Itzik’s Israeli Gust House, Hampi, India, 17/3/08
After a quiet night at the train, sleeping in the same compartment with 5 other Indians on sleeping benches, I arrived at 08.00 to Hospet.
Hospet, officially, Hosapete is a largest city and district headquarters of Vijayanagara district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located on the banks of Tungabhadra River, 12 km from Hampi. The present day Hampi is a World Heritage site containing the ruins of the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Wikipedia
The most difficult part on arriving to a new place is meeting lots of Indians that ‘jump’ on me immediately, offering any thing from Riksha Cars to Guest Houses, Post Cards etc.
In addition there will be buggers, looking at me with big strong eyes, like I am their only saver.
I am learning to be tough & refuse. There will be always the one stubborn that will go behind me every where, wan’t let go of me – “The Rich Lady with $$$$$” – that’s probably what the beggar sees. Even at the time when I do reservation at the train office, he does not leave the sight of me – The $$$ Lady. So I said to him: “Sorry, I will take the bus and not your Ricksha Car, but he did not let me go. In the end… his stubbornness won! and I took him to Hampi at the rate that I wanted to pay.
The view changed from a flat land to extremely huge brown stones, that were scattered all over.
Beautiful Temples stood up on top of the hills by the rocks and at the far distant background.
I got to the river, where I had to cross with a tiny boat. It takes just a few moment to cross and you are at the other side. The young master of the boat tells me: “There ain’t any boats after 18.00 O’clock.”
“It does not sounds pleasant,” I thought, “As maybe I would like to go back, leave the island, but I think…. there will be no chance to do it.”
Again, a huge laud discussion starts with some kids that offer me to curry my bags, asking extremely high price. These young kids are so professional in bargaining, that me, with all my experience I am melting easily to their forces and demand.
It’s early morning, the water of the river is dark green. Huge stones laid every where. There are some 15-20 people bathing in the river, than they put on their Jeans and go to work, some stayed to do their washing.
Happily I arrived to Itzik’s Home. There is an open restaurant in the middle, there I met a few Israelis that got up early to drink homely Ness-Cafe. It is so relaxing to be there after a long journey of 2 difficult days – it feels so much like home – Itzik’s Home!! In the menu: Israeli salad, Chumus, Shnitzel etc.
Every one spoke of the Monkey’s Temple. When I heard that I have to claim 450 steps, I said: “Thanks, but not today!”
In the afternoon I met in the restaurant a nice young Israeli, and she said that 3 women are going to see the sun set on one of the Temples. “You can join,” she offered. I went to walk around the village, to know my neighborhood. Then the Ricksha Car with the 3 women stooped and I got in. I did not ask where we are going. The rice fields were green and flat land all around. The road was snaky with tiny small houses on the side, little children were running up and down the road. The huge stones appear again, smooth, dark, looking at us with their secret story.
Where did they arrived from?
Did they appear from out of space?
Did they came from the center of the earth?
….They do not belong here… even that they are scattered all over the land.
Some say that Hampi is one of the most interesting historical place in the south of India, with the magical view of ancient dark rocks.
Vujayanagar (next to Hampi) was the main town of one of the most powerful empires in India. The town was build on 1336 and got bigger and bigger and more beautiful, until reaching the pick at the 16th century. At that time more than Half a million people lived there, trading in herbs, silk etc. That was the rout of the ‘silk way’ most probably.
On 1565, the town was robbed suddenly by the Sultans of Dekaan & destroyed.
Going up – 450 steps – to the Monkey’s Temple
The Ricksha Car stopped next to a narrow sandy road. From above giant, huge, enormous! rocks were watching us!
‘We arrived at the Monkey’s Temple! said Vered.
“Get ready girls! 450 steps are waiting!”
I wasn’t prepare for that, but ‘La Ger com la Ger’ so I started claiming. The sun, pretty hot, was watching me and us from above.
Even that the stairs were not even, they were comfortable to clime. It was build for the purpose of thousands of believers to come up to to the Holy Temple.
Every 50 steps or so after a zip of water I look around to see the View – and the land was expanding wonderfully beneath us. Near we saw the rice fields and in the distance other Temples looked astonishing.
We could see from above, the ruins of Hampi. that vast town. that was once a beautiful lively city.
It is such a sham that Wars destroy such wonderful cities, monuments.
and…. Where all the people go?
I stopped again to drink water. Thank You Vered! I said.
“The visit in the Monkey’s Temple – it’s the high light of my visit in India,” she said. I was here yesterday, but had to come again before leaving.
At the top of the mountain, there was a humble Temple. Monkeys were running everywhere.
The view & power of the vast rocks expanded.
“The God of the Monkeys is looking at us each day and at the Sunrise & the Sunset,” said the priest to us.
The view was open all round – 360 degree!
We sat on the rocks watching the Sunset. The peaceful view all around us was extremely beautiful & powerful. (*)
(*) The view was extremely beautiful & powerful, but not in the same way probably, when there were HALF a million people living in that town, below the Monkey’s Temple.