Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let's Rock Hampi - Part III

Ever heard of a saying, too much of a good thing is good?
No? That's bad ...... !
For those who answered yes.........you guys watched the promos .. of Garfielf 2, isn't it? Cool .....! ;-)

Anyway, that was exactly, what was happenning to us ....!

The night's accomodation was at Malligi .... ! No, No that's not a spelling mistake! We were all raring to go the next day. Ofcourse, after (an awesome) breakfast, ....! :-). Our next stop was at Kamalapur, where we joined the fellow caravaners and off we headed, to Hampi.

The first stop was at Virupaksha Temple. We were joined by a middle aged gentleman named Keshav. He was the, ASI director (South) and curator of four museums around that place and had been involved in excavations in Hampi from about 30 years! :O. He was an individual filled with energy,enthusiam and opinions. His witty comments, just ended up making the trip-o-trivia far more interesting! Apart from a few architectural marvels, in Krishnadevaraya's signature style (all puns intended), we witness a few frescos on the ceiling!

Fresco painting of Manmatha ..... (a.k.a Ananga, lest, someone questions me about Calvin or Mickey Mouse! For the sake of argument, i don't know an alias of Mickey Mouse ... :D)

This fresco above depicts, Manmatha, yes the manipulative dude, who can't keep his arrows to himself. As, mythology has it .... Manmatha, who uses sugarcane as bow, flowers as arrows, crocodiles as earings and parrots as mode of transport, disturbs Lord Shiva (who sports a French Beard ...! This fresco dates to 16 Century ,....!! Huh! Then maybe French copied it from us ......! ), who obviously retorts by killing Manmatha. Well, brilliance of Keshav was evident, when, he explained the details embedded in the picture, by the iconographer. The sugarcane .. indicates, the sweetness that should exist in the relationship, the flowers indicate the tenderness and fragrance, the crocodiles indicate, the nature of attachment that should prevail amongst couples .......... ... Cool? Eh? ;-). He went on to add, that there are remedies to most ailments in this world, except for love, resulting in thunderous applause and laughter amongst the victims in the group ......Oops .. did i say victims? They are realists ... :-)

Sasvikal Ganesha .... A monolithic sculpture of Lord Ganesha.

This monolithic Ganesha, is at an elevated platform. The sculptor, of this structure, was pathetic in his estimation! He began, creating the structure with such finesse, that he forgot, he had used up most of the stone. Thus, the dorsal side has not much intricate work, just a thin line .....! Huh! So much for not following the process .... ! There are granaries, that can be viewed from this elevated platfrom, proving that there was definitive trade relations with other countries .........!

The Lotus Mahal ... in the Queen's Palace ...

The Queens', had a time of their lives!! Apart from having plush palaces, these folks had the treasury by their side! The had a water trough within and the place boasted of gardens and such facilities. The picture above, is the Hawa Mahal. The contrbution of Satavahanas to architecture. One can clearly see the influence of the Islamic style of construction. The arches. This place, looks like an inverted lotus. Nope, the place is not as inclined as it looks above........ ;-) . Keshav, aggressively, defended, the reason, kings had so many queens, was because, the queen's were attracted, to the king's who had power. Well, not many agreed to that ..... , though!

The Bold and the Beautiful ..... The Bold and intimidating Narasimha, with Lakshmi. Who says, manicuring was not an in thing then?

Ugra Narasimha, was a brilliant sculpture. The image of Narasimha, is intimidating to say the least. Goddess Lakshmi, is seated on Narasimha's lap. This was completly destroyed, when the kingdom was attacked. ASI has brought back and done up a lot of work on this sculpture. Keshav, then went on to narrate the story of the sculptor. When, the sculptor, was summoned to take up this assignment, he agreed, on one condition, that no one should disturb him when he worked. There were gaurds posted, and work went on for quite sometime. The gates were locked and the sculptor, worked in isolation. After, many days, the sound of chisles stopped. The alarmed gaurds communicated the same to the king, and when they came down .... to see, the sculpture was complete ........... but the sculptor, lay dead prostrated at his own creation. He paid the ultimate tribute to this timless work of art! Indeed, the sculptors' passion .........can evoke goosebumps .... even today ....!

The Stepped Tank,also known as ... Pushkarni

The citadel area of the palace, boasts of remnants of the KrishnaDevaRaya kingdom. It's majestic. One can just imagine, the way this place would have been in its days of glory....! There is a darbar hall, that contained a hundred pillars, with its pillars (at that point) being covered in ornate gems and stones. There are hosts of security points and it had seven layers of security before one can enter the royal citadel area. There are secret passges where the king could get messages from his ministers and the passages are sound proof! What impressed me, most was this tank shown above. ASI found aquaducts and on excavating found, this Stepped tank. Every stone, in this tank was pre fabricated and numbered in the quary itself!! Each stone contains the marking as to which part it would fit into! Brilliant .......! The aquaducts brought in water from Kamalapur, which is about thirty kilometers away!! The principles of gravity were used to design ..... these ducts such that once, the tanks filled it would fill the other and so on. In case, the duct clogged, there were folks who were employed, who filled the ducts back, thus ensuring, supply of water to citadel area was always intact. One can see ... the barracks where gaurds lived too ......... Its amazing ....!

A work of Art .......

A Granite pillar at Hazarama ....

The Hazarama, is another architectural marvel. It boasts of excellence in all its pillars. Granite was used in pillars and some of them have tales of Ramayana emblazoned on them ....

Tales of Ramayana .....

'Kishkinda', the kingdom of monkeys, which is mentioned in Ramayana, is believed to be closer to Hampi. There is a peak, that is supposed to be the birthplace of Hanuman.

A visit to Hampi, and all these places, bring out a mixed bag of feelings. The beauty and marvel of these constructions, on one end give you a sense of pride, that you belong to a culture that *ruled*! In every sense of the word. On the other, we just have to satiate ourselves with only these remains. We are just left to *imagine*, how this kingdom may have been in its days of glory. We walk along the left overs, that serve as a stark reminder of man's greed. The greed of power, can be that strong ....... that constructions that were meant to be timeless ........ were destroyed abruptly.

Each pillar, stone in this place has a tale to narrate. A tale of how it had witnessed, the best of the craftsmen, who shaped it ...... the best of the kingdoms, it was a part of ......... the best of the times, it has been in .........and the greed of a few men, that destroyed it.

Hampi, used to be the venue for Dasara. Mahanavami Dibba, is a platform, where .....the commoners, used to be seated to watch the Dasara celebrations conducted before them.

Seated, on that platform ............ what one can see now ...... is just a celebration of man's greed ........ and the fruits of it, which has rendered marvels as rubbles ......! The contrast couldn't have been any more stark ....!

Indeed ........it was an U ......F......W!

Legend : UFW, UnForgettable Weekends, initiative of Karnataka Tourism.


Khushi said...

couldnt agree anymore!!!!

chitra said...

Same sentiments here :D

Kiran said...

i am just so puzzled why ppl of our generation dont put trips to this place generslly today when it is actually soo ammazing.. ur blog sure helps advertise..:D
good to know u had soo much fun dude.. :)

Jay said...




Hm .


That's true pal. It was an informative and fun trip indeed! :-)

Sawaastik said...

now, I am waiting to return to here
It is really beautiful place

thanks for sharing your experience

Ashwin said...

cool pics and narration!! now, i want to visit hampi. again.

Avinash said...

good pics and nice description..

They were in ruins. I think these people got a wake up call after Jackie Chan made some comments during his shooting of 'The Myth' in Hampi. Had this been in US, it would have got ninth or tenth wonder of the world.. hahah

Whatever happens, happens for good. Better late than never.. wassaaey.. :D