The seat of power in the state's capital, could not have been any more, majestic. The towering stucture, indeed looks splendid against the sun rays, early morning. It was an apt location to begin our journey to the ancient ruins. Arun Pai of BangaloreWalks, neatly summarised the journey, as a visit to the then seat of power of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi, from today's seat of power. I couldn't agree more. The band's rendition of "Apara Keerthiye ......" was splendid. It was backed up with the theme song .... "Let's Rock Hampi ....." . Cameras, media, the who-is-who of culture and tourism of Karnataka, were in to make the event a grand success. We even got tips to visit certain individuals .......ah ..... :-). We were flagged off by the minister for culture and tourism.
The pride of Bengalooru
Suresh, our driver seemed more of a test driver for Chevrolet. Yeah, they may not be a big team in motorsports, but fear not, Suresh is around to prove how good their test drivers are....! As he floored the accelerator pedal we were transported from Zero to Fun in no time. The roads to ruins were definitely not in ruins ... which made the entire experience awesome!! The next stop was Dabbaspet, near Tumkur, where a sumptous breakfast was awaiting us. The officials did a damn neat job of organising the entire event. Their eye for detail and the shots at perfection did not go unnoticed. The roads from Tumkur, was a pleasure to drive on.
Windmill Farm, along the way.
It was a spectacular sight. The windmill farm extended for kilometres ... together. If one was amazed at how, the power of wind was harnessed, to divert it to other purposes......... i had a far more intriguing concept to digest. There were folks around, who tried to convince me that a windmill had to be pictured from the front ..... :O. (;-)) Yes, this is stuff straight out of Jay's believe it or not! ;-).
A peak ... Let's call it Jay Rayara Betta ..... :-)
What, you say, that it resembles my name? Huh? It's all in the eyes of the mouse holder .. i tell ya .... :-).
Chitradurga, was our next pit stop. We had small briefings by the Commissoner of Chitradurga, and a performance by the Bangalore Walks, which explained the legend of Obavva, the woman who had stood fort and beat the invaders to pulp, with her Onake. ( A cylindrical household tool, used to gnash chillies) .
We were then escorted to the fort by the police in our caravan. The welcome, that Chitradurga citizens gave had us all, spellbound to say the least. Garlands, media, crowd ..... oh! It was all happenning and faster than what one could take it in. The Chitradurga fort, stood majestic. It was apparently self sufficient in its days of yore and had withstood many attacks. We were also visually treated, to the acts of a dare devil, who went by the nick, Kothiraja. His exploits on embarking tall pillars and rocks, without any rig or support were commendable!!
Chitradurga Mint. On a rainy day, it is said even now people find gold here. Ah ... is this called, raining gold? ;-)
Ouch, The Obavva Kindi! The modern Obavva's manage pretty much with water bottles!!
A lunch, served by the townsfolk, dressed ethnically, by the lake side at Chandravali, was a welcome surprise. Rajasthani and Gujurati food ..... Awesome .....!
Our (test?) driver, continued his mindless assault on the roads, as we were sprinting way ahead of our convoy. Suddenly, the vehicle switched off ... on the move ....! It was the vehicle's way of resisiting any assault on it!! Neverthless, we were stranded and with us we brought the whole convoy to halt. The organisers had other plans already. We were split and asked to board vehicles which had vacant seats and we were resuming our journey towards ...... ThungaBadra dam. The plan was to witness sunset at that Vaykunta, the guesthouse that overlooks the TB dam. Fate, had other plans in mind and we were denied the same.
Sunset Point. Ah you fell for it? This is no sunset point and all ... ;-).
The next landmark in our landscape was Vittala Temple. The place was a marvel. The Archeological Survey of India, is doing a brilliant job of restoring the remains of the once marvellous empire. The illuminated pathway, was a brilliant contrast to the darkness that engulfed us. This temple, was very famous for its musical pillars. The pillars carved in stones, emnate the building blocks of Carnatic music, the jhal tarang, the ghattam , the bell and et all ........ The same material was used in all the pillars and it just goes about to show, the brilliance of the architects. The only difference was the space between pillars, the way they were cut and the distance to the main pillar .......! Brilliance ...... pillarified ...!
The Stone Chariot, Vitthala
The temple was being illuminated, specially! It was a sight to watch! Watch this ........
The Vitthala .. in its glory .....
Are you all done with admiring the picture above? No? Okie ... I ' ll give you some more time .....! :-)
The temple, in its days of yore had diamond stalls on the outside!! Also, outside there is a King's Balance. These folks always, traded in the name of the King and God. All the measurements were done in the King's balance, with God as witness, thereby ensuring no one cheated! Wow ........! In short they believed, " In god we trust, for all the rest, we use the King's Balance".
One more .. visual treat ....
You could get more about Hampi, from our prinicpal correspondant! Right ,, sush ......? ;-)
It was a wonderful experience. As we headed back, to Kamalapur, we already had a cultural programme awaiting us. This was followed by some rip roaring mimicry. Dinner was served and that was doubled with music for us as well .....! What more can we have asked for? The songs were just getting better. Before, Na .. could go on with her debut, "pehla nasha..." ,We were informed that the 11 30 curfew did not exist and just before we could savour it ... we had to leave........ as our accomodation was at a different location!! It was a pretty eventful day and every ounce (there are lots ...) of me could do with even some more .......:-) Oh .. what a day it was ..... :-)