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Sidhant Paul: A Cultural Excursion to Hampi

Our trip to Hampi began on 29th June a Friday night . I was going with two other classmates and my History teacher Kanchen ma’am. We all met up at the International Knowledge Center (IKC) headquarters on Millers Road, Bangalore. While we were waiting for the bus, the two members from the IKC introduced themselves .Their names where Ashok and Jen. We  waited in the bus for the others who were from University of Connecticut and Missouri to show up .We left by 10 30 pm and ten minutes later  nearly everyone was fast asleep .I could not sleep till 12 o clock and just as I dozed off a tissue paper roll fell on me and jolted me awake . By 1 o’clock I had fallen to sleep only to wake up 7 am when we reached Hampi.
Morning Session, Hampi (Saturday 29th June)
When we reached Hampi the place we were staying did not have rooms ready for all of us. So they allowed us to freshen up at the nearby guest house. By the time we finished freshening up we had all got a room in our original staying accommodations called Padma Guest house which was in a quiet street of chaotic Hampi Bazaar.  A couple of friends and I went for breakfast .A  fellow international participant named Nickolas Hug (18 years old) and his friends went to a set of ruins near the guest house . We all followed him there. He and students from the University of Missouri were on a set of ruins and the rest of us also climbed on top of it with him. We were all having fun till a couple of construction workers waved at us to get off .We all returned to the terrace dejectedly to where we were eating and had a introduction session . While we’re introducing our self’s a new set of participants joined us “ Monkeys “.They came and stole our food and even took a knife. We all quickly rushed to the other side of the terrace.
After the introduction, we headed to the bus and our first stop was the Vitthala Temple.
This was a large temple complex and our guide who we picked up on the way was amazing. He told us things like which side of the musical pillar emitted a wooden sound and which emitted a metallic sound on tapping. This was sort of things I did not find on the internet and would only take years of experience to know. We also saw the world famous monolith chariot inside.
We spent nearly one and half hours there.
Followed by a visit to the Hampi Museum in which we saw gold coins statues and a scale model of Hampi.
After that we went to the Zenana enclosure to see the Queen’s winter palace and the stable.
h5The Elephant stable was more extravagant in real life than in pictures.
We were all a bit tired after the stable but pushed on to the Secret chamber where the king and his minister talked. After that we went to the stepped tank and to the place where Dusshera celebrations take place. By then we were ready for lunch and ate at The Mango Tree.
Post Lunch, Hampi
We started this session at the Octagonal Water Pavilion. It was a beautiful Stonehenge like building. We all took pictures of us standing in the center of the pavilion .We then decided to climb on top of the pavilion. There were broken step like things on it.
h6Next we went to the Queen’s Bath; the bath had a moat around it which was filled with crocodiles in the time of the kings.
We then went to the Narsimha Statue. It was sad to learn that the raiders had burnt it and cut its hands off.
Evening Session, Hampi
After this we called it a day and headed back to our guest house. We rested up for some time and went for dinner. We had a nice dinner and sadly one of our fellow travelers called Nicholas had to leave.
Morning Session, Hampi (Sunday 29th June)
Pre breakfast:
Today was our last day in Hampi. We went to the river to see the elephant from the Virupaksha Temple be given a bath in the river. This was very exciting for our international students as they had never seen an elephant before. It was a good to see that the animal was not been mistreated. All this happened before breakfast.
Post Breakfast:
We were asked to pack and move our bags to another room as we had to check out from a few rooms for other guests. We then went back to the river so that we could cross it. We had to cross the river as we wanted to climb the 650 steps to the Hanuman temple.
Once we crossed the river by coracle we had to take an auto ride to the Hanuman temple.
Most sites say that it takes 45 minutes to climb the steps but it hardly took us all 20 minutes except for our teacher and a student called John who took about 30 minutes. Once we were on top the view was very fairy like.
You could see the entire ruins of Hampi from this point. The breeze on the top of the hill was so immense that we could nearly be knocked away from the hill .we were all taking pictures of our self’s against the breeze.
We were all having a blast till it started to rain .We all rushed out of the boulder region and went back to the temple region for safety .Only after it stopped drizzling we started our descent downwards to the base. It only took us 15 minutes to go down. On the way down I took a small video .We went to the auto and the driver took as to a lunch place. We had a really good lunch and headed back to the river.
Post Lunch:

From the river we took a boat to the other side.
It started to rain again so we headed back to the guest house. We could not do anything in the afternoon so I read a book.  In the evening we went to the Virupaksha Temple.
We finally went for dinner. The dinner was yummy and after that we set off back to Bangalore
I woke up when we reached Bangalore. We all said our goodbyes and headed back home. The trip had been a wonderful experience not only from the history point of view but also from the interactions I had with the International participants. I am so glad I got this opportunity from my school and especially my teacher to be a part of it.er that we had half an hour to go to the bus. Once we were in the bus we all dozed off in an hour’s time.

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