4th of March, 2017: So it was time for my tour of the Southwestern part of India and it was to start with some place stunning – Hampi. The few words I heard about Hampi was that it was a beautiful place to visit and would take 2-3 days to visit all the monuments. It made me wonder why one place would take so long only to see the monuments and so I started off on my journey to Hampi from Hyderabad. This tour was going to be different from my earlier ones as summer had already begun – temperatures in Hyderabad were already hovering around 35°C.

My actual plan was to ride along Hyderabad – Jadcherla – Raichur – Hampi. As it happens many times, I missed the right turn after Jadcherla and so decided to head along Kurnool – Bellary – Hampi. The ride from Hyderabad to Kurnool was almost the same as what it was when I had started off on my first ever bike tour. I stopped at Baba Ramdev hotel just before entering Kurnool for a break and happened to meet one Mukesh from Hyderabad, who was riding to Kadapa on his Duke. It was a refreshing interaction and then i started off towards Bellary and the action on the road started off too.

The road from Kurnool to Bellary had all kinds of stretches on it – excellent to broken to no roads at all. Most part of the road was half-open with the other half under construction or repair and after reaching Alur, it only got worse till Bellary. The heat was sucking energy out of me but I somehow managed to ride along. Bellary was a very very dry and dusty place which reminded me of my ride to Ladakh (which I will write about soon) and I had a tough time riding through from Bellary to Hampi although the road was a little better. The dry, hot wind caused irritation in my throat which stayed with me for quite a few days.

Just before entering Bellary, I found a group of women randomly dancing on the road and as I rode closer, I found that they held a rope across the road stopping people from riding ahead till they were given some money. They weren’t demanding or threatening but still it seemed very unfair to me and I just lifted the rope, accelerated and went ahead.

Nevertheless, I took the hot ride as a challenge and reached Hampi around 3PM and checked in to Vicky Guesthouse, which seemed good enough for my needs.

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I got fresh and headed straight to the Virupaksha temple, which I found later was one of the very very few functioning temples in Hampi – the rest were just ruins. Entry ticket to the temple was ₹2 but the camera ticket was ₹50. I bought the ticket and spent some time inside the large temple and the Tungabhadra river flowing beside, clicking a lot of photos. I hadn’t eaten anything till then that day and had some coconut water near the temple.

All in all, it was a tough day till then, which only got tougher, which I have described here in my next article. It was not a bad time to visit Hampi as the place was quite beautiful even then, but the best time would be winter in my opinion. The river didn’t have much flow when I visited but offered great sights as it was bright day and there was a lot of greenery around but reaching Hampi through Bellary would be my least preferred route.

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