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Showing posts from November, 2015

Hampi: Written in Stone

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The rotund rock formations can take the form of the most bizarre shapes when viewed through a layer of hot air rising from the sandy gravel on the banks of Tungabhadra. We stood at the northern bank of the river, on an island called Virupapuragadde, awaiting the ferry that would take us to the ruins of the capital of the Vijayanagara Kingdom, Hampi. It was hot, and Laxmi, the sacred elephant of the Virupaksha temple, was being bathed by her mahout as a horde of tourists photographed her from all sides. Under a stony pillared mandapa built five hundred years ago on the bank of the river sat women who offered their hair in grief, as an honour to the departed.
On the eastern side of the bank children jumped into the river from boulders resembling elephant humps, and played in the quieter regions of the rive as River Terns glided overhead, scouring the waters for fish. A day earlier, we arrived on the northern shore of Tungabhadra through banana and sugarcane crops planted on rich black …