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Day 4 of The Candid Odyssey

Run… Run… Run… When we have a train to catch up and we are late, this is what we will say to ourselves. Maybe a hundred times, who counts!. Due to the lack of public transport in the morning, we are running late. A rickshaw driver showed his skills to help us reach the station. To get inside the station and find the train, we need to run for 1-2 Km more. When we run, remember that we are running with the rucksack on the back weighing more than 8 Kg! We need to run fast and we also need to make sure that the bag strap doesn't get torn down. Thanks to the rickshaw driver and the morning energy, luckily, we board the train. Today, we have one main destination called Hampi. If you are into history, you will like it a lot. As the train moves by, we are going through the lush green hills of the Western Ghats. We get to see one of the best waterfalls in India - Dudhsagar Falls. It's spectacular. It looks like milk getting poured from the top of the mountain. That's how white the water becomes, and that's how beautiful the way it looks. The name "Dudhsagar", meaning sea of milk, is aptly given. We can see it clearly from the train, not the milk, but the waterfall :)

Goa to Hampi is around a 7 hours journey by train. We are in a Sleeper coach, which means the seats are long enough so that we can sleep or multiple people can sit. One young guy is coming right to us, gives a tough look, and sits next to us. We don't know any language he knew and he don't know any language we know. As the seat is long and it is supposed to be shared, we can accommodate him. But he was acting like he owned that entire seat! When the Ticket Examiner came, our seatmate guy nicely escaped. Guess what, he didn't have a proper ticket! We have been fooled for hours. Knowing that we realized this fact, he apologetically come to us, took his stuff, and went away. What a drama! This reminds that all the drama people put in front of us will come to an end. When we realize that, we will either laugh at it or get hurt. It's up to us to decide the outcome. Just so you know, I kept smiling on being fooled :)

Anyway, with such interesting experiences, we reach Hampi. When we get into the core of Hampi, we start believing the history lessons that were taught in school. We will realize that those lessons were not myths. Seeing is believing! There are around 10 different historical sites and archeological ruins, everything spread across the place. As there are kilometers of distance between those sites, it will be too difficult to walk. The taxi drivers and rickshaw drivers consider that as an opportunity and they were ready to get us on board :) They will take us to the different sites for a fixed amount. You may know that bargaining is the number one thing to do with taxi people. So, after rounds of bargaining, we agree to 500 rupees for 2 hours. So, finally, we are going to see the real gems of Hampi. We visit many sites including the Underground Shiva Temple, Royal Palace, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Zanana Enclosure, Old Ponds, Bath Places, etc. These 14th-century sites combined with the big rocks seen across Hampi definitely make it a world heritage site. At many sites, we can take time to imagine the way people lived during those ancient periods. We can visualize the royal family living in the palace, the devotees praying in the underground temple, royal guests being hosted in the enclosures, ordinary people bathing and washing clothes in stepped tanks, festivals being celebrated across the place, and many such moments. We can even visualize ourselves as one of those ordinary people, probably as a slave to someone else. It will keep us thinking about the transformations in civilization and society. If we compare today's century with those centuries, we will realize how lucky we are in terms of freedom, ease of living, and equality. Instead of complaining and worrying, we need to be more grateful that we are living in this era. Whenever we feel bad about this world and our life, just visualize ourself as that ordinary person in those ancient centuries. We will appreciate - What a world we are living in! What a life it is!

We also try to go beyond the major attractions. We go outside the fort boundaries, saw the sites from different perspectives, went through the less-traveled paths, got into the inner rooms and spaces, etc. It gives us a clear picture of the site, its history, its culture, and ancient people's lifestyle. So, how do we get time for all these? The answer is simple - "No Photography". Across the 56 days of our journey, we will never capture any photos for ourselves. No photo of us, the places we visit, the people we meet, nothing. We also avoid the news, phone calls, emails, social media, etc. during the journey. These decisions help us focus on the journey and the experience. That's also the reason I can recollect the journey and we can explore it together now. Okay, coming back to our exploration, that's all for Hampi. Since Hampi is in a very remote area, there isn't much to see nearby that place. So we are going somewhere else by train and bus, someplace far away…

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