Leaving behind the hustle bustle of Bangalore city & after a rather enjoyable overnight train journey we finally arrived at Hampi. It was around 7am as we headed from the train station to our destination in a village which was approximately an hour away by road & then a short boat-ride away. We were raring to go – had a packed day planned.
The taxi dropped us off little away from the river & as we walked down to the unseen boat we passed some very interesting & obviously ancient temples & structures. This entire area is a protected site – in fact an UNESCO World Heritage site. Going around a bend we saw a group of people waiting for the boat – along with 3-4 motorbikes, some bicycles, bags & I could swear there were a couple of goats too! The boat arrived & it was much smaller than I expected. My expression must have said it all – “are you serious that all these people, things & animals on this bank are going to pile into that little contraption & cross over to the other side?!!” Well, the answer was yes....we squeezed in & that’s an understatement! The boat slowly settled really well into the water – & by that I mean just a foot or so of the boat was above water & we chugged away to the other side.
Then it was short walk down some really green country roads to the village – with our incongruous looking red suitcase being dragged along by one of the staff from the organisation that we had coordinated with. After a shower & some welcome breakfast we headed off down to the cottage industry & the artisans – capturing some great pictures of simple village life as we walked by! Here is a feel of village life.
Time flew by as we spent time with the artisans, sat & brainstormed at their workshop, looked at samples, looked at new ideas & designs to develop. One of the most inspiring things was watching these girls & women (young & old) chat & talk as they worked on weaving magic out of the banana & natural fibres that they work with. We also learnt how this small set up helps the women in the village support their families & contribute to the earnings in their households. It definitely gave us a perspective we did not have before – we are currently working with them to develop products for our coming summer collection for later in the year – so look out for those.
That evening after a very tiring but fulfilling day we headed back to catch the train to Bangalore.
There was a lot of travel after this during my trip to India but this was my favourite experience by far. Next time I hope to spend a lot more time actually exploring the various historical sites. I hope you enjoy this post !