|This is what Hampi looks like. Wherever you go, there are ruins of historic monuments! Picture Credit: Bala Shetty|
Hampi is cramped between hundreds of rock formations by the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the middle of nowhere. It is like a Gold Mine for Archaeologists across the globe. There are many sites where UNESCO has done restoration work and a lot of excavation. At first glance, Hampi seems to be a remote village on the inner, inaccessible parts of India. Almost a barren land, the climate here is extreme. As noon approaches, the Sun shines brighter, and the warm wind current- LOO begins to flow making it unbearably hot! As for accommodations, the lack of well-built structures leaves a traveller with 2 choices- either select any one of the numerous homestays available or go across the river in the village of Anegundi to hope for better accommodation. November to February is the peak season for tourism in Hampi, but if you wish to beat the crowd, visit around August-September; it’ll be a bit difficult to find a place to stay but will be worth it.
|With a towering height of 160 feet with 9 inbuilt stories it is Legendary! |
Picture Credit: Bala Shetty
The Tungabhadra River is a vital means of transport in Hampi. Even I preferred crossing the river in a Coracle boat and walk till Anegundi village on the opposite bank rather than travel 20 kms by road. These boats along with bicycles and motorcycles are the only modes of transportation in and around Hampi for a Solo Traveller. The latter ones are available on rental basis for about 100-300 INR per day while the boats range between 10-50 INR.
I chatted up some locals and was introduced to a whole different Hampi I never knew existed. “This is actually KISHKINDHA, the monkey kingdom from RAMAYANA (a Hindu epic). We are also the descendants of king Krishnadevraya of the Vijaynagara Empire. This was a prosperous city”, one of them told me proudly, filled with excitement. I looked around as though scanning for signs of past prosperity. “Sadly now it isn’t. Vandalism even though not so prominent then, turned a monstrosity few centuries back. The age old conflict amongst the followers of Hinduism and Islam led to the destruction of this pre-historic city, almost wiping it off the map of India” he sighed.
|There's nothing but everything in Hampi. Picture Credit: Bala Shetty|
All the tourist places lie within a radius of 6 kms from the centre of Hampi, the Virupaksha Temple. I was awestruck by the ruins of -temples, royal palace, the many bazars (markets) that existed centuries ago; the elephant stables, the infamous STEPWELLS all with the rock formations as the backdrop. The sunset at Hampi is the best i have ever seen!
|No Words to describe this view! Picture Credit: Bala Shetty|
|A young lad gazes upon the beauty of the city and reflects back on life. Isn't this what we live for?|
How does your story of Hampi go?