Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in southern India, is about 300 kms or about 6-7 hour driving distance from the IT city, Bangalore. Hampi was the capital of the old Vijayanagara kingdom and was probably built in the 15th century on the banks of River Tungabhadra, quenching the thirst of this hot, arid and rocky place.

Its beauty is probably comparable to Angkor Wat in Cambodia; its rock cut temples telling a story of the grandeur of an era long gone. A detailed and beautifully written blog can be found here.

Bullock carts – one of the ways of public conveyance in India

The Elephant Stables – each different in its architecture from the other.

A carved water spigot – yet another mythical creature

Zenana – the royal enclosure for the queen and other women. The architecture is distinctly Islamic.

School children in their smart uniforms

We were told, this was the place where mass meals were served. The channel of water in the middle was to wash hands and also keep the place cool.

We chanced on a unique mating of the butterflies. Priceless!

India never fails to disappoint you when it comes to colours. The men and women alike are unabashed when it comes to wearing colours.

The temple of the Kadalekalu Ganesha. Even on a hot sunny day, there was a steady breeze in the temple.

The Elephant Stone chariot, the trademark of Hampi, faces the dancing hall in the Sri Vittala Temple; its beautifully carved columns are like musical pillars that would have resonated with rhythms of the temple dancers.

The Ugra Lakshmi Narasimha temple – it was destroyed completely and was rebuilt by the archaeological department of India.

The silhouettes are always so graceful

Peek-a-boo into the Queen’s Bath

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Sri Virupaksa Temple, the principle temple in Hampi is dedicated to Lord Pampapati. The temple is still in use.

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The musical pillars in Vittala Temple where the queen (I forget her name), loved to dance.

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I must have visited India over 20 times and each time I find a communist faction or worker’s union flying the sickle and hammer flag.

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Sri Virupaksha temple, Hampi, India

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The underground temple whether it was built several feet underground or whether it was later excavated, I don’t know. But the water channels keep the underground cool in the hot summer.

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The Queen’s Bath or the olden-day swimming pool

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The carved stone face in the museum caught my attention as he seems almost Turkic/ Mongoloid. Probably by then, the trade routes were well-established.

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A geometric stepped tank – look at the architecture

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I find the sculptures very mythical

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Washerwoman in River Tungabhadra. It is like washing your sins away.

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The school children were everywhere.

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Hazara Rama Temple – my most favourite, with some 10,000 carvings from the Ramayana.

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Temple corridor, Sri Virupaksha temple

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Dancers in the Vittala Temple – how beautiful would the muse have been to the sculptor if the carvings are so exquisite!

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Temple bells – still in use

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The 80-feet sculpture of Ganesha

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The kiddies again.

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