Stories of Hampi!

Hampi is an open to air museum of all the marvels that were built hundreds of years ago.It makes you believe in the myths that you were told as a kid.You can feel them unraveling in front of your eyes under the scorching heat of the sun.The place speaks of myths of different ‘yugs’ .

The name of the place comes from the daughter of Lord Brahma,Pampa who was a huge devotee of Lord Shiva.Upon seeing pampa’s devotion ,Shiva grants her a boon and she chooses to marry him.Their Marriage happens on the hemkuta hill ,that’s located next to the Virupaksha temple.The story calls hemkuta hill as the heap of gold and it is believed that on the day of their marriage it rained gold over the place.Every year Hampi celebrates the marriage of Pampa and Lord Shiva.The Virupaksha temple is actually dedicated to Lord Shiva in his third eye avatar .That temple has stood through the trials of time ,especially when the city was burnt to ground and the temple stood tall amidst of the fire.Majorly because it was made of granite but for all the mythical believers we could assume that temple was protected by Shiva in his most dangerous avatar.

Hampi has a very interesting connection to Ramayana and it doesnt fail to impress all the rationalists out there.That story provides answers to the most frequently asked questions,like,why does the landscape of hampi have boulders which seem to not have changed their position in the thousands of years that they have been there or why does the place has Ram temples orVishnu temples.The Kishkindha Kand has supposedly taken place in Hampi and parts of anegondi.Kishkindha Kand tells a story of the vanara (monkey) empire which had two leaders or chiefs named Vali and Sugreev.Vali being the elder brother ruled the empire and banished Sugreev from the land when he tried claiming the empire.Hanuman ,Sugreev’s army’s chief is pivotal to the story as he helps in finding Rama who helps in conquering the monkey Land in return for a fvaor ,that is to find his wife who is abducted by Ravana.He Kills Vali and crowns Sugreev as the king at the Kodandrama temple which is located on the ghats of the tunghabhadra river.The boulders asre supposed to be there as consequence of a fight between Sugreev and Vali but the geologicla reason is that are disintegrated Granite monoliths.The place satisfies your craving for all the much needed magic in today’s life.

Taking a time leap which is clearly experienced while travelling the place talks about the vijayanagar empire which flourished in its time to a great extent but came to a ruthless end when all of it was burnt to ground by the Deccan sultanates.The land which played a key role in Ramayana naturally had a lot of Vishnu worshipers, as Rama is considered an avatar of Vishnu .The Land had Vaishnavites and Shaivites which clearly propagated Hinduism was one of the reasons that it was burnt to ground after it lost the war against Deccan Sultanates.The royal center built during the times of Vijayanagar empire has hazar rama temple,narrating the stories of Ramayana,Mahanavmi dibba or the dassara dibba which was a viewing platform for the navratri celebration ,the pushkarni (stepwell)which is believed to be ahead of its time as it was built somewhere else and assembled in Hampi.It has very elaborate system of Aquaducts.The city in its planning and size reminded a Portuguese traveller named Domingo Paes of Rome.What fascinates me about such places is that they celebrated life and its simple pleasures .It’s evident in the architecture that has been built in that place be it the queen’s bath or the elephant’s stable or the grand Virupaksha temple.It elevated the ordinary everyday activities,especially praying.It has played a key role in the development of Hinduism and its architecture.It is surprising to the people who visit the city that why is such a dead place now.Why has the place been abandoned ?There have been cities around the world which have reshaped themselves after a massive destruction.It is important to understand that the time in which this city was built had a system of rulers .The citizens didn’t have an individual identity .They looked up to their ruler for everything.So when your idol is beheaded in front of you ,you really have not much choice but to obey what the oppressor( in this case the Deccan sultanates) says.The city was attacked because it didn’t propagate growth of Islam and that’s why they considered it necessary to to eradicate the entire city and that meant burning everything.So everthing that was made of wood and brick was burnt to ashes.The citizens fled the city because they didn’t have anyone to keep them together .So if we say that there have been cities which have burnt but are still functioning today we have to understand the sense of identity that the people had back then and what they have today.All their judgement was based on their rulers and to expect them to rebuild a city back then would be disregarding the entire ruling system.We have evolved and will continue to do so.

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