Along a winding, rocky path to the Achyutaraya Temple, stories of marks of Sita’s saree falling over the rocks when Ravana abducted her in his Pushpak viman (airplane). A little cave which was believed to be Sugriva’s (the monkey warrior) home and so on, was narrated to us. All made into a fine story and located to convince that it’s all true. Every rock, boulder and stone in Hampi has a story to tell. The ruins of Hampi speaks of it’s glory and imperial majesty.
Located in Karnataka, Hampi is a place of its own. Huge rocks, ruins carved out of boulders, red soil makes this place inexplicable. Vijayanagara was its name, had an expanse of diamond and jewel markets, enormous mint area, the scandalous concubine trade, the prosperous temples and splurging palace was its character. It saddens to see this place ransacked by the Deccan Sultans and left to perish in the solid soil. They reduced the city to ruins and yet it shows the glimpses of its glorious past.
Apart from its man-made splendor, what impressed me were its natural rock formations created by the evolution of mother Earth. Huge and heavy boulders stand unaffected by gravity. It often makes me wonder that how did the people of Vijaynagara accomplish such a mammoth task of using these natural creations to build the city.
Locals tell us stories about existence of almost no boulders in this region. It is believed the the wind and rain swept away the soft soil exposing the hard rocky outcrops. The erosion has transformed these boulder into bizarre shapes. This continued for many thousands of years, crafting the landscape of Hampi. It looks like some one has emptied a gunny bag of rounded pebbles over Hampi resulting into the mysterious looking landscape.
These ancient people had some fascinating ways to cut rock to suit their needs. If a rock had to be cut straight, a series of holes, all in line were made on its surface. Dry wood was pegged into the plane and then water was poured over to soak the wood. Once it soaked water and its size increased, the tiny pegs made the rock crack perfectly in a straight line.
During our visit to the ruins, I came across rock formations, thinking this one is better than the last! These rocks seemed like they float on each other or sometimes I felt they have been placed on top of each other…so humanized and yet impossible for a human to even think of!
Grand, majestic and extraordinary is the terrain of Hampi. Kudos to its riches, architecture and of course the magnificent existence of this dusty solid land.