Traveling to Hampi is more than just a visit to an interesting new place: the timelessness of the place opens a door to a completely different world, a bygone era which still seems to be breathing life. It is hard to miss its pulse. As you approach Hampi by road, the landscape grows on you with every passing minute: boulders balancing on each other at impossible angles, the fresh countryside, the palm trees, and in the middle of these: a historic relic from the golden era of the Vijayanagara empire.
“The Anjenadri temple overlooking the glorious Tungabhadra and the town of Hampi”
Hampi is an epitome of the glorious days during the Vijayanagar empire. Literally everything is set in stone – from temples to bazaars, from palaces to baths, from the water pipes to the canals – made of exquisitely carved stone – of which there is plenty around Hampi. It almost feels like Middle Earth. Tungabhadra river, snaking through the town, makes the seemingly infertile rock and boulder strewn banks come alive. Palm trees and wheat crops thrive. What it also does is divide the town into two ideologically different parts: the more historical, local, authentic and the other which is more touristy, has more of a hippie culture. With the recent drive from the Indian government to clear all modern construction in the vicinity of the heritage complex, the divide has certainly enlarged. That led to a lot of family run accommodation on the more historical side of Hampi, and leaving not much of a choice for the travelers but to find accommodation on the other side. More polarization.
A walk along the river and the multiple ruins that dot the river, is a great way to watch the slow life of the locals living in Hampi.
“A local family out fishing on the Tungabhadra river at dusk”
“Mother and his son fishing on a golden Tungabhadra”
“A Hindu priest by the banks of the Tungabhadra river”
Since I have a weakness for vantage points, I went and climbed all:
“A Bird’s eye view of the ruins by the bank of the river”
“Vittala temple complex as seen from Matanga hill”