Long weekend + outing with friends from college = Pure joy!
Nothing beats getting together with friends after a long time. Although we all work in different cities, we make it a point to meet at least once a year. This time our choice of place was Hampi, Karnataka. So after weeks of intense planning on Whatsapp (we all know how that goes, don’t we? ) we met on 13th of August at Hospet.
We stayed at a resort called Goan Corner (nice place to stay, I would definitely recommend it) which was across the river. So once we reached Hampi by taking a bus from Hospet, we took a boat to reach our resort. Coracle rides are available too, a little costlier than the regular boat ride though. It was past noon by the time we washed up and set out for the day.
Our first group picture of the trip
We had lunch at a restaurant called Evergreen Café. Not recommended for vegetarians. We had ordered sizzlers and they served it in an aluminium foil kept on a wooden plate. And worse, there were baby cockroaches coming out from below the wooden plate!! The veg starters were not that great either. Non veg food was apparently good. We just settled the bill and got out of that place.
After lunch we decided to take a walk to the Anjaneya hill. It’s quite a long walk. But we had nothing else to do for the evening. We swapped stories on the way, catching up on what’s been going on in our lives, recollecting some of the best memories of our college days…. We were pretty exhausted by the time we reached the place.
It is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman and the temple is located on top of the hill which has 600 steps! It took us another half an hour to get to the top. And what a view it was!! We spent some time just relaxing at the top of the hill, enjoying the cool breeze, watching the monkeys (one of them snatched a 7up bottle from us!). We left just as the sun was about to set.
Walk to Anjaneya Hill View from the top of the hill
Yep, definitely the best place to relax We never get tired of selfies!
Too tired to walk, we took an auto back to the resort. After having dinner at another restaurant called German bakery (the food was good here), it was time to rest for the night. But that does not happen, does it? The favourite part of any trip is to narrate ghost stories at the middle of the night. Needless to say it was way past 2 AM when we finally went to bed.
We decided to explore the other side of the river. The very first thing you see is the Virupaksheshwara temple. It’s one of the major temples in Hampi, surrounded by rocks. Takes some time if you want to explore each and every corner of the temple and its surroundings. There are two gigantic Ganesha statues close by. Sasivekalu Ganesha and Kadalekalu Ganesha. There are several other structures as well (mostly ruins) which was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. All these are on top of the Hemakuta hill. We took about two hours to just walk around and explore the area.
Atop the Hemakuta Hill In front of the Virupaksheshwara Temple
After lunch, we crossed the river, rented mopeds and rode to a lake nearby called the Sanapur Lake. Now this was the most memorable part of the trip. This lake is surrounded by boulders and you can even try cliff jumping! Locals strictly advice to do this only if you are a good swimmer. And I totally back them up. Unfortunately I had to skip this activity since I’m no good when it comes to swimming. But a few of my friends tried, along with a couple of people from another group, and they all had just one thing to say. IT FEELS AWESOME!!! However, be warned. Jumping off a cliff is much different than diving into a swimming pool. Although this is a fun activity and you feel the adrenaline rush, DO NOT put your life at risk. One of the girls who jumped in ended up swallowing excess amount of water and took some time to get back to normal state.
Sanapur Lake A group pic before the cliff jumping
Apart from cliff jumping, there is also coracle ride available if you are interested. We just sat on the boulders, relaxing, watching the sunset and clicking photos… It was quite dark by the time we got back to the resort. We slept early as we had planned a bicycle tour the next day.
We had an early start and reached the other side of the river by 10 AM. We rented bicycles and it was a guided tour of the Royal City of Hampi. It was fun to cycle after such a long time. Honestly, I was not aware that I could still ride. I’m always a little clumsy when it comes to balancing. Our guide, Mr. Hanuman, took us to several places including the Lakshmi Narasimha statue, the Krishna temple, the Pataleshwara temple (or better known as the underground temple), the Lotus Mahal, Elephants’ stables, the Stepped tank (or the Pushkarini) and the Queen’s bath. At each point he gave us a brief explanation about the place and its background. I won’t bore you all with the history. You can google it anytime.
We call this our “Family photo” Before the bicycle tour begins….
At The Pushkarini (Stepped tank) In front of The Lotus Mahal
We reached Kamlapur, which is the closest town, at around 3 PM, had lunch, withdrew money from the ATM (the sole reason we rode till Kamlapur!) and returned by 4 PM.
We checked out of our rooms soon after that, as we had to reach Hospet to get a bus to Pune/Mangaluru/Bengaluru. It was the end of a wonderful trip (as you can see from the photos) and amidst all the fun, we had created great memories. As for our next get together, somebody said something about a road trip! Let’s see how that goes!