We drove back to Kochi from Bangalore yesterday after 3 weeks of stay there.
In fact it was the Covid breakout in March 2020 that created the idea of making Kochi and Bangalore alternate as home.
The lockdown stay of 10 monthsstarted when we were stuck in Bangalore without a vehicle as we flew down that time for a short stay.
But this time we took our car and thus could do two memorable drive in holidays to Hampi and Yelagiri. That included a most memorable stay at ultra luxurious resort Evolve Back in Humpi. (please see my blog ‘EVOLVE BACK HUMPI! A SUPER RESORT AND A GENTLE HOLIDAY’.)
Driving is a pleasure, we have good roads now, but the experience is increasingly getting not very pleasurable.
Regionalism, parochialism, dislike-bordering hatred are being encouraged. The pandemic is used as a political weapon to say ‘we’re good and they’re bad’.
Vehicle registered in another state needs to give so many explanations and sort of gets singled out for rules compliance. Rules set before the roads were made super. For example I was to give fine for over speeding on an elevated road where everyone was at 120 kms/hr while the limit is set at 60. You just can’t drive on 60 without getting blown out from vehicles behind.
Happy to be back to see these water birds landing for the team fishing in the waterfront as unique and inspiring morning sight.
But water again would take me back to Bangalore as the beautiful Jayanagar new 50 meters pool is getting opened on March 15.
Imagine walking across for swimming training in Olympic size swimming pool, every day. Total bliss.
Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.
Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi) and it has been described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site” of more than 1,600 surviving remains of the last great Hindu kingdom in South India that includes “forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others
We decided to drive from Bangalore and it was a 5 hours drive with good roads. Just casual travellers, we couldn’t have to spend the required time to enjoy and feel the history. But what we could lay our eyes on were fabulous, matching those we see in ancient excavations in Greece, Rome, Turkey etc.
Those specials clearly striking were the music producing stone pillars, stone carvings with several animals carved on a single stone, designer ‘queens bath’ with symmetrical steps etc.
And one gets to stay at what I described in the earlier blog ‘the paradise on earth’ the Evolve Back Resort.
A must visit place for those interested in history, archeology, architecture and heritage.
(Many of the details are care of Wikipedia. Please read there for further information).
Splendid is what I have to say about our stay in the lovely resort ‘Evolve Back’ in Humpi, Karnataka.
A visit to the ruins of the fabulous kingdom of Vijayanagara famous for the magnificence and architectural splendour and which had over 25,000 horses and 50,000 elephants, was overdue.
It’s 5 hours drive from Bangalore and a comfortable stay was needed and friends recommended resort Evolve Back.
Reviews and pictures were fascinating. And my wife picked up a 1100 sq ft accommodation.
Frankly I am not too worried about the size of the room. During my working life in Bombay, our family of four were living in a 900 sq ft apartment. And in a 8000 sq. ft house while working in Philippines.
Also, while doing a program in INSEAD France, the visiting Harvard professor took us to ‘Formula One’ accommodations priced at Euro 9.99. The concept was that a bed with clean linen and bathroom are all what is required for a traveller.
Holiday is different, but still 1100 sq ft is luxury. Imagine then to be told at check in that we were upgraded to 2600 square feet Jal Mahal suites with a private pool. Sublime!
The resort is just amazing, simply out of the world. It’s built, taking into account the opulence of the mighty Vijayanagara kingdom, the architecture and stone paved roads and the water bodies making it a wonderfully beautiful palace.
The trip was to see the ruins of the kingdom, but we were enjoying and living the royal experience inside resort, with the result we spent an entire day doing nothing, but absorbing the beauty, elegance, comfort, food and the outstanding experience of interacting with the well trained, polite, friendly and pleasing staff.
Everyone from the General Manager to those important service staff were eager to enquire our welfare and made us feel really valuable.
We even had a service personnel an angelic, smart and sweet young lady Miss Yashashri Bhaje assigned as a single point of contact so that we never felt any difficulty in getting anything. She’s immaculate.
The good old Ambassodor car-made convertible, the traveling flute artist whose melodies were heard from anywhere, the food in both the main dining hall and the dinner at Lotus Mahal all are some of the extras that is making one want to experience them over and over again.
The awe and amazement of seeing the ruins and architecture of the kingdom on the following day was a fitting compliment to the splendid experience we had in this luxurious resort.
Stunned in these momentous luxuries, a little bit of anxiety of a tourist on the recent cancellation policies of resorts were forgotten. Perhaps the tourism industry may take a re-look on something like 100% penalty for cancellation within 14 days to check-in. We’re in an uncertain times and a more liberal terms like a tiered penalty policy could make everyone happy. Such smaller breakage should compensate any lost opportunity, and could see more and more waiting in the queue.
I have no hesitation in recommending this beautiful property for a unique experience. Privilege of seeing the magnificence of the famous kingdom is enhanced with the wonderful experience at the resort.