The Present – A flicker of Grandeur

And so I went to the ruins of a forgotten place to try and experience its magic. After walking trough those lonely buildings and staring at broken art, you are left with a sense of longing. It feels akin to looking at a dried peepul leaf – its wonderful because its so delicate & at the same time you feel sad because its no longer alive.

The gateway
Domingo Paes claims that there were 7 walls around the city of Hampi, which extended from kudligi, hospet, anegundi, kampli & sandur. What remains today is just a very small part of a large defense system.

Entrance gate

Hemakuta hill
Hemakuta hill has many small shrines and temples located on it and the most famous is the Ganesha temples and the Shiva temple


A great place to watch the sunset and soak in the experience of a broken world


A small shrine on Hemakuta
Wonder why the branches of this tree point upwards and has no leaves but does flower


Virupaksha temple & other jain shrines
The mixture of architectural styles in hampi is very unique – indo saracenic, jain, dravidian and many others co exist.

Virupaksha Temple
Jain Temples

Vishnu stories in a Shiva temple
Shaivites & Vaishnavites don’t usually coexist in a temple and in this case you can clearly see Vishnu being portrayed in different avatars in a shiva temple. The guide claims that the dye used is almost 600 years old and is vegetable dye.I find that hard to believe as the painting on the ceiling has not survived the test of time.

Paintings inside the temple

Pinhole camera
Very rudimentary pin hole camera that captures the shadow of the gopuram in the Virupaksha temple

Pinhole camera – Virupaksha Temple

Red earth used to color the pillars

Red colored pillars at Virupaksha Temple

Temple elephant
Lakshmi the 28 year old temple elephant

Lakshmi – Temple elephant

Vittala temple
Gopuram of the famous Vittala temple which houses the musical pillars

Vittala temple entrance

One of the many bazaars in hampi. Trying to imagine how it would be to walk through this place when it was packed with merchants selling pearls, diamonds & rubies. Reminds me of malgudi days for some reason.

Another bazaar

Musical pillars
This hall contains the pillars where the guides showcase the music that reverberates through the stone columns. The main temple with 56 pillars is closed for renovation and hence you need to make do with the music from this hall. Sounds beautiful though!

Musical pillars

White tree of Vijayanagar
Reminds me of the white tree of gondor in Minas tirith – LOTR. This barren tree is the perfect symbol for hampi as it is today. While desolation is the end result, it does make you wonder why you would destroy something so beautiful and not covet it


Vittala temple – Main hall with 56 musical pillars
Each pillar is supposed make a different sound because of the dimensions of the pillar and these are not hollow pillars. Each cluster is hewn from a single slab of granite and the sound it makes is indicated by the musical instrument held by the courtesan carved on the pillar

Main hall with 56 musical pillars – Vittala temple
Each pillar creates musical notes which will mirrors the sound from the instrument carved on the pillar

The stone chariot
No introduction required

Stone chariot – Vittala temple

Lotus mahal
The top of this structure supposedly has water channels from which water flows into bamboo conduits that are present inside the structure. The water then drips onto the walls to keep it cool when the heat outside is unbearable. The arches are indo saracenic while the decoration on top of the arch is typical south indian

Lotus Mahal



Elephant stables
11 royal elephants & each had its own stable and mahouts. Wonderful symmetry

Elephant stables
Building next to elephant stable

Queens bath


Lost in contemplation