home Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Myanmar China Malaysia Bhutan India Sri Lanka menubar

Deccan Odyssey - December 2016



Hassan and Hampi

Next morning we visited the two major temples st Belur and Halebidu. The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple complex. The Chennakeshava temple is beautifully carved and sculpted with representation of gods and demons, female figures in dancing poses, erotic figures, elephants, lions and birds etc.

The Halebidu complex comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara. Although the temples * have never been completed they stand today as a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture with most detailed and beautiful carvings of figures and animals. These two temples are worthy of the entire trip.

    

We left for Hospet after midday and took a long drive of about 5-6 hours. We arrived at Hospet and checked in at The Royal Orchid Central Hotel around seven in the evening. The journey is long but we saw many local villages and towns and enjoyed a simple vegetarian lunch in a local eatery. We ate what the locals eat every day for their lunch. The waiter came round with a trolley of 4 tall metal jugs and spooned each vegetable dish onto our plates (or banana leaves for the driver). I had chick peas dish, aubergine dish and some mixed vegetables and that was the dish of that day with everybody in the restaurant eating the same thing. It was local and very enjoyable.

We could not have chosen a better day to visit the world heritage site of Hampi than on Christmas Day. We started the visit at the Hemakuta Hill entrance, climbing up towards the Genesha Temple, and continuing over the rocks amongst the many ruined temples and ancient marketplace. The magnificent Virupaksha Temple is emerging from among the rocks at the bottom of the hill on the other side. Our tour guide suggested to walk up from Hemakuta Hill and descend from there to the other side with a panoramic view of the beautiful Virupaksha Temple at our feet among other temples and ruins.

    

Entering the gate to the Karnataka Temple into a courtyard surrounded by more ancient temples with beautiful figures carved on the pillars. The most stunning is the monolithic sculpture of Narasimha (Lord Vishnu in his third incarnation with the head of a lion).

We also visited the queen's pavilion, Lotus Mahal, and Elephant stables. Afterward we visited a unique new hotel, Orange County. The hotel building resembles some of the roof of temples we visited that morning. This hotel also sits in acres of green land. The top category is the villa built on water with its own villa pool. This is very suitable for honeymoon couples enjoying luxury and privacy.

We had our Christmas lunch at their buffet restaurant with delicious tandoori prawns, baked fish, meat and chicken curry plus many fresh and wonderful salad for stater. The restaurant also looks out to the infinity swimming pool. There is another separate swimming pool for children only.

In the afternoon we visited Viiala Temple, where the show piece is the Stone Chariot in the courtyard. It represents Vishnu's vehicle and its wheels were once capable of turning. There are also various temples and elaborate waterworks such as Queen's Bath and public bath. I am mesmerised by the wistful ruins and the beauty of the statues, carved figures and temples. Hampi remains a special wonder.

View Next Page

Next page> 



Lotus Mahal
Lotus Mahal
    Elephant Stables
Elephant Stables




Belur and Halebidu
Belur and Halebidu
Belur and Halebidu
Belur and Halebidu
Hampi
Hampi
Hampi
Hampi
Hampi
Hampi
Orange County Hotel
Orange County Hotel
Stone Chariot
Stone Chariot
Queens Bath
Queens Bath