after a dosa in hospet, we biked the 12km to hampi, checked into a great little hotel and after laughing at several monkies up to no-good, we biked up the hill over looking town to explore the amazing ruins here.
hampi is home to a huge volcanic valley, hundreds of acres long. the enitre thing is littered with ruins of all types. there are huge statues, temples, columns, ancient roads. it's like an unused backlot from Conan the Barbarian or something. it's very hard to summerize, and when i upload the photos hopefully you will gain some understanding of it, but standing at the mouth of the river, you are surrounded by boulders and rubble (peppered among this are ancient carvings and pieces of statues simply left to bake in the sun like other stones), and as you gaze accross the land here and there a temple spire, a column-supported tomb or some other grand structure will just poke up. you could spend days wandering the land here and still not see everything. we had one day, so we made it count.
we explored the hill overlooking town, poking around and climbing all over the rocks. we found some amazing carvings and several dark passages. for the second part of the day, i remembered these dark passages and brought my flashlight. if you are going to temples or ruins in india, i highly highly recommend taking a good flashlight. there are few if any rules at these places, and no ropes or signs keeping you out of dark tunnels and hidden passageways. with a flashlight, you are free to delve deep into the structures on your own - and there are INCREDIBLE things back there. also, tons of bats. like, dozens clinging to the cielings of 500-year old tombs with no light but your small torch. smacks of indian jones. twice as cool 'cause your living it.
more monkies, some dinner and lots of water chugging to fight the heat. double check the bags, fitted the mosquito net over the bed and hit the hay, thouroughly happy with a day of exploration.