Every trek changes you as a person, your outlook towards life. The experience gives you so much food for thought. I was blown away by Hampi’s fascinating geology. Hampi will charm you by its numerous boulders which form hills, valleys, riverbeds... practically you will find everything here.
9th Dec, 2016 - I boarded the GBL bus along with a friend. Once inside, we got to know that it will be a small group of 14 people. The bus journey started and the leaders gave a brief intro of our itinerary followed by some ice-breaking sessions. We played dumb charade and I managed to add a new movie (‘Saare Jaahan Se Mehenga’) to my already overwhelmed Bollywood knowledge.
10th Dec, 2016 - We reached Hampi the next day morning. After having breakfast, we started for our bouldering or Rock Climbing session. The leaders introduced us to Tom & Jerry -our trainers for the day. We were told to pick the bouldering shoes from their shop which fits us best.
Conquer the Boulders - Upon reaching the bouldering site, Tom&Jerry briefed us on the technique and held a little warm-up session. One by one he was calling us for an easy level climb. I wanted to get done with it as soon as possible since fear started to grip me. And I was afraid that if I waited till the end, I would chicken out. Tom asked me to rub chalk powder in my hands before starting the climb. As I had seen others, I knew where to put my foot and where to hold the rock for support. But the most difficult part of it was to pull yourself up onto the rock wall while maintaining a strong grip. Once I could do it, it was like half the battle is won. Slowly, with help of Tom’s instructions, I managed to reach the top. I felt elated.
We could try to climb the other rocks which were more difficult. I tried the next rock but was not able to lift the body and in the process I scraped the palm of my hand. So I gave up climbing on that rock but to feed my hungry soul, climbed the first rock again and felt somewhat content.
For a while, we explored the hill full of boulders of different shape and sizes, patterns, alignment. It was magnificent. Spotted some boulders with the appearance of a bow and tie, while some other appeared to be head butting each other.
Sanarpur Lake & Sunset Trek - Post-lunch, we went to visit the nearby Sanarpur Forest Lake. We were mesmerized by its beauty. It is a huge beautiful water lake surrounded by big rocks. Surprisingly not very crowded. We opted for a short coracle ride there.
We started our trek to one of the less explored hills to view the sunset. The path was slippery due to the loose sand and many of us fell number of times. Once at the top, it was still time for sun to set. As we were tired, so we lied down face to face with the sky. After a long lie, once the sun started to set down, everyone got excited and started clicking snaps to capture the beautiful moment.
11th Dec, 2016 - We were woken up by the leads early morning for Anjaneya Hill trek to watch the sunrise. It was 4:30 AM, cold and we were shivering but one look at the starry sky and we knew that it was worth it.
Anjaneya Hill Trek - This trek consisted of climbing about 575 zigzag steps. Since it was dark, we took out our torches to light the way. It was exciting. It was still dark when we reached the top. I decided to do some star gazing to pass time. I started to form patterns in the stars and could locate a kite-shaped group of stars. Some were able to see shooting stars. After a long wait, we could see the sun gradually rise and the view was amazing. The once dark place was now slowly coming to light and we could view Hampi city in all its glory.
After spending sometime there, we got back and took a ferry to go to the other side of town to explore the temples and ruins of Hampi.
Exploring the Ruins - Our tour guide was waiting there and he briefed us about the rich and glorious history of Hampi. I could relate to the Sugriva and Bali story (thanks to all the Ramayana watched on Sundays during my childhood days).
First we went to the Vittala Temple. It is known to be the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. The guide even showed us an example of demonstration of pin-hole camera technique on temple “gopuram”. I was in awe for we never knew that this technique could date back to such old times.
The monolithic Ganesha idol is another such exhibit which depicts the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India's temple builders.
The guide even explained how during those times huge boulders were broken down into smaller pieces by different methods such as using wood where pieces of wood were inserted into pre-drilled holes in boulders and were put to fire.
A walk around Hampi’s main town will leave you awestruck. Whether you are navigating your way from the Virupaksha or Vittala Temple to 600-year-old stables that sheltered only the finest war horses of the time, through the main Hampi bazaar, they never fail to impress you. I will definitely be coming back here as so much is yet to be explored.
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