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Kid sleeping at the Mango Tree Restaurant in Hampi

25 June 2011

So two weeks ago a huge group of us (over 30 interns) decided to take a trip to Hampi.  We left Bangalore’s Majestic train station on a Friday evening and after a rather smooth ride, unlike the buses, we were in Hampi by the early hours of the morning.  Due to our large numbers, some of us stayed in Hospet (13km away from Hampi), a larger town where the station was situated while some went to stay in a couple of guesthouses in Hampi.  We decided to spend a few extra Roops and stay at the Hotel Malligi in Hospet since we wanted a clean and comfy place to return to after a heavy day of walking around the temples.  I must say, for what we paid, the rooms were well worth it.

So after freshening up and having breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, we took a couple of tuk tuks and missioned off to Hampi to meet the rest of our crew.  There, some were lucky enough to get mopeds while the rest had to settle on hiring a tuk tuk for the rest of the day.  One of the interns had arranged a guide for our group for the day and Rs2,000 divided by the thirty of us seemed like a fair price.  Hampi is beautiful to say the least.  The entire area is covered with rocky outcrops and greenery.  I didn’t expect much from South India after seeing the North but so far I’ve been impressed with what it has to offer.  Already by lunch time, we were all “templed-out” and tired.  We had lunch at the Mango Tree Restaurant which was the perfect setting.  Situated on a slope, we could see across the river and the surrounding hills while we had our meals.  Oh right, and I managed to graze my knee during a minor moped accident too – that was quite a bummer but the good thing was I got new pants!  My friend who was steering felt bad so he got me a pair back at Hampi since the only pair I brought was all torn and bloody.  Anyway, that was my adrenaline rush for the day and I even remember thinking as I was falling “Oh not my camera!”  and luckily, nothing happened to it or me.  Well, nothing serious at least.

Then it was time to head back and once again, the restaurants closed early at 11pm and so we decided to take the party back to our rooms – again.  Never have I ever chuckled as much at some of the “would you rather” questions and answers we had late into the night.  Needless to say, we found out some deal-breakers and must-haves.  Very… interesting…

Early morning train to Hospet.

The "Surge" and his moped.

The girls.

The boys II men.

The mopeds.

The Ambassador Taxi

At the Mango Tree Restaurant.

Put your backs into it!

Schmodeling by the pool.

Listening to some acoustics at the temple.

At one of Hampi's many temples.

26 June 2011

The next morning, we went up to the Hanuman or Monkey Temple across the river.  Getting across the river in a tiny boat along with about 20 people and 2 motor bikes seemed somewhat disconcerting since the boat was barely able to float on the water.  One big movement by anyone and I think we would’ve all tipped over – not a fun prospect.  So we all managed to stay put until we reached the other side and luckily, we made it without having to swim across.  After yet another bargaining session with the tuk tuk driver which my friend seemed to be an ace at, we picked up another solo traveler and we reached the temple in a matter of minutes.  Initially, starting the climb up the 600 steps to the top of the hill seemed a painful decision what with my injured knee but we did eventually reach the summit and it was definitely worth it, even though I could feel my knee start to throb.  The views were breathtaking and you could see a panoramic view of the countryside.  It was basically a perfect setting, a cool, cloudy and breezy day.  After hopping over crevices and taking a few must have holiday snaps, we finally got back to Hospet where the boys had their much awaited swim in the hotel’s pool.  By 6pm, nearly all our crew was back at Hotel Malligi to grab our last dinner and drinks together before taking the 20h30 train back to Bangalore.  It definitely was a weekend of Peace, Love and Happiness.

Yup, under all those people and bikes, there is a tiny boat.

Waiting for our boat back to the other side and the bridge to nowhere.

On top of the Monkey Temple!

Peace, Love and HAPPINESS!

A perfect breezy day on top of the hill.

The Darjeeling Limited.

Everywhere we looked, this is the type of view that greeted us. Totally worth the climb.

Jumping for joy.