Royal Hampi


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January 26th 2016
Published: January 26th 2016
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After our river crossing our first visit was to the Vittala temple. On the way we walked past granite pillars which mark where the market For horses used to be. This is one of the seven markets at Hampi. It was a huge metropolis with one million inhabitants. We also stopped at a water tank. There was a complex system of aqueducts and this tank was the water source for the market.

Vittala temple was quiet when we arrived and it gave a good opportunity to take photos. The highlights in the temple are the stone chariot and the musical pillars. The stone chariot is reintact in good condition despite the numerous fingers. Originally it was drawn by horses, but these are lost. Elephants found nearby were substituted. The mandala with musical pillars can has been closed to tourists because of damage to the pillars. The pillars are of slightly different heights and designs and they sound as different notes when they are tapped. Our guide demonstrated the type of sound made at a small mandala. He also showed us magic sculptures, for example one that wa five different animals, starting with a frog on top.

Our next stop was at the Lakshmi Narasimha. This is a large monolith sculpture of Vishnu in angry form with head of a lion and a seven headed cobra behind. Nearby is mustard seed Ganesh. From the back this monolith shows the back of a woman (according to our guide behind every successful man is a woman. From Ganesh we walked up forpopp good view over the river valley and Viruupaksha temple. We will visit this tomorrow. Up on the hill there were simple shrines from a much earlier period.

For lunch we sampled the "Mango Tree" restaurant. This is an iconic institution. Traditionally Hampi is a hippie backpacking destination.and the orange tree has retainfees little of that feel with 70s style art work and lights. It now caters to a whole range of tourists.

Our afternoon visit was to the ruins of the palace? The two best preserved buildings are the lotus mahal which was a palace building used for entertainment and the elephant stable. The lotus mahal was kept cool by a complicated water system pumped up to the roof. The elephant stable had three different styles of dome on the perhaps. An architectural flourish.

We saw a lot and it was hot, was we ended the day with a relaxing coracle ride on the river. It is a mode of transport new to me. We saw a group village refers carry out a water puja. They had travelled 200 miles to Hampi for this ceremony. Langur monkeys and red faced monkeys were close to the river, begging for bananas

The photos are of the stone chariot at the temple and the elephant stables.

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