The times and places of history in Hampi

Submerged history
While Hampi has a remarkable heritage of things for the historian, for me it was not a historical place. It was place that was alive with history. It was a place where you would find sculptures embossed into random rocks and pillars. A place where a casual glance would suddenly reveal exquisite carvings on rocks that remained half submerged in the Tungabhadra river.  And by the side of it, a ferry full of people would motor along or a coracle would just spin its merry way past - just like a regular day. You could also find strangely beautiful murals that would just sit beside shrubs, or on random pillars - apparently musing about things past and future in the backdrop of a yawning opening into an ancient rockscape. A casual stroll might take you right next to a Shivling, exquisitely carved into the sloping bathing ghat by the side of Tungabhadra. An overturned coracle would be kept beside that and it would seem that this juxtaposition was nothing extraordinary, that it was in-fact, the way life is there. Similarly, inside a cave-way you might suddenly find yourself looking straight into the stony and yet exquisitely lively yes of an ancient idol. Another stroll by the river's banks might just mean that you would stumble upon another exquisite sculpture that was camouflaging with the rocky boulders thereabout. 

It's a never ending list. 

In short, in Hampi, history lives. Sometimes in neglect, sometimes protected, sometimes in grandeur. But absolutely always ingrained in the space around itself. Both with the people and with the nature around.

Who knows, the ancient rockscape and the sculptures on them probably come alive on some moonlit nights, whispering to each other strange languages...

At least, in a place like Hampi I am very much inclined to believe that they do come alive!


Guarding the space beyond. Somewhere near the Vittala temple.



Time's tales. A chameleon waiting for its prey beneath another exquisite carving. Just on another random pillar. 



The contrasting colors of time and life. A parrot perched atop an ancient sculpture. 



Just another sculpture on another random pillar peering at you through the wild shrubs. 



In a temple under renovation.


You may just miss it. It's that blended. 


Shivling and a coracle. Somewhere on the banks of Tungabhadra.


Scattered and blended. Carvings among rocks. Somewhere along the banks of Tungabhadra

Fighting ladies. Again, just on the base of a pillar. Pretty much at random. 


When the man walks past the God without even casting a glance.


Mural on a random pillar. And the yawning rockscape beyond. 


A motor-powered boat ferrying the people and tourists around on Tungabhadra by the side of an ancient rock sculpture.


And finally, the coracle - Hampi's iconic circular boat. 


Of course, these are just glimpses. Hampi is way to vast and intricate to be captured in a four day visit.