Hampi chronicles: Framed by boulders & filled with stories 👒

Hampi with the boulders and the river

“The city of Bidjnagar( Vijayanagar) is such that the pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world.” as recorded by Abdur Razzaq, the Persian envoy from the court of Shahrukh in Herat to Vijayanagar in 1443 during the reign of king Devaraya II.

The author Manu S Pillai notes that “Indeed by the end of Krishna Deva Raya’s reign, this core of the empire would be home to an estimated 480,000 people, making it second only to Beijing in term of population.”

The capital city was mesmerising to the foreign visitors but historians call Vijayanagar “an artificial capital, dependent on the support of the royal figure, when this failed, as happened after the calamity of 1565 (the battle of Talikota), the city immediately ceased to exist.”👉Hampi chronicles: Beginning with the end 🌄 (Starting the Hampi trail🚶🏻‍♀️)

And coming back to the present, there is no hiding the fact that Hampi is hot; the best months to visit being the winter months from Nov – Feb. A cap to shield from the sun would be the best accessory to carry around👒.

After the Achyutaraya temple, 👉Hampi chronicles: Encounter with the magnificent Yali at the Achyutaraya temple🦄, the next major temple complex is the Vitthala temple. Enroute there are so many smaller temples and curious ruins. It was after 3:00 pm and we were tired with all the walking. So we skipped the steep climbs and detours along the route and tried to catch the ruins and the memory of the trail simply with photographs.

For a famed historic site, the walking route is almost empty. There are a few people armed with cameras out to capture the magnificence of the ruins from unexplored nooks and angles. Most people prefer hopping in and out of the more famous of the monuments. To walk the trail and explore on foot requires a bit more craziness and curiosity.

Starting off, there is the Varaha temple. Varaha is the third avatar of Lord Vishnu. It’s imposing gate pulls you within to get a glimpse of the inside. It’s majestic !!

The entrance to the Varaha temple

It’s a steep hill on the northern side interspersed with small temple ruins and Narasimha temple stands out. Narasimha is the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu. You have to climb a steep flight of stairs to enter and explore the temple complex.

Narasimha temple

On the opposite side, you can see the legendary Sugriva’s cave, painted in white at the botttom. This takes us to interesting stories from the Ramayana. It’s in this cave where Sugriva hid the jewellery dropped by Sita while being carried of in Ravana’s flying pushpaka vimana (flower chariot).

Sugriva’s cave

Watch your steps, there are carvings on the walk way too !!

Carvings on the ground !

A two storied gateway looms in front and further down, you see the King’s Balance

A two storied gateway
King’s balance

The King’s Balance is used for the practice of Thulabharam, in which a person esp. on birthdays or other happy and auspicious occasions (here it would have been the Vijayanagar kings) is weighed against a commodity (such as gold, grain, fruits or other objects) and the equivalent weight of that commodity is offered as donation to the temples. You can see the stone rings below the horizontal beam.

King’s Balance

You walk down to another huge walled compound and you have reached the grand Vitthala temple complex !! It’s 4:00 pm by the time we reached here.

More in the next post, take care ⚖️!!

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