Road trips are always interesting, you get to know the geography of the place, you get to see the roads and the directions, you can watch the villages and the towns, you get the opportunity to experience the lifestyle and above all you can stop at any place and breathe in the fresh air and feel the vibe and capture the landscape in your camera and the moment in your memory. This time it is about my road trip to Hampi and back.
Hampi fascinates me in every possible way. Since my first visit to Hampi some time ago, I am under the magic spell of this place. The surreal landscape, the ancient ruins, the avian life and our stay within the sub jungle of Hampi Heritage and Wilderness Resort – every aspect of Hampi enchants me and I feel like to be there again and again. So, Hampi Again! That too on a road trip, it was a double excitement for me.
We started from Pune at 3 AM and it was dark and rainy and we had to cover a long distance of 609 km a day. We chose to take the route via Kolhapur knowing it was a few kilometres more than that via Solapur. Friends who frequent the route advised so as the one via Solapur was not in good shape and the rains may have further taken its toll.
With the rain continuing in its full force we covered the dark part of the morning and with mild light around we reached Kolhapur. It was a smooth drive through NH 48. After a short break in the cold morning wind, we started again and crossing Nipani, Sankeshwar, then through Hubballi city, we entered the NH 67.
All of a sudden wind turbines showed up on either side of the way at a distance and we were driving towards them. I always feel intrigued by the landscapes that are dominated by windmills. The wind turbines were so near and scattered all over the place. Taking advantage of the road trip we stopped to get some quick snaps. To our surprise, there was farmland below fenced with bright yellow flowering plants frequented by the tall towers of the wind turbines.
Then again we were back on the route, at times monotonous at times interesting – subjects and landscapes varied with kilometres travelled. We were now close to Hospet and the farms were full of sunflowers small and large, little later it was sunflower fields all around. The sight was enough to delight us but the rain played the spoiled sport. We could not stop to capture the moment. No worries, we are supposed to return via the same route and we have another chance.
Then through the Munribad Project Area, we were on the bridge overlooking the Tungabhadra Dam. The waters were overflowing over another parallel small bridge below and many spectators gathered to watch the show. On the other side, the huge Tungabhadra dam over the Tungabhadra River a tributary of River Krishna has opened its thirty sluice gates releasing large volumes of water and overflowing the surrounding areas, cemeteries, bridges and farms.
I have seen many dams before but never one with all its sluice gates open and water gushing out at such huge force. I watched the scene standing motionless in awe thinking about the might of nature. I became thoughtful that how supreme is the force of nature.
Man creates the dam to store water and regularise the supply of water throughout the year but has no control over the power of nature and thus on the heavy rain. Due to the heavy rain this year huge volumes of water is being released to save the devastation from the collapse of the dams and thus again flooding large areas.
It was not a flood-like situation but this huge volume of water raised my concern. The rains have already caused havoc in many parts of India. Coming out of my thoughtfulness and quickly clicking some shots we moved on to our destination in the Hampi Heritage and Wilderness Resort in Kamlapur, our home for a couple of days.
I shall cover the story of my stay in another post. Here I will share the story of my journey to and from Hampi. So, after a couple of wonderful days in Hampi, we were on our way back towards Pune. This time we took a different route towards Kolhapur and that is via Kushtagi, Bagalkot and Mudhol finally joining the NH 48 at Nipani. This route traverses close to Badami and Aihole. But we could not cover these places on our tour.
This route was again with different landscape and different experience. I was repenting on the missed shots of the sunflower farms which we planned to click on our return. But after covering a certain distance we did find sunflowers everywhere. We stopped near a sunflower field crossed the thorny fences and did some quick photoshoot when the creator of this beauties arrived.
He proudly boasted about his creation in his language but his facial expression and hand gesture was enough to convey the message. He said that the huge farm of sunflower, sugarcane and maize in the surrounding, all belongs to him. He smilingly posed for us with his beautiful crop. Thanking him we went ahead on our way.
As we moved on there were sights of overflowing rivers and lakes, trees and banks were all under the water. We stopped on one such bridge with a huge water body below. The coconut groves were seen standing tall above the flooded waters. It was again an unusual sight indicating the grim situation with the rising water level. These flooded fields have again made an opportunity for water birds to get an easy catch.
With the daylight fading, there was nothing special to watch out for, only the darkness and the road to drive back home. But this road trip was extraordinary with all the items on my wishlist being fulfilled. As most of my trips end with a wish to return again this time too it ended with the same wish to return back again on a road trip making different memories and capturing moments.