Friday, January 05, 2007

Hampi



The splendour is definitely gone. All you see now are the ruins. Pick a direction to look and you'll find some dilapidated building. The sheer number of construction sites and the area they cover makes you wonder about the grandeur that must have surely existed back when the kingdom was still prospering. It also makes you hate all the idiots who plundered this place. And then you look at the "Y loves X" proclamations that crowd most of the remaining walls and you realise that the race of the idiots still thrives.

The visit to the Vithala temple was probably the highlight of my trip. The musical pillars are mind blowing. This is one of the best preserved monuments in Hampi. I won't be surprised if they discover someday that even the barbarians were moved enough by the sheer beauty to spare this particular temple from destruction. To get the most out of your visit to the Vithala temple you need to have a guide.

Even the best guide, however, will not explain satisfactorily the occurence of all those heaps of rocks in this area. The explanation that came closest to making the cut was the legend that the gods played marbles here.

A portuguese traveller who travelled to the Vijayanagara Kingdom is said to have remarked about Hampi that the retina of the eye has never seen anything quite like it. You probably can still say the same thing about it. Where else would you encounter a lungi-clad waiter in a KhanavaLi serving you Sphagetti Bolognaise or a Moussaka, or a paan chewing lady dressed in an iLkal seere holding a plate of bondas and asking you in English (U.S. International) "Would you like some snacks?"

My New Year's Eve
Three balding men sported pony tails. We laughed like crazy. We went to a gorgeous restaurant called Mango Tree . The wine flowed. Sounds like fun, no?
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