The fact that Sandur is proximate yet pleasantly tucked away from the scores of tourists to Hampi, gives one the option of exploring the region in an easy paced manner. Typically three to four days are ample to discover the various sightseeing options around. Be sure to grab a map on your way out if you are driving on your own.
Kumaraswamy Temple – A short sinuous ride from Shivavilas Palace, through the curves of a red tinged, iron-rich mountain lies the 1200 years old ancient temple of Kumaraswamy (Lord Karthikeya). The drive to the temple on a smooth road flanked by corn and banana fields is as riveting as the temple itself. Once you reach the top, you can see that the weathered walls still tell lores of the dynasties that ruled the region and left an indelible mark on the culture of the area since then. The temple was constructed by the Chalukyas and further reconstructed by the Rashtrakutas.
Earlier, women were not allowed in the temple, but the ban was lifted by Maharaja Murarirao Yeshwantrao Ghorpade, further propelling him to a place of great reverence amongst the locals. Inside the main sanctum, the gold plated eyes on the black stone statue augment Lord Kumaraswamy’s intense gaze. On either side of the main temple lie shrines made for his parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati.
Timings 6.00a.m-12.00 noon, 2.00 p.m to 7.30 p.m;13km/45 minutes; the palace can provide a map for self driving guests
Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra – Another establishment that is supported by the SMIORE group deserves a few hours from travellers. Here, you get to see the brilliant handicraft work by the lambani(nomadic) tribal women of North Karnataka. Started in 1984, SKKK touches base with 350 local artisans and craftsmen who are employed for traditional embroidery and mirror work, cane craft, woodwork and stone sculpting. The women focussed Kendra is a hectic place with a number of women on tailoring machines, while others sit and create magic in mirrors and colourful threads.
Timings 10.00a.m to 1.00p.m, 3.00 p.m to 5.30 p.m (Sundays closed);1.5km/10 minutes
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary – The Daroji Bear Sanctuary lies in Kamlapura, and is a refreshing break from the monument trail of Hampi. Though many people give this a miss, it is worth your while to visit this arid bouldered sanctuary. The 55.87 sq km area is home to 120 sloth bears amongst other animals and can be seen roaming in a wide gorge from a watchtower. Porcupines, Pangolins, Monitor Lizards, Wild Boars, Jackals, Hyenas, Pea Fowls, Quails, Mongoose, Leopards, Painted Spur Hens and other animals can be spotted. More than 90 species of birds and 27 species of butterflies have also been recorded here. The bears are fed at about 3.00p.m everyday so it’s best to get here in time to watch them from relatively closer proximity.
Kamlapura; entry adults/children/foreigner/camera Rs. 50/ 25/ 300/ 300; Timings 3.30 p.m to 6.00 p.m;45km/1.5 hours