The final stop of our Hampi trip was the Virupaksha Temple (a Shiva temple). This is a functional temple, so you would have to remove your slippers/sandals/shoes in the outer area. Camera costs 50Rs and entrance is 5Rs for all people.
There is a temple Elephant which will bless you, if you pay the mahout some money. And for free, you can see a lot of monkeys. They are different from the usual ones. I don’t know their names. They had very long tail and very dark face. Here is one picture which is my very favorite 🙂 Look at the way it is sitting on the top of Nandi
We went around the temple, prayed and went to the other side. If we keep going, we might hit the river. But we settled for some shade. I took out my zoom lens and started capturing some photographs of the very different Gopuram of the temple. There were some monkeys (not the black faced ones..the other common variety) playing in the top. It was fun watching them. After relaxing, we decided to have some snacks or at least something to drink. It was way past our tea time and I needed some thing to keep me going (I am used to my evening tea you see). We saw an ayurvedic healing room in the entrance. So decided to check it out on the way back. My friend wanted to see what they had there. But to his disappointment, by the time we were back they had closed the shop. They lost a customer that day.
After that, we went to Mango Tree restaurant again and had some much needed juice and snacks. After that by the time we came out and decided to go to Mathunga Hill for the sunset, it was already 5.45 or so. We had to walk all the way to the other side of the road to the hill.
The sunset view point is on the top of the hill on the right hand side of this picture.
It doesn’t look like it, but it is a very long walk. And the sun was already half way there to setting down.
We realized that it was gonna be a trek to the top of the hill and we sped up. Half way there and we encountered a police man (we have a police station close to the stairs to this hill. They had converted a old mandapa as a police station after renovating it) who told us that by the time we reach from the back side (not a straight route to the top) we would have missed the sunset. A couple of other tourists also heard this and decided to stay there and watch the sunset, rather than climb all the way and miss it. This is the place where we decided to return back. A couple of them went ahead though. We were tired and didn’t want to miss it and took this opportunity to come back to the stairs and enjoy the sunset.
And I should say that we made the right decision.
The sunset was complete by around 6.30 pm. We were there for almost half an hour, enjoyed the sunset, talked about everything and nothing, enjoyed the view, tried to guess the relationship between two people (much younger in age) who were playing etc etc 🙂 After that we started back on our long way to the parking area. Thankfully, my friend asked to check if there was a shortcut through the mandapas on the left and thankfully, they were. So a long route was cut short to the parking lot. We had completed our trip to most of the important places in Hampi and also saw the sunset and were ready to head back to get the much needed rest. The heat caused a lot of dehydration and tiredness.
The return journey took much longer because of the traffic and we reached the hotel by 8 pm. My friend didn’t get much to eat, because of very less options in the hotel (that is the only negative point for those Hyatt people) We retired for the day and decided to call it an early night because we were checking out the next day for a long drive back to Bangalore.