Hampi

I had a good time in Hampi, which is a small village on the site of the ancient ruined city of Vijayanagar (City of Victory), a huge complex of Hindu temples and palaces in varying stages of decay.

Vijayanagar used to be the capital of southern India for several hundred years, and by all accounts sounds like an amazing place — a rich, cosmopolitan and effectively impregnable fortress city with a population of several million people that was a vital trading and transport hub, with precious gemstones being sold on the street like hot dogs. It eventually fell to a coalition of five separate Muslim armies when the King was betrayed by his wife, a Moslim spy, and his son, who snuck up and cut his head off in the heat of battle.

I explored the area with Erich, an American guy who was being harrassed by three monkeys in the main temple when I met him, and Trudy, and English woman that we kept running into. On the first day (26 April) we took a walking tour of part of the site with an official guide, and on the second day I hired a scooter to get to some of the more remote parts. Unfortunately the scooter broke down about as far away from Hampi Bazaar as possible, so I had to catch a tuk-tuk back to town in order to pack and leave to catch the train for Hospet.

At the train station I met Christine, a backpacker from New Zealand, and we travelled on the train together with three friendly Indian guys to Hubli, where we had dinner before boarding the sleeper train to Goa.

The sleeper train was great — I was in a 3AC compartment, which is a compartment with six bunks — 3 on each side. After the train set off, a guy came around with clean sheets and a pillow, and I got a reasonably good night’s sleep before disembarking at Goa early this morning.

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