a significant point for us to move onto our destination. I told him I didn’t had dinner so he accompanied me to a dabha where I had chicken biriyani to fill my empty stomach.
On my way back Home
He said he was from Sovalur- a place near Hampi and definitely I could see he was not happy with the rain. I changed into shorts and T-shirts which I had packed and kept in my bag before the journey. Now I felt more relaxed but the cold started to hit me. A good tea from dabha refreshed my mind and body for a go ahead signal. I put on my hoody and started off with him towards Bangalore. He was kind of okay with speed as we were going around 80kmph. This was decent provided we reach on time. About 20km from my destination he had to take a diversion to the place where he stayed. He said a final goodbye and diverted his ride towards his place. It was my fault that I had not clicked even a single pic with him to keep it as a memory with me. But then I thought, the memory is within me in my memories, it will be there forever. I now had only 20km to cover up, which I wanted to reach 2 hours before, but given the gift of rain and thunder, it didn’t happen. By around 12 midnight, I had finally reached my home. I parked my bike, got into the room changed my dress and straight away lied down in bed. A pure joy of happiness was within me, the joy of completing a check list in your bucket list.