A small village in Karnataka full of huge rocks, ruins and boulders is what HAMPI seems to be on first look. But once you start exploring it, you will realize it was capital of Vijayanagar Empire where kings ruled once, and where they celebrated their glorious wins in the battles. Hampi ruins are much more than just broken palaces and destroyed city. You will find a link to Indian Mythology and stories you have been hearing since childhood.

Technically if you google Hampi you will know that it was city Viayanagar capital of Vijayanagara Empire from 1343 to 1565 reason being surrounded by Tungabhadra river from one side and magnificent hills from other three sides. Then it was raid by Deccan Muslim Confederacy.  You will find signs of attack on the ruins as many of sculptures are beheaded. And because this place is having so much of historical  and architectural significance, it is listed in   UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.

As per Lonely Planet article, which describes Hampi beautifully:

Unreal and bewitching, the forlorn ruins of Hampi dot an unearthly landscape that will leave you spellbound the moment you cast your eyes on it. Heaps of giant boulders perch precariously over miles of undulating terrain, their rusty hues offset by jade-green palm groves, banana plantations and paddy fields. While it’s possible to see the ancient ruins and temples of this World Heritage Site in a day or two, this goes against Hampi’s relaxed grain. Plan on lingering for a while.

There are hundreds of ruins, which are really worth spending time, you can easily complete Hampi in a day or two but take time and enjoy the beauty of Hampi and try to understand the history behind it, as that is what makes this place so popular.

And guess what as per records Hampi receives annually 1.5 million visitors. Why not the entire area is covered with monuments and structures showcasing elaborate architecture. The huge stone structures bear testimony to the architectural perfection of the master craftsmen in the 14th century. Now if I start taking about each and every monument, I have to create a complete new website. But in short I can say you will find stunning temples, amazing monuments, ancient market place, royal platform and many more. And being the capital of an empire this city is surrounded by irrigation canal which connected everything Hampi had from palaces to temples to agricultural lands.

Some photographs:

“If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi”
Reaching Hampi is a easy job with all kind of transportation facilty easily available, so now if you are searching for a holiday destination dont thing explore hampi and enjoy the cultural heritage of India.

More details about reaching and stay options you can find here http://www.karnataka.com/hampi/about-hampi/

Now that I reached Murudeshwar. Its time for me to start for Hampi. Mathematically 400km from, Murudeshwar, and according to my calculation I should be there by 11pm. But reality is always different, In search of shortcuts, I ended up in some jungle, 30km stretch. I was surrounded by darker jungle and riding on punny road. It was already evening and was getting more dark. And to make it worse, sky was covered by clouds. Like some horror movie, I was riding in a lonely road via a jungle with wind and horrifing sounds, leaves falling and rain.
My Camping spot day 2

Somehow I came out of that jungle and landed on a highway, relief as could see trucks, busses, cars, and now the rain increased. Found  a small shop, only thing i could see was a man sitting inside with a candle, went near to it,  kept , my bike in shade away from rain and waited till rain stop. I was one scary dark evening. And the destination was nowhere near. Rain stopped in few hrs and it was already 8pm and fuck I was again out of schedule. Due to the rain, weather got colder and I was literally shivering. Did not carried any anything except riding jacket, and who carries a winter jacket in month of April here in India. I cruised for hrs across dark night crossing the jungles, villages, people and the smell of tarmac due to rain.  Stopped for tea where ever I found shopes, to keep me awake. 

I was planning to reach Hampi by 11pm and I was still 300km away, so decided to take rest. Found a factory parking, near a village and pitch my tent...

Woke up morning 3am, and started for Hubuli, reached in 1hr and from there Hampi is straight road. It was a smooth journey, with no more hills and turns, only a straight road. Reached Hampi around 8am crossing Hospet a town before Hampi

virupaksha temple

virupaksha temple

To my astonishment whole place was like ruins, no big hotels, no restaurants only small shops and rooms and ruins. This city runs on tourists and on reaching Hampi I realized why it is so popular.
A photographers paradise and a place to learn about Indian Mythological history and culture. I got myself a room, kept all my gears n stuffs there and left for the tour.

By evening I was fully tired and had covered many places and cause of long ride and then roaming around Hampi. You wont find good food or non veg there as there were no good restaurants. Had some thing whatever I got and went to sleep after 3 days.

Next day it was all return journey, started 9am for back to home, with lots of stories and memories. From Hampi to Pune get direct road no problem and good road and I reached by 5pm with ample of breaks and rest. It was memorable trip 4 days, 2000km, 3 states what else you can ask for.

We often wanted to do things we dream off, but most of the time we are not able to do so cause of some silly reason. And this happened with me many times. Many of the places I wanted to go, I wanted to do missed, sometimes due to the office, sometimes due to home, sometimes some other reason.

So I noted done things that I wanted to do once in my lifetime. Will mark them done once I do and will keep on adding things to this  list. 
  1. Pune to Goa bike Tour.  DONE. During IBW2014, I completed this one, made some friends on the way. and it was an awesome trip, with a beautiful road and I was too excited as it was my first road trip.
  2. Pune to Odisha Bike Trip. DONE. In December 2015. From Pune to Odisha covering Nagpur, Raipur, Sambalpur, and back via Vishakapatnam, Vizag, Hyderabad,  Solapur. One of my memorable trips, where I learned so many things. Spent sleepless nights in cold December and driving 400km on broken tarmac. Falling on a pothole at speed of 60kmph and getting Stuck with a dark helmet visor.
  3. Run 10k Marathon and complete it. DONE. Did it many times. Current timing is 56min.
  4. Leh Ladakh Road Trip Solo in Motorbike.DONE. Oh yes, one of the memorable road trips. Of 21 days 8500km. Started from Pune on 5th September 2015, crossing Indore, Chittorgardh, Jaipur, Punjab, Golden Temple, Amritsar, Jammu, Kashmir. Spent only 2 days in the hotel remaining all days at Tent and sleeping bag. One of my life-changing journey. Realizing the true meaning of happiness and life. Meet so many people, so many memories, will share some other time. 
  5. Leh Ladakh Cycle Trip.
  6. Hampi Trip. DONE
  7. Murudeshwar  Trip.  done
  8. Buy a Car and gift to my parents. DONE. November 2013, brought Hyundai i20 and gifted my dad in Diwali. Even though I did a minor accident the next day itself as I was learning that time. But the happiness I got cant to be explained in words.
  9. Road Trip to Andra Pradesh. Done. While returning from Odisha.
  10. Witness Mysore Dushera. DONE. Sept 2013, went on a week trip to Mysore solo and it was worth it. Dusherra is the time when u got to hit this place, you have to prior bookings, as the weather gets cool, lots of tourists start pouring and there are so many places to visit Mysore. Also, make sure to visit  Jumbo Sawari.
  11. Agra Trip. DONE. You are in India and you have not explored Taj Mahal, you got to be kidding me. Agra to describe is a city that holds one of 7 Wonders. Situated in North India near Delhi, this place is worth a visit. One day is enough and winters are a good time to be here.
  12. Pune to Goa cycle trip solo.DONE. Yes done in 2015 August.  Monsoon ride of 400km in 2days
  13. Stay in Tent in JungleDONE. As most of my trips, I carried my tent and camped where ever I feel like.
  14. Get a Geared cycle.  DONE. This was my school dream to have it. Looking at kids who own it, I always wonder how does it feel to ride it. and now when I have it. I ride it often.
  15. Bunk office and Go on a Road trip. One of my favorite,  done many times.DONE
  16. Learn Photography.DONE
  17. Capture Wedding.DONE
  18. Learn Guitar.DONE
  19. Get a Road Bike(Cycle).
  20. Ride on Arrey Warrey Road.DONE
  21. Own a superbike,
  22. Learn cooking. DONE
  23. Do Scuba diving.
  24. Drive from coast to coast western to eastern
  25. Learn swimming.DONE
  26. Horse Ride
  27. Experience the sand and sun of the desert: A camel safari in Rajasthan
  28. Find a spiritual connect: Trek and monastery tour in Sikkim
  29. Celebrate madness: Holi celebrations in Vrindavan
  30. Be intimidated: Trip to Kanyakumari
  31. Go back to nature whenever you can: A tour of Kerala’s backwaters
  32. A boat ride and tour of the Ghats of Varanasi
  33. Bhutan Road Trip
  34. Wander through the Temples of Khajuraho, also known as the kama sutra temples.
  35. Spend time in the famous “pink city” of Jaipur. DONE
  36. Plan to go to one of the Kumb Melas
  37. Trek through Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.
  38. Go white water rafting.DONE. done in pune near kundalika river
  39. Go to Nagaland and experience a tribe of India.
  40. Have lunch at the golden temple in Amritsar and appreciate the Sikh’s awesome way of ignoring castes and everyone eating together on the floor.DONE
  41. Wacky Wagah border (the Indian-Pakistan border).DONE
  42. Thar Desert trip
  43. Learn Rock Climbing
  44. Dudhsagar Falls Trek.DONE
  45. INDIA Tour on a motorbike.
  46. Ride a yak in the Himalayas.
  47. Lookout at the breathtaking “blue city” of Jodhpur From the top of Mehrangarh Fort
  48. Experience the Pushkar camel fair- the biggest camel trade show in the world. 
  49. Get a tattoo done.
  50. Las VEGAS
  52. Buy roses at the traffic light and tell the guy selling them to give it to the person in the car behind you.
  53. Learn Foreign Language
  54. Learn mountain biking.DONE
  55. Go on a monthly cycle trip alone.

Update 2017 Sept 08

Yes will be completing all, but also found new things to do. Time to add them here:D
  1. Learn Skating
  2. Manali Leh Cycling
  3. Srilanka Trip
  4. International vacation with parents
  5. Kashmir Kanyakumari Cycling Trip
  6. Europe Vacation
  7. New Zealand Trip
  8. Write a book
  9. Own a Super CAR
  10. Earn 10lakh per month
  11. Become an international speaker
  12. Get your articles on famous magazine
  13. Own a Fitness Studio

Update 1st JAN 2020:
  1. Learn Yoga.
  2. Jaipur Trip Enjoy with friends and family. DONE.
  3. Star Gazing Activity.DONE.
  4. Shrivardhan Beach. DONE.
  5. DiveGhar Beach tour.DONE.
  6. Be More Humble and polite.
  7. Improve my communication skills.
  8. Learn Marathi.
  9. Start writing Ebooks
  10. Donate to Family Foundation.
  11. Visit at least three out of the seven new Wonders of the World
  12. Journey to the Grand Canyon
  13. Go on a week-long cruise
  14. Experience the Northern Lights
  15. Dive at the Great Barrier Reef
  16. Hike through the Himalayas
  17. Go on a wildlife safari
  18. See the amazing Taj Mahal for yourself DONE.
  19. Take tea in Darjeeling
  20. Cruise Kerala in a houseboat
  21. Try tiger spotting in Bandhavgarh
  22. Stay in a royal palace
  23. Nashik Wine Tour 

Camping in India is very uncommon, and if you are doing something different in no time you will be surrounded with 100 of unknown people dropped from heaven throwing useless comments. And camping is like alien stuff here. Also there are no proper so called camping ground, and if there are, they are owned by some hotels or restaurant who charge heavy amount to pitch in the tent. And in case you plan to camp in  jungle, then there are lots of things to be taken care, i am sure  you dont want some crawling thing inside your tent.

So, based on my experience on camping, as I did mostly solo camping, while on my trips, there are few things you got to remember while camping.
  1. Make sure to carry important gears. Like map, torch with extra batteries. Axe or hammer, knives, lighter, lantern, GPS, candles, whistle, sunglass, first aid kit, camp chair, radio, binoculars, rope, bungee cords, notepad, pen, cell phone, charger,  safety pins, umbrella. Alarm clock. Scissors, watch. Work gloves, duct tape. Match box.All of these varies from person to person and the type and location of camp. But its always better to be in safe side. 
  2. Basic first aid kit.
    This is important, as you never know when you have to use it. Things like Glucon-D, bandaid, tissues, sunscreen, small water bottle, anti-acids, bandage, cotton swabs, roll bandages, burn ointment, ace bandages, antibiotic cream. You may not use it. But someone in ur team, or may be someone on ur way need them.
  3. Personal things.
    Now these are things which we may or may not carry depending on preferences,  but always carry important stuffs. Raincoat, personal medications,  toilet papers, deodorants, toothbrush, soaps, towels, flip flops.
  4.  Cloths.
    Now here dont get heavy, be light always when camping or travelling. Shoes water proof preferred, shorts, tees, hats, bandana, jackets, underwear, rain gears, swim suits, sleeping bag.

Now some points to remember.

  1. Dnt forget carrying essentials. Now you don't want to get your trip wasted, cause u forgot to bring, something very essential.  So make a checklist keeping in mind campsite, weather, location. Always keep in, mind camp site and then prepare the checklist.
  2. Check weather ahead of time. Surely take warm clothes, n rain gears, cause manytime I suffered due to miss calculation of weather. So these are important.
  3. Reach campsite before sunset. This will give u enough time to judge the area in case of emergency. Set your tent in flat surface and keep it zipped if sitting out to avoid insects inside.  Check details about location before hand like :  if camping in beach check properly water position, as in night water level tends to rise, if doing in mountains keep away from slopes or valley, find some proper safe place. So that u can enjoy. In case u got late to camp, try to find, some place which is illuminated, as u cant see whats 1 beyond 100m.
    Also many times villagers don't like, so be aware of that.  Situations are totally different when you camp alone than in groups and for that you have to be more cautious.
  4. Make are the area you choose have no animals nearby 5 or 10km and by that I need, doing camping in sanctuary or in South India where elephants are common. many times you can find big cats easily. So be attentive, and have proper details about campsite.
  5. Carry food if camping alone. Like snacks, or biscuits, and carry the leftovers, don't leave packets and make area dirty. Remember to no leave any eco-footprint. If want to cook, don't leave food unattended, also cooking food, many time attracts nearby animals. No one want  any unwanted animal in their campsite.
  6. If doing camp fire,  make sure tent is having safe decent distance from fire.  Keep flammables away. Dnt leave fire unattended. Extinguish fire when going to sleep or leaving campsite.  Follow fire safety protocols.
  7. If coming with friends or family, make sure kids are nearby and not roaming in places you are unaware of. Also bring small games life cards games, volleyball or musical instrument to enjoy.
Now these are just a to make sure, you know what kind of stuff one person need for camping. Cause camping is only fun when it is safe.

(image Source : Internet)
It was Monday morning, I called my manager and this is what I got :
"Buddy, no work for next two weeks.." and I was jumping with happiness...let's go for world tour, but sadly that's not so easy when you are working in a MNC with 9-5 desk job. So decided, lets bunk 2 days and go on a small road trip for 4 days. Hoping no one finds me missing from office & send scary emails. But bloody hell, who cares in population of 2Lakhs who is missing for 2 days. Opened Google Maps, did some calculation on distance and time and found two the route which I would be covering in next 4 days. So it was Murudeshwar via Costal Highway and then Hampi and back to Pune. So came home, packed my Leh Saddle Bag and Bang On! `
Near Mulshi Dam

Before Tasmini Ghat

Near KundalikaRiver

"7 am in morning when everyone was getting ready for Office I was adjusting my saddlebag on my bike and then brooom!!!! , no stopping, till I was lost in woods of Tamini Ghat."

16th April 2015,

As my decided route was via Costal Highway NH17 covering Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Chiplun, via Tamini Ghat crossing Mulshi Dam. These two are most popular during monsoons as they are very near to Pune and looks better than heaven, covered with lots of trees and lakes and continuous rain attracts many weekend tourers from Mumbai and Pune. But even in April it was amazingly green and beautiful, the road conditions are not that bad. some broken patches but it was Ok, who cares when you are on a solo road trip on a two wheeler. Reached Madgaon around 11am, stopped and had breakfast, I never prefer continuous rides, loves to wait at place and enjoy the view rather than driving continuously for hours. From here NH17 starts this is one which will connects you to the western ghats and the beaches like Nahgaon, Alibaug, Tarkarli.etc
My First Breakfast

Some where before Gampati pule

My first destination was Ganpatipule, near to Ratnagiri, main reason to visit this was heard a lot about this place and second was there is one patch of road which was attached to the Arabian sea making it fcking awesome place to ride. Road condition on NH17 is improved, with no bad patch at all. And as it was month of April, both of road sides are covered with Mango, Cashew nut trees. Few places you will also find good tasty mangoes at cheaper rates. And the road was all twist and turns. You will surely enjoying riding here, only thing be careful as it is two lane with no divider in between, sometime in turns it gets scary. Reached Ganpatipule around 3pm, quiet, calm and good place to be there. not much crowd. can spend time, but avoid in summers. So one ur done visiting temple, time to be more excited as you will be crossing most beautiful route. There is one place called Arrey Warrey which takes you to Ratnagiri. and that goes side by side with the Arabian see for around 2-3 kms, and makes it more amazing. you can literally stop and enjoy the beauty of sea. I did spent some time at that place and this is something which you can't miss, even if you had to drive 10km extra.


Ganpatipule Beach

Ganpati Pule Beach and Temple

Near Ganpatipule beach from a hill

I was done with all of those, started for Murudeshwar in Karnataka, which was again 400km and had to cross Goa. Again it was all ghat road again. Was riding easy and enjoying he view, soon it started getting dark. But one thing for sure every 10km you will find restaurant or Dhaba or village, so no need to worry in case ur stuck.I had my dinner, chicken biryani and started again, ride till 11pm. And at end I was so tired to ride. So decide to camp somewhere it took me 30 min to find a good and safe place to camp. When camping in jungle alone at night , you never know what will hit you when. And as that was ghat section at dark nothing was visible except tinny dots of lights. Soon I found a temple near to road with a clean space near to it, with a shade, may be some shop shade, which was closed and this is it. Pitched in my tent locked my bike and went to sleep. it was not sound sleep, but enough to get rest after riding 800km.

Arrey Warry Road

CashewNut fruit

My night stay day 1, some ghat, near a temple

Early morning off to goa

17th April 2015,

Next morning 5am I left the place and started for Goa. Most of us have been to Goa at least once a life time, but we mostly visit Goa for beer, beaches, bikinis. Goa is much more than that. It is like a different world. And there is no so-called "season" or reason to be at Goa. This time as I was running out of time, got chance only to visit south goa and enjoy the beauty of Goa culture and environment. In Goa any time you will find Bikers riding somewhere or other. Me too find two Punjabi guys doing K2K on a RE.

Before goa

way to goa

Karwar Beach

As my next destination was Karwar entry place to Karnataka. Karwar is port town and a center of Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, As it lies at mouth of Kali river, its geography creates a natural harbour. The beauty of this town is the beaches, the shining white sand and crystal clean water made this place amazing. but as there was a port near to beach, you will find many transport vehicles around the place. I was still 200km from Murudeshwar, so spend few minutes capturing photographs and then took of. And when I reached Murudeshwar it was already 3pm. It was hot and the humidity was making it worse. Not able to carry the riding gears any more, removed all, parked my bike near to temple and went inside the temple. 

Karwar Port

Regarding Murudeshwar, nothing can explain beauty of the temples, and the Lord Shiva Status, This place is very popular cause of its relevance in Indian Mythological Story called Ramayana. This place holds a very interesting story for having temple so close to sea beach. Yes, just 500m or less. And the temple is more interesting with some 100floors with an elevator to take you to Shiva Linga. And there was already a huge queue, so did not got time for darshan of Linga, but visited the state. With 100ft tall this is really amazing. There is a restaurant on sea beach near to temple, if you visit temple, make sure to have Dosha here , as you will get finest Dosha. The beach is too near to temple. and is good also not crowded, so once you are done with darshan you can cool off at beach and enjoy the beautiful sceneries.