yup! literally. After spending a gorgeous evening at the Vittala Temple, we were taking a dip in Tungabhadra. Thats when we realized that it was getting really dark and we had to cycle our way back to our room.
But behold, Vittala was getting lit for the night!! Thanks to some higher ups who were visiting. Throwing caution to the wind, we rushed back and begged the security to let us in. He initially tried to scare us away saying a bear had been spotted only minutes ago and that we were already being stupid biking around in darkness.
He let us in anyway and we soaked in Vittala's splendid beauty! (pls excuse my bad pic below.) Now the ride back to the room. It was supposed to be a straight road along the river albeit in complete darkness. Some 10 mins later, we were at a dead end! Between the rock and the river.
We retraced our path and hit several dead ends. And the mosquitoes were feasting on us. I had intelligently left the torch back in the room and we were using my DSLR flash and iPod screen for illumination!
This went on for about an hour, but our plight only made me happy. Imagine getting lost in the ruins of the last (and only the second) south Indian empire! I secretly wished we would spend the entire night 'finding' our way back. And if two security men had not spotted and escorted us back, I reckon I would have been granted my wish!
The next morning, from atop Matanga hill, at sunrise, I surveyed the plane of our errand with amusement and satisfaction!
Saturday: Overnight Hampi Express to Hospet and auto to Hampi. Cycled around the ruins the whole afternoon. Arch Museum in Kamalapuram, Pattabirama, Vittala.
Sunday: Sunrise at Matanga Hill, Virupaksha, trip to Kishkintha (yes, of the Ramayana) on the other side of Tungabhadra, Zenana, Royal Enclosure, Hazararama and the 'underground' temple.
Hat Tip 1: except Vittala and Royal Enclosure, you can safely avoid entering any place. The architecture is rudimentary. Its the scale and the atrocious landscape that gives the kicks.
Hat Tip 2: The Mango tree restaurant is worth more than the hype!
1. I wonder if later versions of Ramayana exaggerated the boulder bridge built across Tungabhadra as one across the Palk strait.
2. I wish Aamir Khan tells ASI to stop harassing our Athithis with 250 rupee tickets while 'poor' Indians like me pay 10.
3. I'm seriously reconsidering my summer schedule after the tan I got in Hampi. I'm so dark (except around the eyes) that I can barely recognize myself.