19 December 2009

Happy in Hampi

After our week on the beach at Palolem we took the train 350km inland to Hampi.

Hampi lies on the outskirts of the city of Vijayanagar which was founded in 1336 but abandoned in 1565 when it was sacked by Muslim invaders. Before it was abandoned Vijayanagar became
one of the largest Hindu empires and had much of southern India under its control. The plains around Hampi are littered with the ruins and abandoned remains of Vijayanagar.

One of the more unusual buildings is the elephant stables which were used to house the royal elephants of the city.

The area around Hampi is also famous for its rather strange granite boulder landscapes that resemble something out of a Road Runner cartoon

We've had a bit of rubbish weather for our first few days here as we caught the end of another cyclone (Cyclone Ward) which was affecting the eastern Indian coastal state of Tamil Nadu. Thankfully we only had to deal with heavy cloud this time and managed to avoid the horizontal rain which lashed us when we encountered our last cyclone when Paul and Sarah visited us in Ranthambore.

We're not actually staying in Hampi but in the village of Virupapur Gaddi which lies on the opposite bank of the Tungabhadra River. We're staying at a place called Shanthi Guest House where there's only a sporadic electricity supply, no TV or air con and your shower is a bucket of hot water! However; despite the fairly basic conditions it's been one of our favorite places that we've so far stayed in India. We have a little thatched hut on the banks of the river in a really picturesque spot just behind a field of rice paddies.

Once the cyclone cleared we were treated to some spectacular sunsets.

Next we head back to Goa for christmas.

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