I had never seen such a landscape before. Huge rocks, mountains out of bizarre, huge rocks. Monkeyland. Land of crocodiles, too. And Hippies. Ancient temples, and ruins – what enormous kingdom it must have been!
There are some chilling restaurants besides very poor huts, guest houses that partly seem to crash soon, however they promise 24 hrs water and electricity. In the few streets you find goats, cows, souvenir shops, some farmers with oxen or selling fruit, loosy but very inviting roof bars with some tourists and aside some local elderly women playing a kind of backgammon. Huge temples and round are always in the background.
I’m in Hampi, a village in northern Karnataka, India. A tourist place, but not very crowded. In spring it is too hot. It is a place with many curious things. It is a place of a fascinating nature. It is the place where hippies came several years ago and the German bakery as well as the hippy life is still visible – on Hampi island. Hampi and surroundings: It is a place where we conducted a survey on health and health awareness. It is a sad story, maybe I will tell later… However, the tourists will not know about it.
The temple elephant
Here in Hampi the temple elephant takes a bath in the river , every morning and every evening – one of the very normal things here. Later the day you find him in the Virupasksha temple. He is 28 years old now. If you want you can even help to scrub.
At the temple entrance you find also a dog and monkey, they ignore you completely. The monkeys are everywhere. It is their land, Monkeyland. How could it be without monkeys, here is where the God of monkeys is born!
Monkey land and the birthplace of Hunaman
You may know him, the Hunaman God. But did you know that he is born here, at the top of a hill where 580 stairs lead you to? Don’t forget the water bottle. When you reach there, just the sun and a nice temple will expect you. And a landscape you won’t forget – somewhere here there must be the entrance to paradise. You can discover by motorcycle and stop in one of these lazy “Let the rest of the world behind me” restaurants. It’s a dream to discover.
If you take time and do a walk through the village, you will discover the other site, the not touristic one. The missing education of many habitants, many that can not afford any luxury, some stunted children, the disabled young man who just joins you for a chat when you climb up for visiting a ruin, the 83 years old woman who sits under the tree and hopes to gain some money. The farmer who worries about his rice crop – a few days back a very heavy storm has destroyed a lot of his rice field and banana plants…
Hampi? That’s a world of monkeys and all kind of human beings!
More info on Hampi:
It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.