Signs, signs, everywhere the signs…
Some were scary.
We were never actually approached by monkeys offering to guide us, but they might have been more helpful than the human guides, who tended to race past the features of the site while gabbling a handful of facts (almost always duplicated in signs posted around the site, and definitely available in our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide To India) before steering us firmly to a shop where everything was “made by my family, Madam, all very original…”[This and all photos unless otherwise noted are ©2018 Jayalakshmy Ayyer & Janine Smith]
Dear Tourist, before entering Hampi, please register with the police, wear clothes, and watch out for robbers, thieves, and rapists. Have a nice day and don’t forget to leave a good review on TripAdvisor.
“Vault of the doom…” Amen.
“Please do not get in to the water because of whirlpools and crocodiles.” Posted next to boats to take tourists to elephant preserve. (We didn’t go.)
Some were informative.
Of course, the metropolis was 3500 years ago…but what’s a few millennia between friends?
Oh…you mean THIS wall?
Yes, ladies. This…
THE CHAIR ROOM: you’ve got your gold chair, your silver chair, your red plastic chair…
Some were inspiring.
We didn’t see the riders, but there was plenty of evidence that the joy involved camels…
GOD PHOTOS. One stop shopping goes to new heights.
No. I did NOT get my pleasure blended, thank you very much.
Some offered a literal, phonetic approach to translation that was an artform in itself…
And some, frankly, came as a complete surprise.
Then there were the ones which emphasized that Indians were different from foreigners in one important way. (Of course, we realized the Indian taxpayers were supporting most of the sites we visited so we were happy to pay twice as much for entry fees.)
…Or even five times as much.
…Or even—wait a minute. EIGHTEEN times as much? And you’d like it in US dollars?
Whoa…and ANOTHER 4800 for our camera? Seriously?
Jaya’s objections were fierce, fearless, and…fruitless. (Janine and I wondered if we were going to have to come up with bail money.) But it was so worth it in the end because we saw…
(And we didn’t even need any signs…)