For reading the previous parts - Hampi I, Hampi II
Next day, we woke up with all the pains of yesterday's cycling. As there was little time to waste, we took another cycle and opened our day from Virupaksha Temple. Next destination was Vittala Temple - you can reach Vittala temple by taking a left from the other end of Hampi Bazaar. A group of monkeys will welcome you on the banks of Tungabhadra river.
They charged me for taking their photos, in the form of a Mirinda bottle. Our problem was about the possibility of riding a cycle along the banks of the river. I checked with some local people, one said yes and another said no - and we took yes as answer.
As it was not possible to ride cycle for next 50 meters, we were force to carry it in hand, a small compromise for making our later journey smoother. Other than some couples here and there, the path was almost empty. Finally we saw a group of foreigners heading towards a small road - towards Achutaraya Temple and Ganika Bazaar. And we reached Ganika Bazaar, a long bazaar with stone rooms on either sides. One of the curious thing related to Ganika Bazaar was, its located in front of Achutaraya Temple!!!
|Musical Pillars another view|
The famous Anjaneya Temple, Mathunga hills and Kishkinda of Ramayana are located on other side of the river. As we were running out of time, we dropped the plan to cross the river and continued our journey towards Vittala temple. King's Balance was the first to came in the way. Here king's of Vijayanagara used to weight himself and donated precious stones and gold to priests. You can see this type of balance, in many temples, where people used to weight themselves in the balance - using various fruits,coconuts, precisous stones, silver and even gold. Later they will submit this equivalent weight to the idol.
|Stone Chariot from the front|
From ASI counter in front of the temple we bought tickets (10Rs), you can use the same ticket in other places like Archaeological museum, Zanana enclosure etc so keep it with you. After entering the temple the first thing you will see is a chariot made of stone - reproduction of a processional wooden chariot - pulled by two stone elephants and houses a statue of Garuda. Earlier it was pulled by a pair of stone horses - still you can see the tail of those horses in the chariot.
In front of stone chariot you can see the famous musical pillars. The composite pillars of the Sabha Mantapa (congregation hall) are massive, hewn out of single granite blocks, which are designed as clusters of slender pillars. Some of these, when tapped gently produce musical notes. How they build these structure, which produce musical notes? Anyway now you can’t try on these pillars as uncontrolled trials forced ASI to stop the practice.
|Stone chariot from the sides|
After seeing the temple, stone chariot, musical pillars etc one would not like to leave the place so soon. But what we can do, sun was moving fast in towards western seas. Finally we decided to go and reached the bazaar in front of the temple complex. Once visited by traders from all over the world, is now an abandoned site. From here more than four kilometers to museum and seven kilometers to Zanana enclosure. The portion was not so easy to ride, under hot July sun we searched for drops of water. The famous Talarigata Gate is on the way, you can see Ragavendra temple, Jain's temple and Bhima's gate in the sides of the roads. Some are easily visible, but for others you have to go inside.