15 Things to Do in Hampi

Have you ever contemplated the range of things you can do in Hampi?  Like peeling off your sunglasses and filling your eyes with the natural hues of its ancientness, testing how greedy you are for glorious stories and details, and fifteen other things…

 

1. Walk these pillared corridors and listen to the melodies that thrum deep within them, no less than your songs. Add a verse or two of your own.

 

© Neeta Shankar

A pillared courtyard in the Vitthala Temple complex, © Neeta Shankar

 

2. In the precise geometric angles, corners, folds and depths, listen to the sighs and smiles of the creators that might slowly grow into chortles of completion, of fulfillment.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Geometrical perfection of stepped tanks, © Neeta Shankar

 

3. Listen, with seeing ears, and see, with listening eyes. Somewhere in the middle of ruin and grandeur is a place that harbours stories of sheer enchantment.

 

A pushkarini reflecting the cloudy sky, © Neeta Shankar

 

4. Try. Question. Probe. How far can your eyes reach and how much can it hold in its voracious vision? How much can you fill yourself with what the world has to offer?

 

Hampi

A view from the Matanga Hill, © Neeta Shankar

 

5. Witness how shards of lights, illuminations, play with shadows, when the stones are crisply cold and full of symbolic importance.

 

Badava Linga, © Neeta Shankar

 

6. Listen carefully. What soft whispers did these sacred mantapas contain? What secrets echoed and went astray, carried away by an inquisitive wind?

 

© Neeta Shankar

A mantapa with ornate pillars, © Neeta Shankar

 

7. Catch and weigh the intricacies that are maddeningly accurate in their forming, and resolute under  forever-changing sky shades, preserving the past in the fragile present, to be conserved for tomorrow.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Intricate carvings on temple walls, © Neeta Shankar

8. See how the sun plays hide-and-seek with these pillars of mute monuments, making them narrate to you wordless stories.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Sasivekalu Ganesha, © Neeta Shankar

 

9. On the prehistoric rocks stand these structures erected by men of honour, of art. Behold how these stones catch the fiery hues at the sunrise and the sunset hours.

 

A double-storeyed mantapa, © Neeta Shankar

 

10. Indigo sky, blue sky, misty sky, bright sky, rosy sky, star-studded sky: experience the glorious, as Hampi allows itself to be under a forever sky.

 

A small temple on top of the Hemakuta Hill, © Neeta Shankar

 

11. Beneath the brilliance of this town, there is a story of war, bloodshed, violence and destruction, which isn’t often given the importance it deserves. Dig them out, for certain truths exist irrespective of our disregard.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Evocative portrait of the Lakshmi Narasimha statue, © Neeta Shankar

 

12. Holler! Think what eyes of focus, what art of patience and what men of attention made every detail a palpable possibility! What fortunate beholders are we, to be able to live this timeless splendour!

 

© Neeta Shankar

The magnificent Elephant Stable under the moon, © Neeta Shankar

 

13. Take to the oars when light falls on the waters and disintegrates like shards of glass, cross a river, let a bead of sweat trickle down your temple, reach the other shore, make your own story.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Coracles at the bank of the Tungabhadra River, © Neeta Shankar

 

14. When the temples and halls and statues are basking in the sun, seek the shade of infrequent trees: a respite, a pause to consider magnificence in stillness.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Men at the Vitthala Temple complex, © Neeta Shankar

 

15. Sing. For this perfection is something akin to a prayer’s answer, a long-lost love song, a perpetual yearning for human excellence, an apex on top of which one wants to stand and beam a smile of delight.

 

© Neeta Shankar

Elegance of the Elephant Stable, © Neeta Shankar

 

Join our next Hampi Tour, and do all this and more!

 

Categories: Articles, Featured, Photography, Travel
Sourabha Rao

Sourabha is a staff writer at Toehold who dexterously gives verbal form to the inexpressible, and with her passion for travel, weaves immersive stories that transcend space and dissolve time.

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