Category: India, 2019


October 23

We spend today exploring Hampi starting at the ruins of what was the urban core and including the remains of the royal palaces and temples. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fabled city of Hampi sprawls across a spectacular barren boulder strewn landscape. This city served as the capital for three generations of Hindu rulers for more than 200 years, and reached its zenith between 1510 AD and 1542 AD.

 Our guide is Viru Pakshi, an art graduate of Gulbarga university, who has been guiding since 1991 and one of the best guide in Hampi region. He has had an opportunity to work with Mr. John Fritz and George Michell an anthropologist and archaeologist respectively, which has given him vast knowledge of history and architecture of Hampi.

When we met him, I told him that we needed Hampi for Dummies, not a sophisticated and detailed account. We could understand him fine and generally he did okay (Carol gives him lower marks than I do). We’d both agree, though, that of the four guides we’ve had so far, he’s #4.

This is an absolutely extraordinary site, encompassing 56 square kilometers, or almost 40 square miles. The monuments are in remarkable condition and the restoration that’s been done is first class and does not detract from the original. I’d put this in a category comparable to Angkor Watt, Bagan, and Egypt. Carol probably would not rank it that high, but even if she’s right, being a notch below those spots is pretty amazing. So, if it’s not there already, put Hampi on your bucket list.

We had excellent weather, though the sun got quite hot at times. I used my walking sticks which were quite useful, but I think carry the danger of becoming more reliant on them than one need be. Some of the most dangerous walking is on flat land, where you don’t notice a stone of a different height and trip over it. While walking sticks would be useful in that situation, chances are I wouldn’t be using them then. So, I’d say this is still a work in progress, but probably a good idea.

We returned to the hotel for lunch, then had a couple hours during which I swam n our private villa pool. Tough work, but somebody’s gotta do it.

The afternoon was mixed, because it rained for about the second half of it. While that adds to the adventure, it does not add to the comfort. We did have an umbrella, though, and the rain was not too hard, so we survived it.  

Best I can do is just include a lot of photos, of the site and environs. I won’t try to identify them for you, but they’ll give you some idea of the overall impression.

Tonight we had a lovely candle-lit dinner at the hotel’s fancy restaurant alone on a patio. Nice.

5 comments to Hampi!!

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