Monday, 13 November 2006

Hampi - a Magical, Mythical Place

From Bangalore we took a night train to the magical place of Hampi which is the site of the amazing ruins of the now lost Vijayanagar Empire, which existed here from 1336 till 1565 when it was sacked by a confederacy of muslim sultanates.

This is the Hindu Virupaksha Temple - the largest of the surviving buildings still in active use. It is here seen from Hemakuta Hill offering spectacular views of the temple, the local village called Hampi Bazaar and in the background the countless stunning boulders, which are a trademark of Hampi. Enlarge the picture to see them properly.

Still on Hemakuta Hill Susanna tries to hold a group of big boulders in place. Okay, I admit I cheated a little bit with the angle making the slope appear a bit steeper - but only a little! It really is going downhill and it seems impossible that the boulders keep standing here, seemingly in defiance of gravity. But they do.

Down in Hampi Bazaar this is again Virupaksha Temple, here seen from the main street on a wet, rainy night giving the whole sight a very mystical ambience, as I hope the picture shows.

A scene from a bit further down the mainroad of Hampi Bazaar. Poor day labourereshave moved into the 500 year old houses once again bringing life to what was a bustling market street back when Columbus discovered America in an attempt to reach this part of the world.

Hampi Bazaar is running paralel to the Tungabhadra river. Here the boulders truly dominate the landscape strewn about both in the river and on the hills in the backgroud. As you can also see the land here is very fertile with palm trees and grass everywhere.

As I said this is a place with quite a bit of magic and mystery in the air. Even the cows seem to be different. This one was walking down the street curiously checking out the stuff on display as if it was actually contemplating a purchase. There was only tourist souvenirs and nothing eatable there, so that couldn't be it's motivation.

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