Hampi – A Photoessay

Pictures don’t do justice to the magnificence that is this place and below are some images of Hampi that have captured my imagination forever.

To know more about the place and some of the references in the images here, please see Echoes Of A Timeless Empire: Hampi.

A close-up shot of an excavated statue at the ASI museum
Carvings on an entrance arch – notice the sun and moon on the top; these were symbols in the Vijayanagar Empire’s crest
A warrior and his companion
Flower carvings on doors
The weathering of the ruins can be seen with most features of the faces smoothed out
A headless statue of a court dancer. It is fascinating to note that none of the female statues had any clothing on the upper body apart from the jewels that adorn it. The society was far more progressive and open than what we see today
A broken Nandi Bull statue
Carving depicting citizens appreciating the King
War scenes on a door arch
Shaivism was one of the influences in Vijayanagara and here we see a carving of a Shivling
The architects of this era were nothing short of genius and achieved all these carvings without the help of modern tools. The rings on these stones were made by tying ropes tightly around the stones and rotating them, thus making a perfect symmetrical carving
Court dancers etched on stone columns
Remnants of the old Kannada script can be found on numerous ruins throughout the area
A female statue on the ASI museum grounds
The dyes used during the era are still intact in some of the ruins
A close-up of the top of Virupaksha Temple’s gopuram
The congregation hall to the left of the sanctum sanctorum at Virupaksha Temple
The steps leading to the Sanctum Sanctorum. The animal carving on the side is such that at different angles you can see 5 different animals
Inside the main temple hall, surrounded with intricate carving on each pillar
Carved columns of the dharamshala – an area where visitors could rest
A bright tinted section of the ceiling that has preserved its organic colours. Notice the Anglo influence on the left corner with a painting of an angel
Hunting scenes at the temple plinth
A portion of the ruins in Virupaksha Temple
Another section of the dharamshala, which have now been claimed by monkeys
Whatcha eating?
Evolution in motion – monkey (foreground) to man (background)
Don’t let me adult, I am too young to adult!
Who goes there? Show yourself!
A hearty meal followed by a nap is the best way to spend this life
Virupaksha Temple’s pushkarani, with the boulders in the distance
Lakshmi – the temple elephant – all dressed up and ready for the day after her bath
Every temple had a market area in front of it. This is the gold and diamond market at Virupaksha Temple. People sold gold and diamonds by the kilos!
A danseuse at Kadlekalu Ganesha complex
One of the 4 watchtowers of the empire. This is visible from every part of the ruins
The dharamshala at Krishna Temple
Corridors of the main temple resplendent with intricately carved pillars
The front of the Krishna Temple complex
The visitor’s resting area behind the main temple
It was awe inspiring to see how even the smallest of structures were given equal importance when it came to design and construction
This inscription in the Devnagri script (not indigenous to this region) is at the entrance of the Krishna Temple and is thought to have been the influence of the King’s wedding to the princess of Orissa
The crumbling facade of the Vittala Temple, which is under restoration by ASI
The ruins of the market in front of Vittala Temple that traded in horses. The pavilion had cobbled pathways which can still be seen
The Vittala Temple courtyard with the Stone Chariot adorning its center
Carvings of horse traders at the temple base. At close inspection, you will notice that the men are dressed in traditional garbs of Mongolia (third from left), China (fourth from left) and Portugal (extreme right)
Could not get enough of the famous Stone Chariot!
Legend has it that Ram while on a mission to rescue Sita, rested in Hampi – the resting bow on his shoulder (a depiction found only here) backs the claims
Nowhere are any depictions of Ram in a seated position, and this carving here in Hampi calls out to the legends of Ram having crossed through here, meeting Hanuman and resting before attacking Lanka
A depiction of Kumbhakarna being woken up to go to war
Inside the Kalyana Mantapa of Vittala Temple
The backyard entrance to the temple
A portion of the dharamshala at Vittala Temple
Up close of the Rang Mahal
Carvings of war elephants at the on the ceremonial throne at the Royal Enclosure
Stepwell influenced pushkarani at the royal enclosure
These are stone plates that the soldiers used to eat their meals. That is definitely some big appetite!
Sunrises are spectacular in Hampi; this taken from my balcony
Even when the moon shines on the other end of the sky
The sunsets are an equally stunning display of colours

5 responses to “Hampi – A Photoessay”

  1. beautifully captured!

    1. Thank Anu 🙂

  2. It couldn’t have been any better

    You managed to click pics with such calmness?

    Weren’t there other tourists …

    1. Very few, but there were. for each shot I waited for the area to clear out before clicking the composition

      1. Yeah great effort.

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