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Sunday, 31 May 2009

Poetry on Stones: Hampi, the Forgotten Empire - Page 3

Written by Navneet Sidhu
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Hampi, the former capital of the Vijayanagar Empire (1336-1565 AD) in India, is a city set in the bygone era of medieval history. Positioned on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, the village of Hampi is as captivating as it is old. Each boulder of the ruins has a story to tell. Some represent the beauty of the architectural creations. Others show the brutality of destruction at the hands of the Deccan Kings. My trip to this ancient city would soon open my eyes to both sides of this historical landmark.

Poetry on Stones – Hampi, the Forgotten Empire, Hampi ruins, Royal Enclosures, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Badavilinga Shiva temple, Vithala Temple, Anjanaye Hills, Navneet SidhuIn the evening, I dared to take a coracle ride to the Anegundi village and back. The small round basket boat spun around by a single oar on the roaring Tungabhadra. It was both petrifying and exhilarating - definitely a ‘must do’ for any visitor.

As the sun set over the silhouettes of the ruins at Hampi, an orange hue cast its shadow on the remnants of two Golden eras – the Treta Yug and the Vijayanagar rule. Witnessed by these mute boulders, I left Hampi with a song in my heart and a prayer on my lips to usher in once again a third golden period of splendour, valour and harmony in the days to come.

How to reach Hampi:

By Air: The nearest airport is Bellary (60km/ 37miles), Belgaum (190 km/188 miles) and Bangalore (350 km/ 217 miles).

By Rail: Hampi is well connected by railways to different parts of India. The nearest railway station from Hampi is Hospet, which lies at about 13 km from Hampi.

By Road: Hampi is connected to Bangalore (NH 13 & 4), Mangalore, Bijapur, Hubli, Guntakal, Hyderabad and Goa. The nearest town Hospet, has a bus station with frequent bus services to the above mentioned cities.

Where to stay:

KSTDC’s Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswari at Kamalpur

Several cheaper options available as Guest House at Hampi Bazaar

Where to eat:

Lots of wayside restaurants at Hampi Bazaar

Special mention of “The Mango Tree” for delicious multi cuisine platter.

Best time to visit:

October to March

Nearby places to visit:

Anegundi village across the river for a taste of rural tourism.

Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary 15 kms from Hampi

© Navneet Sidhu

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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