En route to Mumbai, we had a five-hour stopover in Hubli. To bide the time we went for breakfast at a small, hole in the wall, Indian style diner where Shawn introduced me to his favourite type of Indian bread, Puri.
Puri is a chapatti that puffs up into a balloon like shape when you fry it. It came with a dry coconut chutney and a samba style curry. The texture of the bread was undeniably satisfying... soft and chewy with a thin crispy outer coating. It was so good I almost ordered a second one! After our delicious breakfast we went in search of an internet café to pass some time, which is where I spent an hour trying to thwart the efforts of the sole employee from reading my private emails!
At 5:30am we awoke to begin our long day of travel. I had packed the night before so I helped Shawn search for items as he packed. The sun, not yet over the horizon, provided little light as we ventured out to look for our transportation. Our rickshaw was already waiting for us and we piled in with our luggage. The twenty-minute ride to Hospet took us through the lush, jungle like surroundings that lie on the outskirts of Hampi. The temperate breeze rushed over us as we sped past cows with brightly painted horns pulling large carts full of bamboo, crops and building supplies.
The Vittala Temple, situated northeast of Hampi, is one of the principal monuments of the city. The temple is believed to date from the 16th century and is dedicated to Vittala, an aspect of Vishnu worshipped in the Maratha country.
One of the main draws to the Vittala Temple is the musical pillars. Each pillar represents a musical instrument, and is constructed in a cluster of 7 minor pillars arranged around a main pillar. These 7 pillars, when struck, emanate the 7 notes from the representative instrument, varying in sound quality based on whether it represents a wind, string or percussion instrument.