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Carving a magical story with Hampi
When I was looking for some new adventure for the weekend, I stumbled upon an Instagram page. I saw beautiful temples with the most intricate carvings and designs on them. The whole place looked very sacred, yet something like a free spirit like me would fall in love with. Looking at those pictures of ruins, joyous festivals, people dressed in the most vibrant colors, some stringing their guitar sitting on a stack of rock during sunset or maybe sunrise. I couldn't guess from the hyper-edited Insta picture. Still, overall, I was tempted to know more about this place, and, of course, I gave into the Temptation!
Welcome to Hampi
One weekend, I traveled to this small village and temple town located in North Karnataka. This place is always swamped with foreigners; a Kind monk at one temple told me that Hampi houses around 2000 magnificent monuments like temple complexes, ancient markets, aqueducts, water tanks & irrigation systems, royal & public baths, zenanas & palaces, military & defensive structures, stables for elephants, residences of a nobleman. He also told me that Hampi used to be a central place for the ruby and diamond trade when it was at the peak of its glory.
One can I only imagine the royalty and richness of that era, back in the 14th century, when it was the capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire and was considered as the second-largest city in the world after Beijing in China.
A siege in 1565 by Muslim sultans from the south of India, Hampi endured a lot of battles for months before it was abandoned.
Now enough about melancholy stories of the past let me tell you why you should visit Hampi at least once in your lifetime.
Pillars of Music
I spent most peaceful time of this trip sitting beside SAREGAMA pillars located in the Vittala Temple of Hampi. Pillars will captivate your heart by creating the most melodious sound when you tap onto them.
Pages of 3000+ years of history
Every stone, every pillar, every temple here has got a story to tell. Some stories date back to 3000+ years. Megalithic burial sites, cave dwellings, Neolithic tool-making sites, Petroglyphs, Ash mounds, Prehistoric cave art are found aplenty even today amongst the boulder hills of Hampi. My mind got numbed just thinking about the lives of generations who lived here.
I found many Yogis, Mystics that came to Hampi to meditate, be initiated into sadhana, join communes, and debate other philosophers and poets. Some stories say Lord Rama from Hindu Mythology has visited here. Some tell different tales of the Mythical significance of this place. See, these aren't just stories to say to kids before going to sleep for these people. They live and experience the grand wedding of Shiva & Parvathi (Pampa Devi) every year; it is part of their living tradition.
Spellbinding sunrises and sunsets
You will find landscapes of Hampi filled with uniquely shaped boulders stacked on top of each other. Over the years of hard work, this dry arid landscape was transformed into a lush river valley by the people of Vijayanagara. You can climb up these boulders and lay down to the sun coming up casting its golden light, making Hampi shine like a golden treasure. Or you can watch endangered species of migrant birds, animals going back to their home under the soft orange-pink hue of sunset.
Meet our Laxmi
I met Laxmi, the temple elephant. Laxmi looks very intimidating yet she is the most fun-loving animal even with her gigantic personality. I watched this elephant taking a bath down at the river. I almost felt jealous of her for enjoying life to the fullest.
Hampi is a multi-faceted place with so much to offer, be it a boat trip in a Dongi, a bowl-shaped boat made of reed, saplings and hide or the ancient architecture, wildlife, intriguing traditions, adventure and a spiritual connection. This place made me fall in love with life once again. it made me discover myself and my harmony with nature again!
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