I was shaken awake by Mithun.
“Da, get up. We are past Bellary.”
I got down from the berth. Tony and Aby was awake, sitting at the lower birth.
“Want tea?” Aby asked.
Just then the boy walked in with the flask. Four steaming plastic cups were handed over.
“This tea tastes special,” commented Tony.
“Kaafee,” bleated the teenager as he took up the flask to move.
We stared for a split-second, and began laughing.
We were on our trip to Hampi, the ancient city, capital of the Vijayanagara empire. It’s been almost two years since the six of us landed in Bangalore. We planned for an outing many times. Something or the other came up to spoil the plan each time. But this time, we were hell-bent. And we had a very good reason: Aby was getting married. The quorum won’t be complete after that. And we boarded the Hampi Express from Bangalore on Ugadi eve.
The place was noting short of a ghost city. Ransacked temples, empty streets of ancient times, broken sculptures scattered all the way, monuments on both sides of the road, minutes after Hospet town till Hampi bus stop.
The huge empty sanctum sanctorum of the Vishnu temple on the way, the huge platform called ‘Mahanavami Dibba,’ the mosque and the octagonal tower in between the ruins, boating down the Tungabhadra river to reach the rocks across, and the majestic Vittala temple... It was like taking a walk through history.
Hampi: One unforgettable journey after a long time...