Thursday 5 February 2015

Karnataka Heritage Trail -Part 1

A long weekend came and went and how could we not have headed out of town? :) This time, because S had been going ga-ga over some pictures of Pattadakkal that some friend had posted, we decided to do Hampi-Badami-Pattadakkal-Aihole. First, a night train to Hampi, which turned out to be a dirty town which became much nicer as we headed out of the city center and towards the Jungle Lodges Sloth Bear Resort.  Airy spacious cottages well-spaced from each other, spotlessly clean, and with very friendly courteous staff. How I wish more Govt.-run establishments were like this! Though of course JLR charges an arm and a leg so that level of service is to be expected. 
Hampi was beautiful. A little underwhelming at first though; having been to Khajuraho and Orccha in Madhya Pradesh, not to mention Belur/Halebid closer to Bangalore, I did not find the architecture and carvings that spectacular. Soon, however, the sheer scale of the site, the history and the impressive natural setting (boulders and all) had me mesmerised. Hampi was crawling with foreign tourists and was hot even in January. I can imagine the scorching heat during the summertime. After doing a little sightseeing, we headed back to the resort for lunch, a short nap and then a safari into the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary. 
This safari was unlike any safari I have ever been on. We trundled along in the bus for what seemed like miles until we reached a rocky hill up which we all huffed and puffed. On top of the hill, was a viewing platform on which all of us were asked to perch for the next 2 hours until the sloth bears made an appearance! The rest of the 'safari' was fairly typical. There were the serious wildlife-watchers with professional-looking cameras and binoculars who were highly irritated on spotting us tourists accompanied by small noisy kids. There were the small noisy kids who occupied themselves in running up and down some rickety stairs :) There were some bored adults as well who were merrily taking calls and speaking loudly into their fancy phones. 
It was windy, cool, and beautiful. I settled down and relaxed until such time as the bears made an appearance. They did not make us wait too long. It was quite fascinating to see the black furry shapes clamber down the rocks even if from a distance.
Chariot at the Vittala Temple Complex

Miniature Hampi - the prototype of every building was this

Elephant Stables

The zoom

View from the top- at the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Finally, it was time to go back to our cottages for some well-earned dinner and an interesting BBC documentary on the wildlife around Hampi. Day 2/Part 2 of the heritage trail to be posted soon!


  1. Karnataka Heritage Trail in parts? Am all eyes and ears Aparna - my travel guide :)
    My husband has been wishfully talking about a North Karnataka Tour by road. God alone knows how we will manage that with a 5 month old who refuses to sleep anywhere without his 'thooli' :( Sigh .. Travel as of now seems a distant dream.
    Did you travel much when your kids were less than a year? If yes, maybe you could do a post on that. Again, I would be all years and see if I can take any pointers.

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    2. I meant all 'ears' not 'years' :)

    3. Hello Aarthy. yes we did. As I recall our first trip with Ads was when he was 8 months old (to Varkala in Kerala). When he was 15 months old we did a long trip to Australia and Singapore. That was a huge earning experience!!!! With Y we were more adventurous...she started at 5 months :) Will do a post. Unfortunately I don't seem to have blogged about our travel back when she was a baby. Don't worry, you will begin travelling again!


I would love to hear your thoughts :)