Chapter 1: The Beginning
Chapter 2 : The Prequel
Looks like Indian Railways too was excited for this trip and the Kacheguda express train started exactly at 9 PM from the platform . Arjun took out a chocolate and offered it to Asha and said ” You should eat sweet something before you start something good ” , imitating the popular cadbury silk ad . Asha knew Arjun’s liking for her but then asked why not give it to everyone . Arjun took out the chocolate packet which he planned to give in course of trip and had to give it to Sid, Aamukta, Vardhaan; very reluctantly . Everyone had a giggle and everyone knew the reason .
The train is racing towards Hospet, the destination . Since its already late night by Indian train travellers time, all the lights started to go off in the bogie and these five also decided to get to sleep.
Its 8 AM and train is scheduled to arrive at Hospet on time at 8 20 AM. Sid woke up and saw that rest of the group is already ready for the day. Sid got up and took the railway tea. Aamukta is in the call with her grandpa and took some details on paper. As soon as the train reached Hospet railway station, they all got down and started walking towards exit. They got hold of an Auto and asked for a lodge in Hampi Bazaar, the downtown Hampi.Hospet is around 12 Km from Hampi and it took them around 30 mins. The auto driver started conversing fluently in Telugu and switched to English after coming to know that these folks are studying Engineering . The English was so fluent that Arjun asked the auto driver ” Anna, how do you know English so good “. Auto driver Krishna, with a rugged look and frail beard, aged around 45- 50 years,and with a very rustic voice said ” Anna, we get tourists from all over Europe, US, Russia, Japan to Hampi and almost all Auto drivers are fluent in English, Spanish, German etc etc. I myself know 5 languages. ”
They reached the lodge in hampi bazaar and enquired for their 2 rooms which they reserved online earlier . They saw 5 people in opposite lodge with Asian features and waived to these guys . Vardhaan waved backed and asked them ” Where are you guys from ” and they replied “Japan” . Arjun replied enthusiastically ” Naruto ” with a dab. The Japanese guys reciprocated it with a smile.
The room boy of the lodge informed that these people come to vacation every Summer and stay for some ten days. Hampi is part of Indian hippie circuit many Europeans and others come to. They start with Goa, then go to Gokarna and then come to Hampi.
Krishna , the auto driver, after dropping the group came to know that Sid’s grandfather worked in Hampi and he might know him, asked if they needed Hampi tour or will it be arranged someone by ASI. Aamukta , earlier asked her grandfather not to arrange any one for Hampi sight seeing as she thought they would only take to places they are familiar with . These guys, wanted to get a good detailed tour of Hampi and explore places slowly in the three huge days planned. Krishna informed that generally they would take around 700 rs per day and can cover all the important sites of Hampi. The group decided to take the Auto but with only touring the places they want and even joked ” Now Krishna is driving the chariot for us 5 people and we are going to war listening to his Bhagavat Gita”.
The group got ready and started their tour of Hampi at 11 AM. Its summer and Hampi generally doesnt go below 35 Degrees in these days. Luckily for them, there are some clouds and even though its hot, its tolerable. They passed by the magnificent Virupaksha temple while starting the days trip but the temple was closed for afternoon break. Krishna started his six seater auto and it roared again just like its taking off to take its passengers to Moon.
First, they started their itinerary visiting the Kadalekalu Ganesha and Sasivekalu Ganesha temple pavilions on the slops of the Hemakuta Hill on the main road. There are many temples and gateways in ruins on the Himakuta hills, which are facing the main Hampi Bazaar . The giant statue of Ganesha in Kadalekalu Ganesha temple is a monolithic and is of 15 metre height. The sanctum of the temple gives a vantage view of Hampi Bazaar. Next they visited the Vishnupada temple and Sri Krishna temple . Krishna started to explain to the group that all the temples are in ruins and not much of them have any statues too. A small group of foreigners also came to the Ganesha temple and their guide was explaining the stories of Lord Ganesha and Mahabharata to them in English and these guys were having fun listening to them.
They started to their next destination, Hazara Rama temple and Royal Enclosure areas. It takes around half hour and is around 3 km from the temple areas they are currently starting from. Krishna took them to the place via a ruin which looked like a street and said ” this is the place where they used to sell diamonds on streets during Krishnadevaraya time ‘. Aamukta remembered a tale his grandfather narrated one night on bedside and said ” Yes, diamonds are a very common commodity during Sri KrishnaDevaraya time itseems. Infact, my grandfather said that there is a theory that Sri Krishna Devaraya had the real kohinoor and it got lost in time or noone has found it . ” Krishna replied ” Yes Madam , my grand father used to tell me that there is some clue in a temple on that diamond, i think Vittala temple . It would be exciting if its true ” .
” If we get that diamond, we will definitely give you a share, auto sir ” said Arjun.
Vardhaan suddenly jumped into discussion and said ” What if the story is real and we can find it . Just think for a moment ” . Everyone became silent and after a minute, Sid announced ” I will call up grand pa today and find out more about it ” .