It's easy to get lost among the temples of Hampi, but despite how much time has passed, the conservation of the 350 temples is very good, so there are no ruins. There are also fortifications, a vast and elaborate irrigation system, sculptures, paintings, stables, palaces, gardens, markets. Besides the beauty there, you don't have to pay to enter (as most of the temples are open) and there is rarely a lot of people. A perfect tour through time and Hindu culture.
Inside the temple Vijayavittala, you'll find Hampi, the most famous building. This statue is a shrine built in the form of car, where according to Hindu mythology, Garuda is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The float is built with many giant granite blocks but the union of the blocks is perfectly hidden behind the carvings decorating the cart. In front of the chariot two elephants appear to be pulling the cart. These elephants replaced two horses that were carved in the same position. The tails and the rear legs of horses can still be seen behind the elephants.
Located in Karnataka, Hampi it's a holy town surrounded by boulders that appear to be piled on top of each other by magic. Amazing. You will find good people, unforgettable laps on foot or by bike through the ruins of the city of Vijayanagar. Cross the Tungabhadra River in a round leather boat and arrive to the temple of the monkey god. Good buddy adventure!
Tippu Sultan built this mosque in 1784 after he ascended the throne of Mysore. It is located near the Bangalore Gate fortress. Its minarets are emphasized, over two floors and they are crowned by some octagonal shaped domes. There is an inscription which shows the ninety-nine names of God.
Gokarna is located in the state of Karnataka, and is not as popular or well-known as Goa, but it is an exceptional place. It is a place with reputation among some backpackers who go to India, the reason being its beauty and the peace that permeates here. If you come from Goa, be prepared for seven or eight hours of travel, and several local buses, but it's well worth visiting. Once you reach Gokarna Town should take a rickshaw to take you to either Om or Kudle, and from there walk about 500m. Depending on your preference choose one of the beaches-I went to Kudle beach where there are some cabins, the best is our compatriot, the Spanish Place, which costs about 6 euros. The 2 beaches are separated by a mountain, which you can visit as well. Another means of transport between the beaches is by fishing boat, whose drivers serve as makeshift taxi drivers (I'd haggle a bit with the price here); I opted to walk. It's a tremendous place to spend several days relaxing, without the noise and chaos of India. The beaches are spectacular for you and whoever you travel with.
I went up to this hill, on the outskirts of Mysore, to have a look of the whole city, but the truth is that you can barely see anything. But, if you own one of the most picturesque temples in the area, Chamundeshwari Temple, and below, you can visit Nandi the Bull, a sculpture of a bull. To get to the top, people normally take a taxi, but there is public transport as well. THe number of the bus was 204.
In the huge metropolis in southern India known as Bangalore we found a few green areas. One of the best parks in the city is the Cubbon Park, not known for its flowers and sculptures but for it's greenery even during the rainy season with huge trees 15 to 20 meters high. The trees of this park are full of life and small animals, and it is important to be careful with the numerous hives of huge bees that are in some branches.
The giant statue, measuring almost seven meters high, depicts Narasimha, the half-man, half-lion, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Narasimha is seated on the snake's coils coils, which rises behind him covering him. Originally, there was a smaller image of Lakshmi sitting on his lap.
The capital of the state of Karnataka is a pretty modern city and is said to be one of India's biggest metropolises. The streets are large and clean, and there's a reasonable amount of traffic and many parks and buildings. But if you get into the heart of the city, you'll see the classic Street gibberish and clamor of the people. Do not miss the Palace of Government, or Vidhana Shouda. An imposing building with a modern architecture particularly reminiscent Dravidian style.
The Garuda Mall was the first shopping mall I ever visited Bangalore. Walking down a somewhat ramshackle streetin which there was a small Hindu temple and after passing the Karnataka Football Stadium I found a clean, neat, modern building with a cinemas, various shops, some well-known brands, cafes , an area with restaurants, etc! As in the West! Thisshopping mall is Garuda Mall By the way, on my last trip, in April 2011, some cinemas were showing 4D films, not thatI know what the difference is with 3D ones.
Located in the state of Karnataka, Bijapur is a city away from the tourist trail that shows the influence of Muslim culture. The motley streets offer a great mix of the smells and colors of India. The cows roam here, making some of the scrupulous slightly uncomfortable. I really liked the Ibrahim Rauza, the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, which was built way back in the year 1589. It is striking for its beauty and elegance: they say that it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. Gol Gumbaz is also very famous. It is a tomb, surmounted by a dome whose diameter is only surpassed by that of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. People who love India should be sure to stop by this place.
We were in transit a couple of hours both on our inward and outward trip to Sri Lanka in Bengalore airport. It is a modern airport, mostly operated by the company Kinfisher. We really enjoyed the experience because it is a modern company with first class airplanes. A direct flight to London has recently started operating. The flights were really cheap so we made the most of this opportunity. The airport had taken precautions because of the swine flu so when you get off the plane your temperatura is taken. You then have to fill out a form stating which countries you have travelled through and where you're going. After a final baggage check (where you also searched manually as well as with a metal detector), you get to a lounge. There are a couple of restaurants, bookstore, restrooms and souvenir shops there. Cards are accepted with no minimum charge so you dont have to get rupees if you will not be staying in India.
The city Market is in the old part of the city of Bangalore. There is a mosque, the biggest one in Bangalore, but the most interesting thing is the streets full of shops, shops of all kinds, full of all kinds of goods, of the most varied and unexpected things. Streets full of people, full of color, smells, etc..! Because you imagine an Indian street! If you are visiting Bangalore it is a must to visit the city Market.
Any unobstructed field in India is a good place to escape the hustle and bustle. On weekends, some of the parks are filled with teams of people of all ages playing cricket. They arrive early cause they can spend hours playing. It is a good opportunity to learn the secrets of this sport and hopefully play with them a bit.
Going up a hill behind the main part of Hampi, we came upon a group of elderly Indians. Nobody knew a word of Hindi and they didn't know much English. We drew the bindi and they smiled and shook our hands. It was a very warm welcome.
Despite being a bit away from the center of the city, its 175 meter towers are visible from many parts of the city. This is one of the largest churches in India. With inspiration from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, this colossal church was built in 1956 in the Gothic Revival style. At night it is lit, but if you only have enough time to visit one thing, it´s better to see the illuminated Mysore Palace.