Ī mīnige eṣṭu? (How much for the fish?), we asked the fisherman, as he prepared to leave for the market. Nīvu adannu hēge bayasutri? (How would you like it?), he asked with a warm smile. It was his first sale of the day. The heat had us submerged neck-deep in the Tungabhadra, as the fish was being prepared for its journey to our kitchen we admired the Vijayanagar ruins a few meters ahead. Surrounded by the riparian vegetation we couldn’t feel more closer to nature.
Hampi, the city of history and fantasy. A place where its folklore immerses travellers from all around the globe with its omnipresent boulders and picturesque ruins of ancient temples and palaces. It took us nearly a year to form a team of enthusiastic travellers to embark on this journey. Encased in the vermilion El Zorro, we left late in the evening to catch the sunrise amidst the glorious boulders of Hampi. After a few slices of bread and a warm cup of tea at the Hospet Junction, we surrendered to the scorching heat and made our way to the still river of Tungabhadra.
Adu 500 āgiruttade (that’ll be INR/Rs 500), said the fisherman proudly. After a few words exchanged and
a fishing lesson from the man, he suggested we stay a litle longer for the Water Dogs. Puzzled we looked
at each other. Otters, also known as Wild Water Dogs, are lustrous predators of the Tungabhadra river.
They are the largest known otter species in India.
Dazzled by their swift hunting techniques we treated our eyes with action. Before we could slap the record
button the predators had hunted their prey and they disappeared as quickly as they arrived. Content with
our visit we dried ourselves and hit the road. Our souls, curious as ever, sought a camping spot when, lo
and behold there she lay, pleasant as a Sunday morning and calm as the Virupaksha temple, one of the
oldest functioning temples in India, surrounded by sun-baked hills, straight from Sholay, a turquoise lake.
We then set our tents up, ignited the stove and prepared the fish for the feast.
As dusk approached, our bedrolls unfolded and we comforted ourselves with our choice of beverage under
the clear night sky. Netflix projected on the boulders hosted our evening until the stars took over.
Enlightening us with the fortunate moment of pure beauty that we were amidst. Back in the metropolitan
city, we’d either surround ourselves with work or polluted sky but, here there existed nothing between us
and the glistening beauty above.
The golden rays hit our faces through our caravan’s window, we prepared our breakfast cleared the
spot of any human trace and set out yet again. As we traversed through the mystical hills of Hampi, we
had already decided where we’d spend the rest of our day, at Hippie Island. After a quick water down at
Happy treat and a botle of cold drink, we made our way to the island of vivid culture. Surrounded by
stalls that sold gorgeously carved locks, vibrant outfits, handmade jewellery, and mystical crystals, our
attention was stolen by deliciously displayed Danish mufns and Chocolate dumplings complemented by
a caffeinated beverage that had us on our feet planning for an adventure we knew awaited us in the future.
Three extemporaneous days had passed since we fled the bustling city of Bangalore, yet we still missed out
on the mystical temples and glorious ruins. Distracted by the stillness of untouched water bodies and the
secrets withheld between the crevices of the boulders, we took this as a sign for a revisit in 2020. We were
glad we were signing of 2019 with this memorable trip in our caravan – El Zorro.
To Hampi, To All of Us & To our Trippy