“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
Aided with a map, we managed to decide which places to visit next. The first goal was to visit the Lotus Mahal and the Elephant Stables. It was quite difficult to find this place. We spent some time making wrong turns until we finally reached our destination. (Entrance fee = 250 rupees.)
While I was fascinated by the shape and style of the Lotus Mahal, I expected it to be much bigger than what it was. The architecture was superb, but its size makes it lack the grandeur to fascinate you. The good thing was that it was set in a lush garden, an irony to the other places in the otherwise dry town of Hampi.
We then walked to the Elephant stables, and made our way to the Guards’ Quarters. The quarters now serve as a mini museum housing statues of different gods and goddesses in the Hindu religion. Spread across the two buildings was huge green lawn enticing everyone to play around.
After this, we headed to the Public Bath. Empty, as you would expect a pool without water. We climbed up a temple nearby, where another bird’s eye view of this complex could be seen.
Finally, we were on our way to the Vitthala Temple. On the way, we passed by the Queen’s Bath, but we weren’t too giddy about the structure, so we just skipped it.
Upon reaching the Vitthala Temple, we were asked to park our car in the lot. Ironically, we’d have to pay for a golf cart to bring us to the temple grounds. (Cost = 20 rupees.) Else, you’d have to walk about two kilometers to get there. Such a money-making facility, don’t you think?
Anyway, we paid the service. The sun was high and we didn’t want to add more burn on our skin. During the journey, we saw a lot of temple ruins nestled in between heaps of stones. In about five minutes, we arrived at the gate of the temple.
I was glad that we made this our last stop as it was indeed the best of the bunch. The temples here were far more ornately designed than the others, and the famous stone chariot could be found here. I was impressed that I could find such ruins in India, and I was happy to just sit down and feel the breeze lulling me in the afternoon, while taking in such stunning scenery. After ten minutes, we were on our way to Hospet, a nearby town where we’d spent the night in.
More on this journey next time! Happy travels!