Day 2 started early. Ekta woke me up at 6:30 AM shouting that the sun will be up. Well it turned out that sun was already up by that time. Anyway, we got ready in a hurry and got out for our morning photography trip. Our first stop was the bank of Tungabhadra. Since it was a Sunday morning, the ghats of Hampi were packed with tourists, school kids etc who had just arrived on an excursion. While we stood there staring at the people, I looked at Ekta’s face. She did not look in a very good mood; I asked why and she replied, “Because there is nothing interesting here!” So we chucked the idea of taking photos of the river and set out for our next target, which we had missed the day before – the Matanga hills.
So we reached the foothills again and then started climbing. The weather was quite cool and it was definitely better than before. We got lost at a couple of points but some helpful soul had made arrow marks leading to the hill. After a point it was another flight of steep stone steps going up, but this time it was in a better shape and did not appear life threatening. As we went up, we could see the panoramic view of the valley below. We could see a temple below us which I incorrectly identified as the Achutaraya Temple. It turned out to be the Balakrishna temple. More about it later…
We climbed and climbed and did not stop till we were completely out of breath. Either age is catching up with me or IT has made me completely useless. It took us another 30 minutes for us to scale the 500 odd steps and reach the top. It turned out that the hike was worth the effort. The 360-degree view of the Hampi town and various sites around it was fabulous in the rays of the morning sun. To add to it, we were getting a good mobile signal and we were able to check emails, SMS, Facebook updates etc.
On the top, there was a big building marked as the ashrama of the Matanga Rishi. There were three stone mandapas under one of which we sat down to rest. Then we ventured into the ashrama; it was a spooky place with lots of pillars and rooms, galleries leading to the abyss below and a temple of Kali in the middle. The place looked deserted but there were signs that someone had lived there till recent. There were viewpoints from where one could get a panoramic view of what lied beneath – a photographer’s delight! We spent a lot of time taking photographs and then started our descent. At the foothills, a path led to the river but we had no time for it as we were getting late for an appointment. More about that appointment and rest of our day in the next post…
Ah! That trek I did not have time for when I visited Hampi! Great memories of the sculptures there!
I must say that you missed something 🙂
Nice job with the blog. It also makes me feel like a complete couch potato!
What are you waiting for then? Get up, get ready and venture out. The world has a lot more to offer 🙂
What amazing views from the hill, I checked out all the flicker images too. That mantap is another wow-thing. 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Thanks for your blog 🙂 Nice pics!
Could you help me with reaching this place from the Hampi main temple? I am planning to go there sometime next month and also planning to reach the top of the hill early in the morning, before sunrise. Also, how difficult this trek is and is it possible to trek it in the dark? Any clues would be really helpful 🙂
Thank you. Ok regarding the path, by main temple I think you mean Virupaksha Temple. So the main street from Virupaksha temple goes through Hampi Bazar. Cross the bazar and you will reach the other end where the stairs begin.
Do not go all the way to the top, as you ascend, a path will divert towards the right and you may see a signboard for Matanga Hill. Follow this path, it will lead you to the steps to Matanga hill. Some climbing is required and if you are fit, you will be at the top in 30 min. If you are starting before sun has risen, please carry a good torch with you.
Attaching the Google map for your reference
Much thanks Puru! 🙂