4th of March, 2017: I had just visited the Virupaksha temple and wanted to wander around taking photos of the many temple ruins near it. I rode towards the monolithic bull statue on my bike but couldn’t park it close enough to it as some police vehicles had blocked the way and so I rode towards the other side of a platform, where the Mathanga hill was. I felt the hill top would give a good view of the Virupaksha temple and started climbing up. It was around 4-30 PM but was still very hot. It had already been a very tough day till then and I had to take 4-5 breaks as I climbed the 350+ stepped hill. Upon reaching the top I totally felt it was worth the effort as I could get a complete view of Hampi and the temples around in all directions from the top of the hill. It is also a perfect spot to view the sunrise and sunset at Hampi.

I clicked a few photos of the Virupaksha temple and also the Tungabhadra river in which I noticed coracle rides going on. I decided to go for it later in the evening and walked around the hill. On the opposite side of the hill were ruins of the Achutaraya temple. It was quite early in the evening and the sunset could have taken nearly two more hours so I decided to get down the hill and go for the coracle ride before it gets dark. I was happy to find that there was a proper way to get down the hill on the other side and I took it.

I walked around the Achutaraya temple taking pics and then the Varaha and Ranganatha temples. There I found a way to get close to the river after crossing over a few rocks and I went towards the coracle ride. It was quite expensive for one person (₹500 for one hour ride after bargaining – I am very bad at bargaining) but there were no other people waiting for a ride then and I desperately wanted to relax so I went ahead. It was a good one and I got to visit one more temple (Koti linga temple) which was on the edge of the river (it could also be accessed by walking over the rocks). The rocks were very slippery and I wasn’t wearing shoes and so I slipped once, but didn’t get hurt although it was embarrassing to slip in front of a few girls who were also visiting that place. But who would care or remember anyway! The name of the guy rowing the coracle was Virupaksha, who didn’t really understand English or Hindi. I asked him if there were any places around Hampi which not many people knew about or visited and his reply was that at night, nobody would be seen anywhere around 😛 haha. I then clicked a few photos of the place and then rode a little further on the coracle and back to the starting point after which I just went back to my room at Vicky guesthouse and relaxed.

Later I went for dinner at one Tibetan Kitchen which was near the guesthouse but it took them 45 minutes to serve momos and soup. The soup was just water with vegetables in it and I strongly suggest people to avoid Tibetan Kitchen as there are much better places, one of which I will mention in my next article.

That was about my first day at Hampi and one of the toughest days ever for me.

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