Hampi – Part 1

For me, Hampi is a dream place to visit.  Hampi is a village that spreads across around 26 km, located in the banks of River Tungabhadra in Bellari District of Karnataka.  It is a place of historic importance and its importance lies in the fact that it was a prime center of Vijayanagara Empire which has a long story of heroic resistance against the northern sultanates.  Hampi, which has been selected as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, is also known as the City of Ruins.


Hampi


I started my trip at Kochi and travelled via Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu to Bangalore.  From there, I went via Sathyamangalam in Karnataka, to Chitradurga from where, I took the Bangalore-Pune Highway NH 13 and reached Bellari and via Dharmapuram, I reached Hospet, the city nearest to Hampi.  It is 14 km from Hospet to Hampi.  Facilities for staying are available only in Hospet.  On the whole, it is 900 km from Kochi to Hampi by road.  The sight of vast areas of farmlands starts from Chitradurga itself.  The main agricultural products in this region include corn, sugarcane, sunflower, potato, big onion, etc.  Bellari is the land of cattles and is famous for its cattle market.


Hampi Sunrise


I spent that night at Hospet and next day early morning, I started for Hampi.  Before I start my description on the trip, I would like to reveal something; I am giving this preface because the place is Hampi.  The thing is I am not an artist.  I am just an insignificant traveler.  People who know about Hampi and those who have toured this place have already written articles on it and shared valuable information about Hampi.


Hampi Sunrise


My article is a reproduction of what I saw and also the information that I collected from the tour guide.  It should be remembered that the article is written so many days after the information has been collected.  The information in my article is too short.  If there happens to be any mistake, I request everyone to excuse me.  This article is written in 2 parts.


Hampi A Morning View


When I landed in Hampi, I got a strange tingling-like feeling.  It took me a long time to realize what I was seeing.  At first, I was not sure whether the feeling was one of wonder, excitement or admiration.  While I stood confused about where to start and what to see, a tour guide caught hold of me.  I felt that a guide can help me see and understand everything thoroughly.  I talked to him and fixed a rate for him.  Then, I stepped into the store-room of sights along with the tour guide.


Matunga Hills


We started with sunrise.  For watching the sunrise, we went on top of Matunga Hills.  Climbing the hill took us around half an hour.  This hill is also called ‘Bali Kera Mala’ as it was the hill on which Sugreeva hid in order to escape from Bali, the monkey king in the epic, Ramayana.  I climbed on top of the hill and watched down.  I was shocked to see the ruins of beautiful works of architecture; ruins of markets, edifices, monumental towers, temples and of everything that was once part of a kingdom. 


Ganapati Statue Made Of Single Stone


The scenery of sunrise in Hampi is quite beautiful but when viewed from here, I feel like it has a shadow of sadness encircling it.  If we listen silently, we can hear and experience the hurly burly, misery, lost dreams of a kingdom and its people and sobbing sounds that happened around 400 years back.