Hampi is a photographer's delight, but I won't bore you with them all. Each of these pictures though, have a story to share, so come with me and see them through my eyes...
Here is my Son, cleaning sand off a carving of two people prostrating in front of the King's Balance. We teased him, saying that he is either going to become a great archaeologist or a great sweeper
Here is another picture of a fighter. I totally loved this carving. Look at the posture, the gentle curve of the torso, and the slight weight placed on the right foot. The keen expression and fisted hand. I can feel the spirit of the fighter, his intent and focus. To think it is a carving on stone, by a nameless man, who has left behind a bit of his vision, perspective, and creativity for posterity, it is truly a work of art. I get goose pimple to think that a stone from the 14 th century is being admired by a modern woman and her family in the 21st century, isn"t this what science fiction stories are made of?
The Sule Bazaar was meant for Horse Trading and images of visitors bringing in prize horses have been frozen in time, in the VittalRaya Temple walls. Portuguese and Chinese Noble Men can be seen here, their distinct head dresses and attire...photographs on stone.
Rain water drips through the small circular protrusions on top, into a channel below, and then flows down through the inlets and out. Framed between images of dancers doing the Koll Attam(Stick Dance). Among Folk Dances of South India, the KollAttam is very famous in TamilNadu, and Andhra Pradesh.
In Tamil Nadu, it is danced by young girls during festivals, and they usually go round and round hitting the sticks of their partners, following a rhythm set by the mridangam or some Thala Vadyam. Similar to the Dandia Raas, but different in style as the steps are more structured and not as free flowing as in Dandiya.
Nowadays Kollattam is practiced by men, who have made it a more stylised, introducing many more tough and intricate movements
Apparently it originates from the 7th century, so when these sculptures were made, Kollattam dance form had existed for more than 4 centuries. Very Interesting.
I think as Krishna Deva Raya married a dancer himself (Nagalamba-Chinna Devi), there are many aspects of the sculptures on the Vittal Raya Temple walls ( a temple commissioned by KRD to be constructed, as against the much older Virupaksha Temple that existed from before), show their common and mutual interest in various art forms and styles, including such carvings, and the famous Musical Pillars.
Here is where the Monarch used to sit to give audience to the common man. It overlooks a thousand pillared platform. But alas, none of the pillars stand there, and we get to see only holes and spaces that once bore the weight of these pillars.
Here you can also see one tired son and a very resigned husband who took the journey alone, up the flight of steps to view the world from a perspective that belongs to another century!
I had to share this pic. This courtyard, just outside the Haza Rama Temple was where my dear Jackie Chan posed and flipped and fought some scene from Myth. Behold the sacred space!!!
This is so gigantic! A single stone carved into a water basin for ...Elephants. Yes during festivities, the Kings elephants (11 in all) could all be tethered here and this was the space provided for them to have are refreshing sip of water!
I found this tree to be a poser of sorts. Standing here in all its contortions and facets, waiting to be photographed. So I did the honors! A very gnarled and twisted trunk, branches out into this solitary occupant within the Vittal Raya temple compound
I finally leave you to admire this woman, her nubile, proportionate body a testimony to the fact that beauty in the eyes of a man (I assume it is carved by a man), is the perfect 36-24-36!
Her coy down turned eyes, and casual placing of her arm around some hanging plant maybe, brings to my mind the many movie directors who have shamelessly used such sculptors to fashion their Heroines into poses such as these.
Don't miss the amazing headdress. Fashion never dies, it just gets recycled...
I can go on and on, but I have to move on, now as I share the next leg of our trip, upto Bijapur and then Badami...
Come back and See More...