Nov 10, 2017

Hampi 2

Why did it take me so long to get from Hampi 1 to 2? On the way I got attacked by a teeny mosquito and got dengue fever. Thus I have attained a hat trick in fevers this year, falling prey to viral fever, chest infection and dengue all in the space of 6 months. I must say from the expert's point of view that the dengue is the worst of all - it is making itself felt even after three weeks in the form of easily tiring, getting headaches when tired and aches and pains all over. I avoid going out as much as I can to stave off fatigue and further infections.

On to happier things:

Here is a bird's eye view of the royal enclosure at Hampi


The palaces built of brick and wood were destroyed and all that are left of them are the stone foundations and whatever was made from stone. And the ornamentation left on those plinths are enough to make us salivate thinking of the palaces as they had been...


Just look at the detail...



The grounds have a huge step-well...

A cute but scary underground passage that leads to a currently roofless chamber... I am still not certain whether Ani was clinging to my hand or I was clinging to his...


 We moved on to the Zenana quarters which had slightly more enduring structures. Like this one...


...presumably an overgrown gazebo for the ladies to relax in if they found the palace too confining!...


... even the "simple" gazebo has detailing like this over the arches...

And then to take your breath away, the elephant stables...


Do note that the domes on top are all in different shapes. If they'd lavished so much care and design diversity on the quarters of their tuskers, what would their palaces have been like...

Another notable structure is the Queen's bath... though I have no idea why it should be so far away from their living quarters...


It's all dry and prosaic now, but we humans have enough imagination to return the poetry to it, don't we?


There was an "underground" Siva temple where the royal family took spiritual retreats from time to time... but the place stank so much of bat guano that Ani refused to go into it, indeed it was a gloomy place...


Didn't I tell you last time that the landscape is dotted with old, unmarked monuments? Here is something that you might miss because they are found on the way side with no markers...


These depressions in stone - no two are alike - served as ready-made plates for the soldiers' daily meals and they stretch off in two rows for 300 meters into the countryside now, who knows how many there originally used to be?


That is all for the royal grandeur of the Vijayanagara empire's capital, but if you think that is all that Hampi is, you would be mistaken. I'll take you around Hampi the next time and you can see for yourself!

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