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Adventure before dementia

Hampi, Karnataka

INDIA | Tuesday, 19 March 2019 | Views [158] | Comments [4]

The epic journey was seemless, even managed a quick beer at Nagpur airport before we left the state of Maharashta for the southern state of Karnataka. We flew into Bangalore and got a taxi straight to the train station for our overnight train to Hampi. Luckily there was only us in our four birth train cabin so it was very chilled. I managed a good sleep, Mark not so much! It's quite a jerky experience and a bit noisy.

The landscape at Hampi is completely different to anything I have seen anywhere. The hills consist of piles of massive boulders. In the valleys it is very green as there is lots of rivers and tanks (reservoirs). The main reason for visiting Hampi was to explore the ancient city. The city dates from the 15th century and consists of temples, baths, bazaars, palaces, walls, tanks and monoliths. None of the buildings are occupied anymore and nobody lives within a certain area of the site. It is all really spread out so we hired a tuc tuc driver for three days to take us everywhere. We started on the outskirts of the area and climbed up to a number of shrines. We were blessed in numerous Hindu temples including those dedicated to Ganesh, Orm (snake god), monkey gods and others I couldn't understand. The blessings included ringing a bell, the application of a bindi, chanting (the priest, not us), eating sugar, drinking holy water, passing your hand over a flame for cleansing and receiving flowers to put in your hair. We ended up with the bindi dye running all over our heads and noses with the sweat!! Not a good look and all the Indian people had perfect circular dots on their heads. The snake temple was a bit tense. I kept asking if there were any actual snakes in there and was told no. But then we had to descend through a small opening in a cave to get there, which was a bit suspect. Fortunately there weren't any snakes just a priest with a very loud bell and lots of chanting. We politely declined meditating with him! Back to hotel to chill and have a few beers and watch the world go by from our patio windows. The world from this view is very interesting. It includes cows, pigs, goats, tuc tucs, ladies in beautiful sarees carrying items on their heads, white tourist looking a bit bemused, really cute children and everything else you can imagine! Great first day in Hampi.

Day two started at 9am and involved touring the inner ancient city. All amazingly well preserved buildings with intricate carvings. An unusable carving was a large stone cart carved from a single piece of stone. One day isn't enough to see all the structures but we saw the most spectacular. At the last temple it was still active so we had to take off our shoes to enter. All good until we started walking across the long open plaza to the temple. OMG!! My feet nearly burnt off, we started off all calm but ended up running across the flags. I nearly cried it was so bad. The worst thing was we had to get back. We discussed our strategy for sometime but in the end opted for running as fast as possible to get out!! The local people were looking at us like we were mad but I was not bothered, fast was the answer!

Later in the afternoon Sami took us to a real Indian drinking den! It was a bit dimly lit and full of Indian men. They didn't seem too bothered by our intrusion so we had a few beers with our driver. Maybe not such a good idea getting your driver drunk but we survived the journey home! On the way back we climbed up to another temple on a hill to watch the sun set. This was a really lovely end to another great day in Hampi.


On our last day Sami invited us to his house for lunch. In for a penny, in for a pound! This goes in the 'experience' category! He picked us up and we went to the market to buy mutton and fresh herbs. Then onto his home to meet his family. Very lovely people, his wife and two children. They were all quite shy and couldn't speak English so it was quite a challenge. We went for a drink at the local hotel whilst his wife made food. Back to his house for mutton biryani which was very nice. Then it was group siesta all in the same room! We tried to explain that we didn't need a sleep but Sami said it was what you did after a big meal in India so we joined in! We got the bed in the corner and he and his family rolled out mats on the floor beside us. It was very special to go to his house and we were honoured but it was also a challenge. We got up later and went exploring a dam and parkland close by. We were supposed to go back to his house to wait for our train but we managed to clock a bar close to the station to chill out in for a couple of hours before catching our night train!! What a day! You couldn't buy this experience so we are really chuffed to have done it and I am sure it will be the lasting memory of the holiday! On the night train to Mysore now. Love Dawn & Mark



What experience (s) .... how do you say in Indian ‘Mark doesn’t share his food let alone his siesta ‘ !
The photos are amazing especially the main one ... but I do think you’re maybe temples out by now ?
Bet there was a ‘years wage sized tip’ for the driver !

  Claire Mar 19, 2019 6:23 PM


hi, Ann said to let you know she tried to put a comment on your bog, but failed. She said after doing it "right" she checked & it was on but I checked & it wasn't. I blame the fact she is female & blond. (Sexist or what?) Your forced siesta sounds like what Mum had to do at nursery & she pretended as well. I bet both you & Mark kept your hands on your halfpennies. It sounded strange but I bet it was perfectly innocent & really meant as a treat. I think to make you feel at home I should organise your house to be converted to a temple to extend your holiday. Dad XXX

  Peter Wilson Mar 20, 2019 12:53 AM


Yes sexist Papa! Why don't you show Ann what to do as you are my number one commenter! The family were absolutely being kind. All the Indian people have been extremely kind and friendly. Mark has reached peak temple so don't recreate any at home!! We are off to countryside next so no temples! Love Dawn xx

  dawnandmark Mar 20, 2019 1:46 AM


You need to take back your comment Papa, Ann's comment is on a photograph so only visible when you view the photo not on the story. Thanks Ann for the comment, yes it is a truly amazing trip and the wildlife is spectacular. Love Dawn xx

  dawnandmark Mar 20, 2019 2:17 AM

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