Our next stop after leaving the beaches of
The town itself is centered on a bazaar with shops and a clasic temple. The
The temples and buildings are covered with intricate carvings, mostly showing scenes of Vedic stories, Gods, and animals. We wandered through ruins and climbed a nearby hill to see a temple at the top and take in the early morning sun over the rest of the village. When the heat became unbearable, around we retreated to a shadowy nook or the river to stay cool while the rest of the town and animals slept the heat away. We watched and were watched by many Indian pilgrims coming to perform devotion rituals (puja) at the temples and got blessed by the resident elephant of the temple, Laxmi, who will bless your head with her trunk once she gets a shiny coin.
We finished up after 2 days and bused back to the town where the trains depart from, Hospet. There we spent a few hours at a fancy hotel pool with a group of French travelers who were doing the same thing. (The French guy was fed up with Indian food and lamenting the lack of wine or cheese or anything that doesn’t taste like curry.) We ate a roadside dinner of vegetable thali (lots of little bowls of curries and dals and a big heap of rice to eat it with) and boarded the overnight train for Bangalore, this time in general sleeper class (no AC). On board we befriended a generous family who insisted on feeding us our second dinner and offered us the two bunks separate from the others. We woke up at 4 am in Bangalore, part of a long travel leg that would eventually find us in Kolkata later that afternoon.