Friday, March 18, 2011

The remains of the lost empire - Hampi

Continuing on my Hampi sojourn........

As highlighted in my previous post, one thing I noticed was everything made out of stone, obvious!

Those are the ones that now give us a glimpse of pomp and splendor. Anything apart from stones, have been burnt and destroyed. The stone sculptures which resembles Gods were also vandalized. 

A large area probably court of law/stage? The wooden columns are all long gone; what remains is the platform

Guilty ought to be punished. Where? Just outside the city hall.

Massive entry doors of the palace. I looked behind and lo! the hinges were also carved out of stone.

Queen's bath fully equipped for shower as well.

The bazaar near the Vijaya Vittala temple. The town had 7 bazaars, each bazaar meant specific wares and goods.

The Tungabhadra river behind the Vijaya Vittala temple complex.

The King's balance consists of 2 carved granite pillar. It seems every year the king along with his 2 wives sat on one base plate while gold and other precious stones were placed on the other plate equivalent to their weight. They were then distributed to the people. Such extravagant lifestyle!!

The famous Vijaya Vittala complex.  One of the best preserved ruins.

A closer look at the gopuram.

The famous stone chariot. Symbol of Karnataka tourism. This chariot is carved out of a single stone and is a temple by itself. It has idol of Vittala (Krishna) carved on its sides. It seems this chariot was carved out as the royal family wanted to pull chariot as part of festivals and other occasions. Phew! so they thought carving a chariot out of stone was easier than making it out of wood???

Yeah, so this chariot stays at one place but its wheels can be rotated at stationary. The royals used to rotate the wheel; this was equivalent to them pulling a chariot. The wheels are jammed now and are chained so that they are not rotated so as to preserve them.

The famous musical pillars. There are 7 such elaborately carved pillars that support the temple. These pillars in turn have 7 minor pillars representing the 7 notes the representation instrument. When struck, they produce varying sounds based on what it represents - wind, stringed or percussion instrument. It seems that dance performances were held for royal family and their associates and these pillars served as musical instruments. These pillars were struck with sandalwood drumsticks and they produced sounds of veena, tabala and other traditional instruments.

Why isn't this a wonder of the world yet? Sadly, we dont get a demo of these anymore. These pillars are damaged; they sere handled without care by guides and others who showed visitors how music is resonated by using stones to tap them. They did not allow us inside this complex as well. :-(


The bazaar

Bidding goodbye to the Vijaya Vittala temple complex.

If I could travel back in time, I would want to travel to this period when Vijayangar was at its peak. When travelers from Rome and Arab marveled at the beauty and the wealth abounds. When the city was appreciated for its charm and wonder - lakes, waterways, gardens and fruit trees.

I want to travel back in time to that period of magnificence and abounds; to the city that eye has not seen nor ear heard of any place resembling it upon earth - to the lost empire of Vijayanagar.


  1. such a rich heritage! wish we could indeed go back in time to marvel the beauty of these places..this is one thing I love about India - you have so much in one country! if only we could preserve it n handle it with care!

    great clicks as always!

  2. Very very nice post. Picture of the Chariot and pillars representing the music note are and observations.

    Good job Insignia.

  3. As always, super narration. Thanks for taking us through. All pictures are superb. Just one observation. Looks like the Queen did not have privacy while taking bath/shower.

  4. Who ever destroyed it are such psychos! I understand that they didn't like us but an art is an art and they should have never destroyed anything just because they didn't like us.

    I haven't been to Hampi or any place anywhere in Karnataka. I should visit them, soon.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures! :D

  5. B ,, the pics are quite sharp. I like them and as usual the write up short and crisp. Good job well done.

  6. In spite of the beauty and grandeur of the palace complex, my mind was shadowed by the fact that these were ruins. Let it be man or time that reduced these buildings to ruins, it is reminder to the impermanence of life.

    Sharp photos, like I said earlier; but too sharp for my taste. From the angle of shadows, one can sense the mid-day hours you spent there.

    Excellent write. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

  7. Wow awesome pics...everything is so well planned, our civil engineers should be sent to see these intricate art so that they learn few basic things such as need for cross ventilation :) I am so sick of builders trying to ape the western designs without taking into consideration our climate etc.

    Enough of my rant. The pics are beautiful, the gopuram only reminds me of madurai temple's gopuram...what carvings, what intricacy...incredible india indeed!

  8. Awesome clicks and wonderful narration! Thanks for taking back in time... sharing the history and art/culture!! Must visit this place sometime!!

  9. Beautiful pics! Wish we could go back in time and experience such extravagant lifestyle!
    Again, thanks for this post. :)

  10. Fabulous post and super fabulous pictures. Draws me to travel to Hampi !


  11. Many are heading for Hampi and I could not visit it. Your travelogues are excellent.

  12. Your picture are too good !

    I am surprised.How they could shape the stones to such perfection? With the limited resources and tools,it is hard to believe.

  13. I am awed by the grandeur that it all would have been, and saddened all the same with what has become of it! But as always, lovely photos and wonderful narration, taking us back to those wonderful yesteryears, and allowing us to visualize with the mind's eye:)

  14. truly, this also shud be counted as one such wonders of the world. I appreciate u fr at least trying to promote those wonders through ur blog..

  15. Neha,

    Yes, I wish we could


    Thank you so much, this is just a drop in the ocean of our vast heritage


    Thank you. I guess the Queen did not want any privacy. She had one huge complex only for her.


    Yes, it was sad that they only saw religion and not the art. You should visit without fail


    Thank you, sharp yeah! It was that sunny.


    Exactly! Those were the thoughts that went on in my mind throughout. Thanks, glad you liked it


    Thanks. Yes, with such limited resources they were able to create masterpieces which even though are ruins still emanate glory and splendor.


    Thanks a lot, glad you liked. You must visit!


    Yeah wish! Thanks.


    Thanks a lot, glad you liked the pictures. You should visit Hampi again :)


    You should go there sometime. Thanks, glad you liked it.


    Thanks a lot. Yeah its marvelous and breath-taking.


    Yes, we cant help but feel bad for them. The ASI is making efforts to preserve them.
    Thank you


    Yeah I wonder why its not yet. Thanks, my pleasure.

  16. all the pics are beautiful
    musical pillars

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