On Wheels – Hampi.03

Previously, On Wheels – Hampi.02

Disclaimer : An overdose of telugu romantic songs, cloudy mystic weather, good company and a series of unforeseen events previous night are to be blamed for what you are about to read.  Please consider feminine HER mentioned below as Hampi, the beautiful city of ruins.

Its tough to get out of a warm blanket on a winter morning but not when someone bangs your door so loud as if they are trying to break in and bust you.

It took me a while to get conscious. We set out on a hunt to catch Sun on its first appearance today. 5.45am and its still dark. A little fog here and there made it clear that the sun is going to to arrive late..

That gave us a chance to roam around. In the dark, we first went to road that leads to vittala where we saw milking of cows. Asked them directions to the temple.. we were headed in wrong direction initially and set our course right immediately.

On my left, there was a stillwater body, possibly tungabhadra kamlapura lake and on the other side are green farms. I slowed down to embrace the view but didn’t stop to unveil what comes next. We drove past the road with farms on both sides.. we were lost in our playlists…

~10km away from Hampi, saw a road which has total farms on both sides. Made quick left turn onto that road.. I just felt like moving down that path.

Her beauty cannot be captured nor contained
she is beautiful not only for what she looks like
she is beautiful for what she made me feel
I couldnt dare take my camera to capture her at that moment..

Early morning Fog started melting
the pleasure of early morning drizzle combined with smell of sand acted as sedative, made me immobile.
I havent been more happy waking up early morning..

There was a hint  of Sun coming out.. so we headed back to still river

Its almost 7 and the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds like a kid unwilling to get off his bed.

We were expecting to see the sunrise… but this is all we’ve managed to seeWP_20151130_06_57_16_Pro.jpg

When I looked into water while sun’s rays refracted through ripples.. I felt being hypnotised, I felt I was moving..

I couldnt resist to take picture with the nature..
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The sun ignored us.. its 8am. Sunrise is  shrouded with clouds..

With random thoughts in mind, freshened up and went to see Lakshmi take bath. Heard tat she stays naked all the time.

What a happy Chained soul!!!

8am and the sun didn’t come out. People, travelers, kids and school children kept my eyes busy me till Lakshmi came.

As soon as Lakshmi came into water, she bombed all around…

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this picture speaks about temperature there… look at those clouds..

It was fun watching her take bath thought it angered me when that guy hit Lakshmi to make her sit, make her lay.
He was her caretaker, her master after all.

European family that came from other side of bank and locals took interest to bathe the elephant.
She was playing in water with its trunk, playfully collecting water through her nostrils and blew at people..

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Because of her gigantic frame, it took him almost an hour to bathe her. I felt hungry and searched for available food options where I found these..
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I remember having them at home made by mom but these firewood made ponganalu melted softly in my mouth…

Pleasure of having food prepared in old style is eternal bliss. Each round costs 20INR and I happily had 2.. conversation with the woman making them reminded my mom.

The view from parking lot is nothing short of dream sequence, a beautiful painting..

and like that, Laksmi walked away to its humble abode of chains…


 

Every place I visit, I realize I leave a part of me there.
This time, I’ve lost my room key too.
Fortunately, my neighbor keys matched with mine and the “breaking the lock” hassle has been avoided.

I kept locking myself in a place, in a heart and kept losing the key. How could I unlock myself ??

Experiences taught me that love hurts.
I grew up and realized that love doesn’t hurt
What hurts is the intensity in love.. Unconditional, unflinching..
I made a decision to never  get too attached and get hurt
But I am frail to be perfect

I started falling in love with her
I wanted to stay here forever with her
there was a dialogue in my mind of 2 polarising voices
one wants to stay and the other wants to leave

I became an expert in walking away at the right time and never turn back
I want to make an exception for her
If I stay longer and let her get onto me
All I would be left is pain and agony

Having Best things is a blessing and a curse in disguise that makes you never have anything good again..

I would regret leaving the place
I would regret staying longer
I would regret making a decision to visit it in first place
and would end up hating myself for making those series of decisions..

I will leave tomorrow” told my selves..

I need a good road to ride, destination is an excuse.

“Karwar”flashed my mind and searched in here maps to find its geo location.

~350kms away from Hampi

Hospet-Gadag-Hubbali-yellarpur-Karwar. 

I jotted down route map on a paper.. trusting maps totally is foolishness. Sat with the restro owner while planning.

Earlier I had doubts on my ability to travel solo on a bike… my confidence was low, and the shift of tone in diary says it all.. I had motorcycle diaries for inspiration but never read that.. it has done its part.. boosted my confidence..
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She (Hampi) has brought my fluctuating mood to a midtone.

Its the ghat section I am headed to this time.. NH63
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I am scared like never before. I want to make home alive in one piece.

I will drive with utmost attention and care.. but what can I do if someone runs onto me.. ??

I couldnt go to bed. Memories kept haunting me.. good ones and bad ones.

Conversation with Poland couple, a single parent with his cute daughter (reminded me of Yennai Arindhaal) and few travelers reeled.

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This Kind of seating  is common at restaurants in Hampi

The thought of leaving this place made me happy yet sad.. Happy because I am going to ride again.. into the wild. Sad because it won’t be Hampi.

To pluck a Rose, you have to deal with the thorns she is surrounded with..

During day, the earth and sky in presence of Sun appear to meet at infinity
Just like existence of infinity, there is no meeting place.
But when Sun sails out, darkness creeps in,
When the moon shy away into a dark corner,
When the stars’ presence is hid by dense clouds, Earth and Sky unite..

In such Darkness, I will find you.. I will meet you there… 

Till then, Goodbye Hampi.. See you again!!

Up Next, On Wheels – An Old Friend.04

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The Lame goat

We are our Tree’s unwanted, fallen children.
We are tiny metaphors for frailty.
Can you defend us? Can you serve justice to us? 

Who has mistreated you, Who separated you from the tree? 

The wind

I express my solidarity for your loss, but I cannot judge listening to just one side. I must hear both parties..

“Ofcourse”, agreed the pollen grains..

“Summon the winds” said the king and the wind  arrives almost immediately..

Case was closed and the Wind was set free because the pollen went missing.

 

————————————————————-
The biggest fish in the river gets its way by not being special, not being strong or intelligent than others..
it gets bigger by never getting caught…
Some use money, some Age while some use Govt. to influence…

A honest tribute to such Big Fishes in our society…

P.s  Eagerly waiting to hear how the Black buck committed suicide..

On wheels – Hampi.02

Previously, On Wheels – Hampi.01

I woke up to the early sunrise that set over main gopuram of the temple,  amidst the fog and mystic climate….. sunrays hit my skin softly like a feather.
I used to wake up rolling on bed and falling on the floor or to the plot twists in my dreams (nightmares)

Drove bike to Kamalapura Junction and reached back Hampi bazar…
It has become a ritual..
this driving up and down till I remember each curve, each turn, each speed breaker..

I ordered a plate idly but came along 2 bajji… on asking them if it was bonus for chosing their tiffin shop, they blurted out in laugh and said people eat bajji along with tiffins… I smiled and had them too… never had mirchi bajji that early morning which is usually an evening snack

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Yesterday, I remember having crossed the roadway to Vittala… there was a footpath from Bazar to Vittala and chose to go that way.

As I started walking,

I felt I’ve been here earlier.
How could a place be so strange and yet so familiar?

As I saw those circular shaped boats, stopped a moment… a fisherman soon approached if I wanted a ride.. spoke in fluent  telugu… he asked 600 for solo ride and 400 to go along with group… I said I am low on budget, he smiled and let me go without any bargain.. he gave a few advices on interesting off beat places around…

When I asked about his business, he told about the lease they got from Tourism dept, how they operate and water levels varying in seasons…
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A Shady tea spot near the temple. And an amazing view of TB bank.. those were the moments, my itch to visit Godavari has began.. So lost in the moment that I forgot to take a picture..

In the path on the right bank, saw a board that says “beware of crocodiles near water”.. I wonder why I took that warning board as a welcome board..
What is the purpose of holding back with fears after all I’ve battled myself to come out this far..

I want to stay here for a while… the music that came from water-flow, from the child’s play, from washing clothes and the rustling leaves were all in perfect sync…

Its only after settling down at this place have I realized what it was…. A place used to be music training institute which remains immersed when water level is full…

I cannot stay at one place.. I have to be on move.. and I started again…

Rock pillars,Motifs, ASI sign board of excavations and a ticket counter…

Visit Vittala to witness The glory of Vijayanagara empire…

Musical Pillars, Stone car and the architecture detail in every nook and corner of the temple..

Mindblown, Masterpiece is  an understatement…
Genius cannot be contained..
they cannot be trapped in some words, preserved in pictures…

they are not some backgrounds to take pictures with… to pose with
its when you realise its history, its architecture detail you would acknowledge of its might…

some still remain a mystery…
how could anyone imbibe tabla beats in a pillar ????

when you tap a rock, you listen tabla beat… Tabla.. the core of music which gives talam (beat).. without which there is no music..

Some fools to figure out how it actually works have  destroyed a few pillars.. and the reverberating effect it produces in the mandapas…

Acoustics, Astrology, Science, Poetry… you name it..

In silence I heard songs of glory and destruction… 

Have I been lost??  I left a part of me in Vittala temple… so stumped by the marvellous vittala… while returning thru same path.. what seemed like ruins got reconstructed in my imagination and appeared as beautiful constructions..

This place is getting onto me… it takes a considerable time till a place gets onto me… but this is different… may be beacause I’ve changed..

Wish I could travel back in time and live a day in vijayanagara empire…

What has this place gone through…

We are the Archaeologists with intense curiosity to dig into our pasts…
we so dwell into our pasts to find how good it was,
only to realise how everything shattered to pieces..
we search for happiness dwelling into past but remain with ruins.. broken, churned and spoilt…

It matters what we dwell into… a beautiful art might take years to be carved while a scar is made in matter of seconds..

you could be a beautiful carving or a deep ugly scar..

this effort to document my experience is to remember the best time I had..

Ask a tree that got burnt in the wildfire..,
what do you remember, years of happy growing up or getting burnt to ashes.. ??
Dreams are reality to the one sleeping..

We are intristically wired to negativity.. preserve the good..

I decided to have heavy lunch and some rest…

300per day-sharing bathroom-no tv.. and I thought i was Miser in the town..

French guy in room next to mehas been staying there since a month… @260/day… felt little good about myself.. and the Russian couple in the next room are in company..

I laid back a while accessing WiFi from a nearby restro.. getting ready to watch sunset..

We pay attention to sun when it fades in and fades out.. nobody bothers of the consistent day…

all we care is about the transition..

Sun gets gentle at sunrise and sunset when the yellowish orange gradient of its rays unite with darkness..

Its during this transition
you realise that Sun is not the only star
Its just been brighter than other..
but who looks out for stars when sun is out…
So is love.. So is a soulmate

Its easy to spot another solo traveler.. perks being a solo is you could find people with same madness and passion on some scale.

Conversation with people of same mind-set, listening your thoughts from another mouth than yours feels great awesome. Its like having a conversation with mirror.

Remember you are a guest house and people are travelers
nobody stay forever
keep the river inside you flowing
Like an ocean, push back to the coast the algae blooms that  floats in you

Sun got into its quiet corner..
Birds flocked  to their shelter..
so did we .. 

Me possibly to Bengaluru and she to shivamogga in a day or two..

Ritual again… reached kamalapura, asked in pure telugu about theatres around (bruce lee in telugu was running is a theatre – I wanted to experience telugu movie in another state.. not a fanboy of shitty commercial movies)..

He is unable to understand, and the first time it has happened.. telugu didnt work…

I wanted to drive actually.. to get over the hangover Vittala temple gave me and so asked for Tungabhadra dam.

He hopped on as he was headed in same direction.. at a tea stall he got off, asked others to help me in telugu…

A conversation that changed my destination.. I said I wanted to drive… I need challenging, long beautiful roads.. KARWAR is what they suggested.. first time having heard of the place.. checked  on maps… 80kms less than Blr… zipping through Western ghats..

I still havent decided when to move out.. no plans.. just living in the moment…

I didn’t query about the place.. I just inquired how the road is.. They suggested some good sunrise spots around Hampi..

I might start to Bangalore.. or to Karwar.. or to home or stay here..

I didn’t impose any restrictions on my soul.. I let it rest peacefully..

I slept like a baby listening to ‘my mind is a sranger without you’ with no fucking clue what’s in store for tomorrow..

Up Next, On Wheels – Hampi.03

On wheels – Hampi.01

Previously, On Wheels – 1

The feeling of being on move is the sole reason my travel life has started, destination is just a mere excuse..

I  travel alone. Its a choice.

But this time, I have a companion. My Apache 160rtr.
I am the rider, I am the passenger. Luggage is my pillion rider.

Hampi.

Knew nothing about the place and yet after a brief stay, still wondering how much little I knew.

A place is not what it offers visually. Confluence of people, its natural scenics, history, Art & Architecture, Cusines, climate & many other facets define a place.

What today stand as ruins are monuments, places of worship and a King’s place. Ruins are not what they appear…

There are reasons for a place to be in ruins. Curiosity dragged me to nearest Archeology museum. An account of foreigner’s visits and their experiences in Hampi is being displayed. I could see the then Hampi through those words.

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though restored/damaged…

this place doesn’t fail to make an impression of its existence, its strength, magnificence of constructions, its stance withstanding natural calamities and human destruction.

Some rocks seem to rool down any moment, but yet surprisingly hold together like lovers since ages.. I asked such rocks what has bonded them so strong with weak connection and thin contact.. they didnt reply as they are so indulged in themselves…

Though there are stories reported about the magnificence of Hampi.

There are places worth knowing. But Hampi is a place worth experiencing.

Places are same. History is same. But experiences are different.

Earlier people used to settle on river banks, in woods.
Nowadays, people much prefer to stay around printed papers. (currency)

4km ride from Kamalapur junction to Hampi.

Those were the moments I felt so proud of myself on my decision to go Hampi by bike.

Life without ups and downs, women and roads without curves are boring.
A touch of cool breeze even with sun right above your head, quite a pleasurable 10min ride.

I was not in a hurry. I do not have a checklist of places to visit, photos to take. Those 15hours of long ride from hampi is totally worth it…

Bought guide to Hampi along with a physical map. Took some time reading, knowing the place.. thats when I started to explore the soul of Hampi.

Learnt that virupaksha temple, right across Hampi bazar is in the heart of city.

Temple appeared normal. But the more I learnt about the place, I started looking diferently. Place didn’t change. My perception has changed.

Like finding a satisfied human being, found a BSNL “open” WIFI hotspot. Never been so glad to use BSNL service. The green lushy farms I came across reminded me of a telugu movie “chandamama” which deals with the subtle relation of Father-daughter. With lot of struggle to find right app to download songs illegaly, downloaded ‘bugge bangarama’ and ‘mukkupai’ songs that has been in my playlist eversince..

6pm and sun started fading out.

So lost in conversations and music that I forgot to watch sunset and didnt notice the darkness around.

Being human is a guest house where travelers are welcomed and entertained.

People lit up diyas in temple that gave inner walls of temple a complete new look.

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There were people taking shelter, sleeping in the temple for the night and I was one among them.

I was so tired that i had no clue when I fell asleep though having constant company of mosquitoes.

Before lying on the ground like a dead meat, according to what book says, Vittala has to be my next site to be explored..

While walking around in temple late night listening songs, my feet sensed something… surprised by what I found on the ground..
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I got hooked onto this place instantly… excited and nervous, slept like a baby without the fear of getting robbed, I felt so safe. Oh did I mention, Hampi is almost free from Liquor and non-veg that makes the place much special.. 🙂

Up Next  : On wheels – Hampi.02

On Wheels – 1

Location  – Mahbubnagar 1 town police station, 1.30pm

Officer : You should report where you have lost. It takes time.

Me: I have a photocopy. Wouldn’t this work ?? Would I still be fined with this??

Officer : You might be.

Me: I planned to get my driving license done and leave to raichur from here. I thought of traveling with complete documents as there might be definite checking when I cross the state.

Officer: Are you student ?? Why Raichur??

Me : I like to travel sir. And I want to go on my bike. *pause* how much might the fine be for not having original license?

Officer : might be 100-200.. as you have helmet, pay fines if stopped. Take chances.. say you are student.. and there are little chances of bikes being stalled.

Me : thank you sir

and I stormed out of Police station towards my bike sweating like a pig with helmet in one hand. As I approached my bike., realised that i havent taken off the keys from bike with still luggage tied to it.

I took it as a good sign to go ahead…

I asked another police route to Raichur, he pointed his finger west.

another good sign..

All the hesitation and fear  to go on a `1500km bike trip has disappeared when  spark plug ignited fire  and engine started revving.

To me, destination is just an excuse to keep moving to another place… i dont fancy traveling to meet new people, in search of anything.. I liked to keep myself moving.

Its been long I’ve been struck in a place, going nowhere..

I travel to my hearts content… sometimes.. a journey gifts destination and sometimes it doesnt.. but the journey is always a pleasure what may come.

Started my journey on wheels onto raichur road.

Originally planned to do

Hyderabad-Hampi-Banglore-Nandi hills-Skandagiri hills- Hyderabad.

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This time, I am the driver and I am the passenger.

I can stop anywhere anytime on my terms.

At times while traveling when I look outside window, In my mind goes “Damnn.. wish I could stop here for a moment, embrace the beauty it offers and move on”.

Though visiting such places again renting a bike,  didnt give any satisfaction as the moment passed away and element of surprise is gone.. and the bike ride reminds that neither the bike nor the moment belong to me. there was a sense of dissatisfaction.

Barren land mostly it is.. but the road Ive never traveled.

I bought “motorcycle diaries” a book on Che Guvera’s travel experiences just to assure myself that its okay to travel on bike but not with an intention to read.

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During my school days, I was fascinated by TV commercial on this new bike by TVS… APACHE

Bike performance is been tested on F1 tack.. andtowards the end of commercial, the kid looks the bike on display in showroom and dreams to have it one day. I knew nothing about bikes, its performance, its capacity, its mileage… I just dreamt of having an apache (bike) in my parking place.

And here I am.. riding it on a highway with tank full of fuel.. a thousand kms to go.. far away from home..

I wasnt sure if the bag would hold tight to bike so I kept checking constantly whenever speed get struck by speedbreakers.

Devarkadra.Marikal.Makthal.

65kms in an hour… didnt remember speeding at 80kmph in city limits after that accident. its been 4 years I had a bike with me but never did travel longer than 100km radius from the city.

All through my journey, I didnt consider bike as a property… but as a roaring companion.

3.40pm somewhere after crossing khanapur, have I realised I dint had lunch. Eyes constantly searched for a good dhaba to stop and have a little refreshment.

As I drove past Maganur, didnt feel like stopping in no time reached Deosugur.. That’s it…

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There were no inspections…

Each sight was a surprise. You never knew what comes your way and what each turn brings you.. totally exciting, compelling.

I confidently knew that I had to go through Raichur to reach Hampi.. thanks to here maps to get an early estimates on budget and navigation.

With a lot of reaffirmation from locals on how to reach Hampi, dealing with my win10 upgraded lumia getting struck often.. continued my journey…

As I approach Raichur, On my Right took these amazing silos of RPCIL.

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A few miles ahead, on a road to lingsugur main road, saw..

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I couldnt resist taking a moment there

This road has many such frames that couldn’t be captured.. may be the visual frame can be captured.. but not wholly… the fresh breeze, the feel.

Its only when I stop, felt the heat.

Took a left onto Raichur-Koppal road… Undoubtedly, the best turn I’ve made…

Not much of speed-breakers, completely surrounded by agricultural farms, amazing sunset view… and the cool breeze.. What more could a rider ask more for ??

I took off the helmet, drove as slow as I could.

Each time I look into rear view mirror, an air of melancholy and happiness stirred.. I felt lucky to be at this place and also that this moment wont be forever.. no sooner my front view would come in my rear view… but whatever happens, I need to get going..

Horizon was getting darker.. one more frame of the moment…

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I used Nokia 720.. Wish I had a better camera… even If I had, I would crave for much better piece to capture… I have decided to use best tool at my disposal.. My eyes… I stopped taking pictures..

Sun was in a hurry to disappear beyond the horizon… I checked the time and it was 6pm… 2hours… 40km.. “so what… I am not racing… I want to live every moment” I told myself…

A simple mistake and the next minute I am on road.. lying beside bike wth its back tyre still rotating.. I was glad I changed to helmet moments before this happened.. cannot be more glad that the tractor hasnt ran over me..

No injuries.. but helmet got some scratches on visor panel..

With one hand busy in holding the phone and other controlling handle, recorded some shots of bike riding though shaky.

Temperature is getting cool by each passing moment.. and also…

lots of flies… because I was zipping through farms..

I had to close helmet fully so that I could concentrate on riding.. Whenever a vehicle approaches.. it was tough to see road as visor panel is damaged… and the blurry effect a high beam gives, words arent enough to abuse those drivers. I started worrying how I could do rest of the journey..

I lost concentration.. lost deep in thoughts with all this stuff..and having a hardtime in finding my own path in those glares… found a heavy sized bonfire…

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Vehicles have stalled on highway as there is a risk of explosion from fuel tank. Came to know there are no casualities… both the driver and cleaner are safe..

It was around 7pm.. My hunger bells started ringing loud and sound.. I need to find food.

Found a function hall.. by the arrangements and feel of the environment, it was reception.. read the names of bride and bridegroom.. Being an expert in attending uncalled functions… blended in the crowd smoothly… I hogged food like there is no tomorrow… but I limited myself to keep my conscious level in check so that I dont feel drowsy as I have much to drive..

Thanks to those +2 days.. which made me expert in attending functions uncalled for..

I started again.. But I couldn’t even reach 50kmph due to cargo lorries and scratched visor panel..

I stopped at a tea stall near sindhanur to check with locals… because total trust on gps is mere stupidity.

Best thing about Karnataka is, Kannada script is so close to telugu script and almost 6 in every 10 kannadigas can speak telugu..

They suggested me to go to Gangavati instead of Hampi.. stay the night there, leave next day morning thru ferry ride.. which could save 10km of distance.. the word “ferry ride” excited me… crossing river along with my bike.. Immediately updated my destination to Gangavati…

My bike has never been this happier.. Full tank.. and a boat ride tomorrow..

8.15 Gangavati outskirts..

You know you are in the right path, still you need constant reassurance from people that you are right

constant assurance that I am heading in right direction is need of the moment. Asked people at a bus stop as of where I could find cheaper accomodation in the city.. they told me to go near bus station. So did I.

Brindavan hotel, 280rs per night… I saw poster of Tamasha and asked how I could each there… and show timings…

8.45pm, Amar Talkies…

Ticket counter opens at 9pm and show starts at 9.15pm..

I parked bike in theatre and went out to medical shop to buy band-aid, water and a pen to update my diary..

Few good conversations, smiles exchanged, laughs…

To ticket counter.. very old style… two holes at ticket counter.. one to give money, and other to speak.. ticket was 70.

there was an unusual feel in the hall.. I was sure movie watching experience wouldn’t be that great but definitely different.. with fans fixated to walls, people smoking inside, and lights on.. and best comments from audience that were way more entertaining than the movie.

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ARR’s music and Imtiyaz’s storytelling is like wine.. gets better with time.

around 12 am reached back hotel only to see myself shivering.

I got ready to sleep, I didn’t have blanket… decided to  go commando… wore back jeans,socks and jacket to make myself feel warm and covered.

I couldn’t sleep. I felt strangled, fearful and the journey I am about to complete. Scared to the extent that next day I thought of heading back home. I had to be alive, I am scared like never before… narrow escapes.. I could have been on a hospital bed. Its almost 3am in the morning and I couldn’t shut my eyes.

I put on shoes n jacket and went to bus station. sometimes a little human talk could soothe our soul. The policeman on surveillance and I had a good talk, he reminded me of the policeman I met in Madurai.. who helped me reach Chennai cheaply.

I dint check the time, sun dint come up.. I went to bed that day.

I traveled before… but there was something special about this 280km… I fall asleep unknowingly.

Next :  ON WHEELS – HAMPI.01