Live interaction with BASC Team & Members - 2nd May 2020

Monday, December 23, 2013

Less than a week after my last trek with BASC, I was itching for a bike ride. I do keep going on solo rides, but riding with a group is a different song altogether. Having ridden before with other trekking groups, I was on the verge of asking one of the senior BASC guys to help me organize one.

As if it was a god sent, there was a registration mail for a bike ride to Hampi. Without a second thought I registered, excited about meeting a new group of riders. Mails flowed with detailed instructions, do’s and don’ts and something told me this was going to be exciting.
On the day of the ride, we met at Taj Vivanta Tumkur road, more or less on time (Except Raghavendra :P) and after a short briefing, we started moving. It was cold like hell, and even with a thermal layer and gloves, I was shivering. We had to take a couple of breaks just to get some hot coffee into our systems. When we stopped for the second break, three bikers missed us and continued ahead.
DSC_5610After basking in the warmth of a bonfire and a cup of piping hot coffee shot, we continued our journey to Chitradurga. However we realized the three bikers that had overshot had moved towards Hampi and we were to rendezvous them there itself.
Here like in the movie Matrix, Deepak offers me a choice – blue pill or red pill. Blue pill is the shorter, straight highway to Hampi, while the red pill is a longer, “more scenic” route. Without batting an eyelid, I chose the red pill. We continued on that route, a scenic but patchy road.
The remaining 5 bikers were riding in a tight formation, never out of sight of each other. We finally make it to Hampi, through Bellary, after a late breakfast. We met the 3 “lost” bikers in front of a temple.
DSC_5716It was 11am already and we were all really sleepy, and we decided to go to our cottages, change and push off for sightseeing. The guesthouse is located on the Hampi Island, so we leave our bikes and cross over in the boats. We checked in to our “Bobby Guest House” cottages were really nice and colored in vivid shades.
After a refreshing and rather cold shower, the tiredness was gone as if it was never there and there started the journey to a number of monuments with a humungous amount of facts and history. SO MUCH HISTORY that I zoned out and simply focused on taking pictures. Including some that’ll never be forgotten. ;) From this I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.
First we went to the Krishna Temple, with a large market and reservoir in front of it. The history lecture here set context of the king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayawada Empire in the 16th century, his ideology. He was a king who had expanded the empire to include Andhra and Orissa. His love and respect of different cultures was well documented and most of the monuments reflected influence of different cultures, including Jainism, Islam, and Chinese etc. He used to get artisans from these regions to build these monuments.
DSC_5606The next was Sasivekalu Ganesha, where the Ganesha Idol was made out of single rock and the temple was built around it. The special thing about this idol is that from behind it looks like Ganesha is sitting on Mother Parvati’s lap.

DSC_5630Next up was Lakshmi Narsimha, where Goddess Lakshmi was sitting on the lap of Narsimha. DSC_5639Unfortunately the Lakshmi statue was completely destroyed by the plunderers. Her hand is still visible on the left arm of Narsimha. In close vicinity was the second largest Shivaling in South India. 

DSC_5665Then we went to the Lotus Mahal. This campus housed sandalwood palaces of the two queens, and this beautiful structure called Lotus temple. The palaces were burnt down, duh, but this Lotus Mahal supposedly has a state-of-art liquid cooling technology similar to those employed in modern day CPUs by hackers. Yes, I WAS listening… too. ;)
This campus also had the elephant’s stables, whose pictures couldn’t be taken due to too many distractions :P Then we visited a Ganesha temple, which is able to depict the story of Ramayana engraved in 3 rows on its outer walls.
At the King’s Balance – the first picture is of the reservoir where water is channeled from different places using aqueducts (shown in the second picture.) The third picture is of the engraving on the sides of the main platform at the king’s balance. These engravings depict the entire story of how the trade used to happen in those times, and how the kingdom was developed.
The last attraction of the day was the Vittala temple. This temple houses the famous stone chariot, and musical pillars. The musical pillars were quite fascinating, designed such that each produces a different tone, depending upon its thickness and material used.
After a rather long day of history lectures, we rushed back to the river crossing so that we could ship our bikes to the other side. The whole gang is pictured below.

What was probably a first for many of the bikers, our bikes had the fortune of sailing across the river in boats. A truly exciting and somewhat scary experience.

DSC_5805I’m sure everyone was pretty relieved once our bikes were safely on the other side. This leads us to a completely different world, captured in the next section.
This side of the river is quite the opposite of the temple side. Here, there is not much to see or do, due to lack of road access, I’m sure we pretty much accounted for 80% traffic on the island. This side has the famous Mowgli and Shanthi Guest houses. In a state of extreme hunger I made the group check out two places before we decided to settle for Sunny’s restaurant, run by an interesting fellow called Suko.
Boy we ate. We ordered and ordered relentlessly. Poor Suko’s clouded brain couldn’t handle much of it. During our dinner, a group of foreigners were celebrating a birthday, and being the civilized lot we were, we did clap and sing. They were nice enough to send cake to our table. (Those who couldn’t taste or see it, there was rum and raisin cake, and New-York style baked cheesecake. Next time, try harder :P)
For the next couple of hours, we stuffed ourselves till we could not eat one more grain. We sat there for a while waiting for food to settle down, so that we could get back on our feet and walk back to our cottages.
DSC_5757I however ended up jamming with this girl from Austria, who was playing the Ukelele, and meeting the proprietor of this music shop called Gali Djambo. An interesting fellow, with a passion for music. He was carrying this fascinating instrument called the Hapi, and he played some mesmerizing music on the mere 8 notes on that instrument. I learnt that every evening he organizes “Sunset Jam”, jam sessions on the boulders of the river at dusk, where any and every one can join or just drop in to listen. Something I regret missing this time, as we were to leave the island by noon next morning. But it’s a sure shot on my list for the next time.
DSC_5581 Past midnight I decided to call it a night, and headed back to the cottage, where a couple of people were watching the screening of Inception at the Bobby’s shack, while most others had retired in the hammocks or cottages. A long and interesting day.
A few people decided to wake up and watch the sun rise from the hanuman temple. I wished them luck and decided to sleep for the next 16 hours. I got to sleep for 6.

DSC_5785At 7am, Deepak comes to our cottage and starts a nice conversation. Like that will wake me up. After numerous such visitors and attempts, finally I decided to wake up at 7:40am. Not bad!
People were already up and around, and we gathered at the shack for breakfast, were I started my next photo spree. It was a quiet and a peaceful morning, the shack was decorated to give an ambience of laziness and the music was just totally relaxing. It felt great to know that there is no rush and I can kick back and relax.
The guys who had gone to see the temple got delayed due to a punctured tire and we were just relaxing till they reached.
DSC_5571After everyone was done with breakfast, we packed up and moved to check out Sanapur Lake, our last destination on the trip before we ferry our rides across and head back home. Now this is when I discover the nice part of the island. Small shops selling very tourist oriented stuff, Graffiti on walls, etc. 
The first signboard we see when we reach the lake is “Crocodiles are in the reservoir.” So it was our duty to go and see if they’re okay!
So there goes the BASC official synchronized bridge jumping team, in perfectly synchronized dives :D :D :D
From there we headed back to our guesthouse for lunch.
One more river crossing later, we were all cruising on our way home.
May we have many more bike trips, and hope all of them will be as fun as this one! Keep it up dude!
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Written by: Devansh Patel
Date: December 21st and 22nd, 2013
Composed by: Swetha Padakandla
Event organized by: Deepak Saran
Image Gallery: Devansh, Subrato
The Crew: Deepak Saran, Sanjay Kumar, Rajdeep Mondal, Raghavendra, Devansh Patel, Subrata, Krushi Deep M, Vijaya Raghava, Rakesh MK
Read the other post of the same event written by Rajdeep at Bike Trip to Hampi – Post 2


  1. Great writeup!! The line "The first signboard we see when we reach the lake is “Crocodiles are in the reservoir.” So it was our duty to go and see if they’re okay! " was too funny!!

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