Hampi Diaries V – Hampi

 

Hampi ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins of VijayaNagara, capital of Vijayanagara Empire is located on the banks of Tungabhadra River.

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Bridge on the way to Hampi @ Hampigadda across Tungabhadra. This might have been quite a beauty in its original form.

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First we went to see the ruins of Kadalekalu Ganapathi temple. There was a stone with some texts inscribed on it. Somehow I was curious about the content. (After effect of seeing so many ancient aliens episodes in youtube.  But it turned out to be the story of the king who built the temple.

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Etchings on the pillars of the temple.

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This temple structure looks similar to the ancient roman structures. See the pics on this link

http://www.touropia.com/ancient-roman-temples/

This one http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4072/4245779812_0e1a77a835_z.jpg?zz=1 and http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/48710263_72712e2180_z.jpg?zz=1 this one looks so similar.

Isn’t it similar? Well kind of. But this is the first thing which came to my mind when I saw the temple. Coincidence?

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This pic has nothing to do with Hampi. Just a random shot while waiting to get on to the bus to Vittala Temple.

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This is the ruins of old Hampi market. Its known as Sule Market. The word Sule means prostitute as per the tour guide. But this market was for exclusively for selling precious stones. I am just trying to imagine those days when people sit in these stalls with piles of rubies, pearls, sapphire and all sort of colorful stones in front of them, calling out for buyers. Pretty sight it would be.

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Entrance to Vittala temple.

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The world famous stone chariot. And damn I was lucky to get a clear shot without people directly in front of it.

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The temple on top of the chariot.

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Musical Mandap in front of the stone chariot. Its each pillar is supposed to make sounds of different music instruments when tapped. When the dancer performs on the Mandap, musicians tap on the pillars and that sound echo in the ceiling of the Mandap amplifying the effect.

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The intricate carvings on the pillars are quite exquisite. Its closed for renovation now. We could not enter the building.

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Queens Bath – Our royal lady used to take bath in this Royal pool. The small windows you see on the sides, Maids stay there while Queen is taking the bath and pour spices and rose petals into the pool so that the water remains aromatic. hmm.

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I me myself.

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Garden in front of Queens bath.

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Another pool with black stones. Its design is so unique. To think about it, there are a couple of interesting pools around the kingdom.

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Water was brought to these pools using this long structure.

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Hazarama Temple – It has the whole Remayana etched on its walls. It’s a magnificent structure.

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One carving on the pillars of Hazarama Temple. Mostly the person riding the horse is Rama. Not sure.

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Lotus Mahal – Aww initially we thought its Queens adobe for recreation activities from it feminine kind of name. But it turns out that it’s the place where King meets foreign delegates or someone of great importance. 

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Lotus Mahal is a symmetrical  structure except for the additional room in the back whish is added later.

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Elephant Stables – King has eleven elephants and he kept those royal elephants in these stables. The middle one is reserved for the mightiest among the eleven. This is one of the least ruined places of Hampi. But why the number eleven? as in a football team?

Vijayanagara Eleven Vs Nizam’s Eleven. LOL not bad.

Nizams were the Rulers of Hyderabad and surrounding places that time and they eventually brought down the Vijayanagara empire. After the win, they looted the city and it took them almost 6 months to shift the loot to their place. Vijayanagara was that rich.

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Underground Shiva temple. It has a lone isolated passage around the inner sanctum. Its really awe inspiring to go around that passage and think that its actually under the ground level. The temple was excavated only twenty years back.

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Virupaksha Temple also known as Pampavathi Temple.

After seeing the lost glory of Vijayanagara empire, I really wonder what this city would have looked in it its most glory? No wonder lot many 15-16 Century travelogues have mentions of this mighty city.

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