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Trip Report Hampi & Badami: Exploring the Vijaynagar and Chalukya empires.

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This is my blog link(with pictures): http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/travels-from-india/hampi-and-badami/
I traveled to Hampi and Badami from Pune(that's where I stay) with my family in October last year. This is the trip account. I was quite surprised Hampi receives a very small number of tourists(as compared to say Rajasthan or KErala), and Badami? Hardly any tourists..Given how magnificent these sites are, and how amazing the landscape is, it's a shame many tourists don't visit Hampi. So here we go..

Hampi is undoubtedly the most gorgeous Indian destination I’ve been to, it beats everything else I’ve seen till date(Ladakh,Rajasthan..all of it). The landscape is very evocative and the ruins are still alive. It was home to the Kishkinda empire mentioned in Ramayan, and to the mighty Vijaynagar empire of south India. Yet, it has a low tourist factor(fortunately). It’s just about 10 hours from Pune, still I had never suspected it’s existence till about 2 yeas back. Hampi along with Badami,and Pattadakkal and Aihole make a great North Karnataka trip.

Hampi has had a very glorious past. Then one day it was sacked and looted by muslim invaders. Nevertheless, the landscape is the same, the ruins are still magnificent and the whole area is very evocative of the past. The rocks are gorgeous, the architecture blends in perfectly with them and there’s a meandering river flowing through all of this. If you’re there during the rains, the green grass and red-brown stones make an awesome combination. The numerous hilltops,often with temples or watch-tower kind strucures remind you this was once the capital of a mighty empire.The sunrise and sunset is supposed to be life changing, we weren’t so fortunate to see them, because of the rains and clouds, but the being at the vantage points at early hours is quite an experience.

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