It was a trip unlike any other I had taken...Why? Oh, several reasons....
I had been chatting with this guy via a dating app for a few weeks and we decided to meet. Instead of him coming down to Chennai or I doing the trip to Hyd, we decided to meet elsewhere. He wasnt big on travel and the only trip he had done in the recent past was to Mumbai [ on work, so that does not really count as travel]. While we were discussing possible options, he threw in Hampi which had me smiling and gaping..
I asked - why Hampi?
He said -- Friends who have been there spoke high of the place and therefore he was curious to visit.
I continued with my probing.. more to understand his interests, likes & dislikes when it came to travel but he had no preferences..
He did not know if he was into mountains, beach, hiking, nature, heritage, history as he had not been anywhere...
Hmmm.. throwing caution to wind I agreed to do Hampi trip [ I have been here before and love the place]
I took the bus from Chennai, while he took the train from Hyd and we met at the Hotel in Hospet [it was midpoint to bus stand & station, a basic hotel of sorts]. The first evening we went to Vittala temple, wandering about the space, clicking photographs [ I had carried my DSLR] but after an hour or so I could sense he had lost interest in the place and was just standing in one spot. But then he went along, the next day we hit Virupaksha Temple, Royal Enclosure and other must visit spots . As we got back to the room, he sighed and announced that he did not like the place at all, it was boring and nothing to see/do...
I did not comment, just kept silent and told him he needs to figure out what his interest area was and maybe get out more often to understand himself better.. He on the other hand was happy to stay in the room and watch TV or fiddle with his phone... Anyways, I stayed calm as I have met people from various walks of life/personalities and it is ok to not like a place.... Few other things that he did pissed me off and I infact advanced my return journey... With a few hours to go before my bus, he suddenly seemed to want to spend time and do stuff... I was not too keen... But then 4hrs just sitting there with him wasnt something I was looking forward to. So we took a cab out to Tubngabadra Dam in Hospet, which was a good decision..
As you enter the campus, there are shuttle buses to take you to the top, where you find beautifully manicured gardens and a 360 view of the dam below... It was worth the 20 Rs ;-)
The Tungabadra dam is a multipurpose dam - as in, it serves irrigation, electricity is generated from the waters, acts as a flood control among other things.... This is a joint project of erstwhile Hyderabad state and erstwhile Madras Presidency when the construction was started; later it became a joint project of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh after its completion in 1953.
It was Feb and there was barely any water, am sure if you come around the monsoons or after it would be quite the sight to see. It is infact quite a popular Tourist spot and we could see families arriving in cars and bikes... The place is well connected, so you will get buses and autos to/from Hospet as well..
Apart from the dam, there is also an aquarium and another smaller garden near the gates... So, once you are done wandering about on top, you can come down to walk around the space till you get tired. That day was fairly hot and so we did not explore the area much. Sat in the shade awhile and made our way back to the hotel. As we rode back, I noticed quite a few high end hotels lined along the road all the way to Hospet...
An hour of chilling and I was happy to get back on the bus to Chennai... What a trip it had been... I always say "travelling is how you figure out if a relationship is going to survive.. be it friends or otherwise..."