Badami to Hampi
desiring to have complete freedom
among these rocks
the horses of fantasy,
look, gallop away to the horizon
at even the slightest noise.
Naked wild horses.
These rocks of Hampi
– (Chandrashekhar Kambar, 1992)
The three women are welcomed by the capital city of Vijaynagara (14th-16thc.) empire on Day 19 of their journey, the city where flow the calm waters of Tungabhadra, the city where mighty boulders still hold the fort, the city set in a different time zone, the city where the mind races without fear on the horses of fantasy . Covering a distance of approx. 150 kms. the ladies meandering through the hills of Badami.. finally found their way to Hampi, through Hospet- the big city which connects mainland Karnataka to Hampi.
After checking into the guest house opposite the main bus stand of the town, the three were all set to explore this city which was largest and richest in the world in its heydays. However, the sun was not so kind on them so they only managed to step out by late afternoon and the first thing they did was that they bought a map of the city and marked the sites they wanted to visit. There are no straight paths to see the sites and it is all spread around an area of 26 sq. kms.
On day 1 at Hampi they decided to take an autorickshaw to look around the town… and the auto- vaala not only rode them around but also served as their guide- for-the-day
began their excursion visiting the ‘underground Shiva temple’
but what had them in complete awe was the next site- ‘Hajara Ram Temple’, literally meaning ‘Temple of a Thousand Ram’
signifying the many scenes of Ramayana etched on its outer walls which describe the story in the minimalist manner..
The tableus were like a picture- book enfolding on the walls and our ladies walked around the periphery of the temple deciphering each and every scene from the great epic.
The fortified Royal Enclosures is close to the temple and here they found a treasure trove- of fortified walls of royal buildings
They rode towards the Malyavantha Raghunatha hill to get the perfect glimpse of the sunset..over the horizon
Soaking in the magic of Hampi the three called it a day and rode back to the guest house…