Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Trip to Hampi

Last weekend I did a trip to Hampi, in the state of Karnataka. I went there with Tobias, Kevin from downstairs and two of Kevin’s friends from his office, Leila from Germany and Brittany from the US. Hampi is an ancient city of ruins, temples and boulders. The landscape is filled with rocks as far as the eye can see. The sight is something that is not easy to describe with words. I’ve attached a few photos to make it clearer. More photos in the gallery, as usual.

The trip was probably the most succesfull one of all the trips I’ve done (inside India) during the traineeship. The company Us on Magenta hillwas excellent, the place interesting and nice, the guest house impeccably clean and people relatively nice. Hampi is actually a rather touristy place and it resembled Goa a bit inView from Hanuman temple this respect. The restaurants served Western food (I had excellent pasta carbonara for lunch on Sunday) and you could buy toilet paper in the street side shops. It is still low season there now, so the number of tourists was not too high. We were able to haggle a lot and choose the guest house freely. It was clearly a buyer’s market.

On Saturday we got to Hampi at about six in the morning. We found accommodation soon and left our bags there. We had breakfast and then we started arranging the day. We got ourselves a guide and scooters. We were supposed to meet Brittany and Leila at nine, but they did not arrive until 10.30. It was only thanks to a very helpful young Indian kid that we met with the girls, since we started our sightseeing tour without them after waiting for them in vain. The kid, who was selling souvenirs to tourists, found the girls and led them to us. Thankful for this, we took the kid with us for the whole day. Virupaksha temple elephant called LakshmiWe got to see so much that day. We went through the biggest and many of the smaller sights in this ancient kingdom and heard a lot about the history of the area. If I remember correctly, the place dates back to the 15th or 16th century. It was a very prosperous kingdom with a population of 500 000 at best. The kingdom was eventually invaded by conqueringOn top of Magenta hill sultans who destroyed many of the palaces and temples in the area. The tour with the guide ended at about six, after which we went to have dinner at the famous Mango Tree restaurant by the river. The restaurant is probably one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. You enjoy your meal outdoors, under a huge mango tree, looking at the river. We were there after sunset, so we had candles on the table to give light, and we could only look out into the darkness and imagine the flow of the river somewhere there. Hanging from one of the big branches there is a huge swing. You get to the restaurant by walking through a banana field, with banana trees higher than yourself.

Saris by the riverWe went to bed straight after the dinner and decided to start the next day at 5.10 by going to go see the sunrise from the top of the Matanga hill. Leila stayed in bed in the morning, but the rest of us went to the hill. The climb was truly worth the trouble, even though the actual sun was hiding behind the clouds. The view at the Hampi Bazaar and the surrounding rocky landscape was really spectacular. After the climb back, waking up Leila and having breakfast, we headed towards the rock made famous by a popular traveler’s guide book 🙂 The picture is here on the right. Lonely Planet imitationThe same boy, Wirpa, who had been with us on Saturday joined us on Sunday as well. Even before we got on the other side of the river, we were joined by one of his friends. I guess it is just difficult to say no to these guys 🙂 Then, once we had crossed the river and rented bicycles, one more kid wanted to come with us, no doubt encouraged by his two peers who had already become our traveling pals. The whole gang reached the bottom of the Hanuman temple hill in about half an hour. We climbed the 600 steps up and stayed up there for some time until it was time to go back. Our train back was due to leave from Hospet (14 km from Hampi, half an hour and 80 Rupees on an auto) at 15.25 and we were really hoping to be able to have lunch before that, so we were a bit busy.

On the way back from Hampi I was thinking that I would really like to stay in this country and travel, I would just have to cope with the work somehow. The work is getting a bit better, I think, but I’m spending more time on Tobias’s project than my own. His work, just like my first task in the company, is very difficult and not clearly specified from the company’s side, but Tobias has done a lot of patient detective work with Angela to find out what the company wants. The class diagram is beginning to look pretty complex and we are planning to buy a book on UML now. At least then we would learn something here 🙂

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October 10, 2006 - Posted by | Pictures from India, Traveling in India

2 Comments »

  1. I’m sure it would be immensively cool to just travel around india and work only to get enough money to travel more. The pictures look really great, especially the huge rock and little people under it 🙂 Also the Mango Tree restaurant sounds like a really great place to have a meal. I kind of wish such places would exist here too.

    I would suppose that there are both good and not so good times at work. Especially when you’re working on completely different culture and everything starting from the way of working is different than what one has gotten used to. I’m currently leading a multi-cultural team that is spread across the globe (sounds much cooler than it actually is) and every day is full of challenges. But I figured at somepoint that it doesn’t really matter if I and the team fails, since we definitely tried our best. If that’s not enough, then it’s not and I can’t do anything about it.

    Comment by Tuukka | October 10, 2006 | Reply

  2. Namaste Murmeli,

    your homepage is really nice – well done!

    I am Johannes, 27 years old, from Austria and will be working in Hyderabad (close to Hussain Sagar) for another 4 months. Since I don’t know too many people here (apart from my really friendly Indian work mates), it would be nice to have some company. I would really appreciate if I could join you for a beer, a party, a trip or whatever or if you knew somebody looking for company (a tennis partner or whatever).
    I might also be of some use for you as a free consultant to help you out with work related issues, since I am also in the IT business :-).

    Hope to hear from you

    Comment by Johannes | October 12, 2006 | Reply


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