The tales of a bygone era – Hampi Diaries, II

After our tour to Elephant Stable, Lotus Palace & Vittala temple, we proceeded towards the rest of the amazing monolithic structures of the marvellous village, Hampi.

Have you visited ruins before? If yes, you must be familiar with the goosebumps one gets when you watch the broken walls, dismantled bricks of high buildings & long, glaring cracks of palaces. You must know the feel of the sensation one gets when the guide talks about the stories of the place and you suddenly realize that the person who was standing next to you a minute back, has disappeared into thin air now. 

Hampi is a museum of ruins with monuments standing at every kilometer. The place doesn’t scare you but leave you in awe and surprise.

Here is the remaining story of my previous blog post on Hampi.

Roads and Boulders:

Hampi is full of history against the backdrop of nature. Rocks, mountains, rivers, animals and scenic points  – Hampi is a treat to eyes and mind.

There were places where we saw shiny, beautiful horses grazing & roaming around in bands. Such scenes remind you of nothing, but do get etched in your memories – to last for a lifetime. 

Here are a few of those memories:

Horses, Grass & Boulders

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A flock of goats, following the shepherd, ringing all the way:

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Craftsmanship:

Along with the impressive architecture, Hampi is also home to excellent craftsmanship. You will find many a stall selling local items that are a testimony to the locals’ superb craftsmanship.

For the sake of souvenirs, buy a piece or two.

A display of familiar figures & beautiful craft pieces.

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Give it a hand.

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You would want to buy at least one of these.

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Brass items – some fit temples and some your living rooms.

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This one rings real nice.

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Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

Lakshmi Narasimha or Ugra Narsimha is the largest statue in Hampi.

This status is also named Ugra Narasimha because of the ferocious expressions of the god. The bulging fiery eyes and the fierce face – what if the statue comes to life – makes you skip a heart beat.

Narasimha, meaning, half man & half lion is considered as the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Seated on the coil of Shesha – the King of all Nagas (snakes), Ugra Narasimha is a 6.7 meters tall, monolithic idol of Lord Narasimha. The statue was vandalised back then in 1565 when Mughals raided India.

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Lord Shiva in Badavilinga Temple

Next to Ugra Narasimha temple, is Badavilinga temple of another hindu god – Lord Shiva, who is also called mahadev (God of the Gods).

Standing 3 metres high, this is the largest, monolithic Shiva Linga (the form in which Lord Shiva is worshipped) in Hampi. The peculiar thing about the Shiva Linga is the mark of the third eye of the god.

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Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple

Another must-visit temple in Hampi is – Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple that houses the monolithic, 4.6 meters high, statue of Lord Ganesha (the son of Lord Shiva). The statue gets its name because of the similarity of Ganesha’s belly with bengal gram, also called Kadalekalu in local language.

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Virupaksha Temple

And I saved the best for the last – Virupaksha temple.

Virupaksha Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi. This again is a Shiva temple & is considered one of the most revered place of worship over the centuries. The interesting fact about the temple is that it is entirely intact and was not impacted even a tiny bit when the Mughals invaded the place.

While the other monuments, sculptures and temples are either in a mutilated state or aged over time, Virupaksha temple stands tall – in its full glory. 

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The best thing about travel is the people you meet. Meet this gentleman who is lost in his thoughts while the world moves around him – in & out of the temple premises. 

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