|Underground Shiva Temple|
We started our second day in Hampi with our bicycles, a route map and the scorching sun for company. First stop was the Underground Temple. By climbing down some 30 odd steps you’ll find yourself at the Underground Shiva Temple. Well, that’s as much underground as it goes here. From the outside the temple is well maintained with a beautiful lawn and garden. But the inside of the temple, is something you might want to avoid. The inner sanctum of the temple is clogged with dirty stinking water. The stench of bats, doesn’t make it any better either.
But the architecture of the Temple is worth a second glance. It reminds one of the marvelous Hoysala temples in Belur and Halebidu.
|Hazara Rama Temple|
Next up was Noblemen’s Quarters. Pretty much nothing is left of the quarters, but you get the idea that it once was indeed some residential area.
With the blistering sun above us, we decided to move-on. Next up was the Zanana Enclosure, which housed the Lotus Mahal and Elephant Stables. The Lotus Mahal brings back memories of Nizam architecture. It is a beautifully constructed hall. The symmetry of the structure is just mind bogling. Adjacent to it is the Elephant Stables. It has been so majestically built that only the Elephants can do justice to its size and stature. We spent a few leisure minutes resting in the shade and regain our energy for the remainder of the sites.
Hazara Rama Temple was next on the map and that’s where we were headed. This is another temple that was aesthetically built. But obviously it was not built to last forever. Parts of the gopuram have been decimated by nature’s fury over the years. But the rest of the temple looks to have stood the test of the times.
Next up was another set of ruins which housed Mahanavami Dibba and the Stepped Tank . Stepped Tank was the last of the ruins we visited in Hampi. It surely was the icing on the cake and definitely not in ruins.Every stone built into that tank holds its place proudly for the world to see. Personally,, this was the best thing we came across in Hampi. You can sit and admire this masterpiece all day long, despite the merciless Sun. Nowhere else will you see such precision symmetry.
The Stepped Tank ended our Hampi weekend on a high note. We took back memories of some great works of art in stone, for every stone in Hampi had a story to tell.
Must-Do: Rent a bicycle/moped/rickshaw/car – whatever works for you.
Must-Don’t: Littering. Giving alms to the beggars, especially children.
|The Queen's Bath/Stepped Tank|
My Rating: 8/10