The sky was a little overcast the next morning. We decided to go for a walk before breakfast. Taking a mud path, we walked, enjoying the bird songs and the cool breeze.
The mud path led to a board that said ‘Bhima’s gateway’ beyond which was an arched gateway.
The gate led into a courtyard which had a lot of stone carvings depicting the stories of Bhima. One carving shows Bhima carrying the ‘Sowgandhika’ flower.
Another one shows Bhima killing Keechaka.
Draupadi is standing nearby watching the scene.
After breakfast, we hired an auto rickshaw to take us to Hampi bazaar. It had started to rain. The drizzle did not dampen our spirits.
We were trying to see the positive side of it. Rain can give a totally different texture to any landscape.
We walked through the Hampi bazaar, in the opposite direction of the Virupaksha temple. The bazaar was slowly waking up to a wet morning.
At the end of the bazaar is a huge idol of a bull called the monolithic bull.
A lot of monkeys were swinging around.
The steps from the bull led to a small mandapa from where the Virupaksha temple could be seen.
Further up, was a small Hanuman temple. A lady, who was sitting in front of the temple, gave us ‘prasad’.
From the Hanuman temple, we climbed down a few steps to reach the Achutharaya temple complex.
Located at the foot of Matanga hill, this large temple complex has a Devi shrine at the center. This temple, as the other temples in Hampi, has many gopuras.
The outer courtyard has a large gopura on the northern side which is also the main entrance and the inner courtyard has three gopuras, on the north, east and west.
There are various pillared mandapas around the courtyards. Most of the carvings depict stories from Ramayana.
Right outside the temple are the ruins of a long street or bazaar once famous as the Soolai bazaar or dancing girls’ street. At the end of the bazaar is a beautiful water tank with steps on all sides and a small mandapa in the center.
From the tank we walked further to our right and reached a small cave called the Sugriva’s cave. The legend is that Sugriva kept Sita’s jewels inside the cave. Right outside the cave is a pool called Sita sarovar.
Opposite to Sugriva’s cave is another temple which has a stepped tower over the shrine, thus making it look like a Jain temple.
But there are a lot of Vaishnavite sculptures in the temple like the two dwarapalakas at the entrance.
The temple has a two-storeyed mantapa which is reached by a flight of stone steps.
In front of the temple is a stone deepasthambham.
The path further leads to a gateway popularly known as the King’s balance. This balance was used for weighing the king against gems and gold during auspicious occasions. The balance has two huge granite ornate pillars supporting a stone beam. There are a number of ruined shrines near the balance.
On the opposite side of the balance is the ruins of a structure called the Raya-gopura which has tall pillars.
Behind the Raya-gopura is a Vishnu temple which was closed for renovation.
We started walking back. We were to reach the Soolai bazaar from where we had taken a right. We walked past the Soolai bazaar and reached the Kodandarama temple. The temple stands on the banks of Tungabhadra river, opposite the chakratirtha, a bathing ghat. The temple contains the standing figures of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.
We rested for a while on the banks watching people crossing the river on coracles.
It was way past lunch time. There was a small restaurant on the banks of the river, where we had lunch.
After lunch, we then took a stone paved pathway, passed by some huge boulders that took us right back to the monolithic bull.
We then walked to Hampi bazaar, did some shopping and then took an auto rickshaw and returned back to our hotel. But not before finalizing our next days plan.
We were to rent a moped for the next day.
For Day 3: Click here