While traveling to the beautiful ancient ruins, Humpi in Karnataka State of India, it was about 2pm when we didn’t know what to expect or where to stop for lunch. Yaseen was sleeping in the back seats, and I opened a pomelo we bought from the forest somewhere in Tamil Nadu. The citrus scent from pomelo’s thick skin was refreshing, and it woke that little boy up.
The road seemed endless. Sadik and I still couldn’t find a place to stop for lunch, and we were hungry. The juicy pomelo didn’t help, and it was stirring up our appetite. We stopped the car on the side of the road and took some bananas we brought from Kerala out of the truck. Those were our lunch when we decided to have a feast tonight at Hospet.
This was something we learned on the national high way to the town of Hospet. Noticing there were spreads of straws the farmers put on the road to dry in the sun every other kilometers, we tried and avoided them, didn’t want to run over the produce. But after a while, we realized that the farmers actually wanted the vehicles to run over them to remove some kind of grains off the straws. They even tossed them in front of our car intentionally for us to go over. What a risky business! But when we knew what they wanted, we happily ran over everything! So cool!
Hospet is a small town near Humpi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we were eager to explore. As Humpi is protected under archaeological department, the staying facilities in Humpi are limited, making a nearby town like Hospet a demanding option for tourists and visitors. As per our original plan, we would get a room in Hospet and proceed to Humpi, then we would see all places and then we would come back to Hospet to spend the night and leave in the morning. There are many options that suit everyone’s pocket in Hospet, from 5 star hotels to budget hotels, guesthouses and dormitories.
And as always, we haven’t booked a room before we arrived at the destination. We ended up driving around town and found a decent budget hotel that was only Rs. 1,200 per night. I was happy considering we were only going to be there for one night. But then our travel story got a little twisted. At the lobby, Sadik had a chat with the locals who shared a map of Humpi with him. It’s not like we didn’t do any research before. We did. But clearly, it wasn’t enough. Because Humpi is magnificent and stretching over acres of land that a few hours we had left before sunset wouldn’t be enough for us to see the fraction of this ancient city. At this point, it was almost 4 pm. We got to the room and rest a bit, then we decided maybe we should spend one more day here. Whoa! Where did that come from? He was supposed to be back at work the next day, and I didn’t expect to stay another night when we almost ran out of budget for this trip. But honestly, we’re happy with the decision. It was the best one we made! Not only we were gifted with time to see the entire city of Humpi, but we got to relax and enjoy the glorious Tungabhadra Dam on Tungabhadra River just outside the town.
Tungabhadra Dam is a multipurpose dam serving irrigation, electricity generation, etc. The dam is beautiful, and it is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Hospet and a weekend getaway for the locals.
There is a massive parking facility at the entrance of the dam where an internal bus service takes the visitors up to the dam and to the hill on top overlooking the majestic view of the dam.
There is a lighthouse on the hill where we spent sometimes enjoying the slow evening.
You can hike back down to the dam or wait for the bus to get you back.
After sunset, on the weekend, at the botanical park of Tungabhadra Dam, there is the water dancing show. It’s very popular among the crowds, and everyone stay back waiting for the show after dark.
Late at night when we got back to town of Hospet, we were famished. Remember we had nothing but banana and pomelo for lunch. I was looking forward to a local cuisine, but at the time like this, anything would do.
We had a heavy Indo-Chinese dinner.
I ordered Gobi Manchurian twice!
Yaseen enjoyed tomato soup with loads of croutons. We had fried rice, chicken 65… and ice cream for dessert.
Tired and full, that night we slept so good dreaming about the wonderful adventure waiting for us in the morning.
See you soon! I can’t wait to show you what we did in Humpi.
Tes (tweet to me at @Testerfly)