Friday, July 04, 2008

The Hampi Heritage Half Marathon

Hampi happened. Like most good things in life, this was also unplanned. Had got this mail from Shantanu saying Sabine is organizing this ‘Heritage’ Half marathon in Hampi long time back. I was excited about it. But these days, my enthusiasm about a lot of things is like the proverbial ‘baasi kadhi main ubal’ (boiling over of a stale curry). So as a hard-working employee of the firm, I dutifully archived the mail in a folder called ‘Life etc.’

So, on a particularly hectic afternoon when I had successfully achieved transitions through multiple meetings, I had this enlightenment. I had to go to Hampi. I have wanted to go to the place for a long long time. The history enthusiast in me took over and I called Shantanu to confirm ‘participation’ in the Hampi run. Guess, there are a lot of fence sitters and before I could say anything, we had 5 of us (Nitin, Saurabh, Saumya) running off to Hampi for the weekend.

Nice drive. Nice bunch people to travel with/ run with. Essentially what you'd ask for on such a trip!

From a heritage perspective, Hampi is unbelievable. The golden period of Hampi was from 1610-1635AD, during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya. The widest road of those times, the Hampi bazaar is wider than the widest of the Bangalore roads. Just imagine the peak hour activity in that market!

The city was abandoned after 1665AD when the Vijaya Nagar empire lost to the combined might of the Bahamani Sultanate (Bidar, Golconda, Ahmednagar, Gulburga, Bijapur). The inhabitants fled and the city lay in ruins. Over the years, the sands of time have claimed the city and the larger part is claimed to be still under the ground. But whatever is above the ground (or recently excavated) is breathtaking as well. The ruins next to Kishkindha which are not a part of the usual tourist circuit are as beautiful as they come. I think you can spend a lazy week in Hampi exploring the ruins and just ambling around the place. Of course, all this is good only if you have a little liking for history.
So the usual word of caution: Hampi has not night life whatsoever!
Recommended eating joint: Mango Tree (Good food with excellent lazing around possibilities)

Sunday morning, we had the first ever Hampi Heritage half marathon. It was absolutely glorious. Big thanks to Sam, Sabine and family for the organization. The run was through the ruin country. We started off just before 6 and kept exploring the town till long.

I am not going to put the timings here because nary an average man/woman would have walked slower than us. But blame it on Hampi, we were captivated!

1 comment:

JeevSingh said...

inspiring....I wish I could run one half marathon before 30 :) more pics awaited