Hampi, a day's car ride to the north from Bangalore, was the most fabulous place we have ever seen in India. It is sheer magic. Its rocks and ruins of old temples from a long past empire, named after its capital city of Vijayanagara (1336 - 1646) are a wonderland. The best-known group of ruins from that empire are found in and around Hampi, a small town that is right in the midst of the old ruins and the amazing rock formations. The temples often look as if they had grown out of the rocks. Amazing scenery and a lot of walking.
Morning in front of the temple All dolled up for a morning wedding Sun rising beyond Matanga Hill Sun peeking out from behind Matanga Hill, viewed from the Kadalekalu Ganesha shrine
Gopuram and rock in morning sunlight Monkey or Hanuman relief Relief (What is the story?) Carving on base of Ganesha Temple
Ganesha Ganesha Temple and Virupaksha gopuram Temples nestled among the rocks Mandapa of the Kadalekalu Ganesha shrine
Virupaksha Temple Virupaksha Temple entrance gopuram Virupaksha Temple viewed from Hampi Bazaar Quiet street being washed
Gopuram and palms Tungabhadra River and rocks in the morning light Tungabhadra River After a bath among the boulders
Tungabhadra River ghats Washing the elephant Out for a dip An ancient relief serves another purpose now
Fun in the water Hi! Ready, hold your nose... ... and under!
Curious statue An ancient temple serves another purpose too Morning laundry Manmatha Tank and temples
Virupaksha Temple outer court Trumpet and clarinet players inside the temple Furry audience Virupaksha Temple columns
Virupaksha Temple Young beauty and old ones Wedding ceremony in Virupaksha Temple Wedding witnesses
Gods on the temple roof Virupaksha Temple seen from breakfast at the Hampi Guest House Virupaksha Temple gopuram Old buildings used as residences
People still live in 400-year old buildings Former grandeur Goats Tourist strolling on Hampi Bazaar
Eastern end of Hampi Bazaar Nandi Looking westwards from the eastern end, police station on the right Cleaning
Omnipresent bovines Typical Indian pie dog The galleries still serve Gateway to temple area
Temples Hemakuta Hill is one enormous rock Virupaksha Temple Fourteenth-century temples, the earliest in Hampi
Early Vijayanagara temles A shady spot Curious, almost doll-like dancing Shiva The animal gods, Hanuman and Ganesh
Looking east Temple columns Temples Old temple
Tourist in a 14th-century temple Hindu columns Inside a temple Two elephants, symetric, are often seen in Hampi
The rock Rock and shrine Virupaksha Temple gopuram Rhododendrons
Bananas in front of Virupaksha Temple Narrow but colorful Hampi street Colorful houses Hampi street
View from roof restaurant Roof-top restaurant of the Hampi Guest House River and rocks No swimming!
An ancient road Ruins and rocks and river A tunnel on the path Inside the tunnel
Chakratirtha, the holiest bathing spot on the Tungabhadra Mandapa near Kodandarama Temple Young monkey Even a cat!
Closeup of the ruin and a temple on the hill top Ruins among the rocks Coracles Beautiful banyan tree
View towards Hampi Bazaar, with the VIrupaksha Temple gopuram just visible over the treetops Getting closer to the ruins Cut rocks from ruins or waiting for building? Rock carvings
Boulders �berall The terrain here is practically littered with carved rocks Horses and Matanga Hill Beautiful horses
Shepherd dog Cows comin' home Langur monkeys at the Kodandarama Temple Langur
Cows passing the temple Entering the tunnel A coracle on the Tungabhadra Cows on the road home
Boy and dog -- a universal Galleries along Hampi Bazar, Matanga Hill on the right Sunset on Hemakuta Hill Virupaksha Temple gopuram and rock in setting sun
Matanga Hill The softness of sunset Virupaksha Temple in the sunset Sun going down
Water for the temple elephant Elephant and kids Small temples on the Manmatha Tank Festooned lion
Monkies swarming on the temple roof Manmatha Tank with northern gopuram of Virupaksha Temple and small temples Decorating the temple elephant Curious rocks south of Hampi Bazaar
On the way to Vitthala Temple -- washing? Small pavilion near tank Another tank View towards the Vitthala Temple, with lakeside galleries
Road leading to Vitthala Temple Partially destroyed Vithala Temple gopuram Inside the huge temple complex Free-standing mandapa, main temple and Garuda shrine
Free-standing mandapa (pillared or hypostyle hall) The Garuda Shrine is in the form of a chariot Elephants "draw" the chariot The main temple
We met some very friendly Indians Western tourists at the main temple Dancer on mandapa pillar Beautifully sculptured mandapa pillars
Rearing horses with riders on pillars, typical of Vijayanagar temple sculpture Main temple entrance Side entrance to main temple Main temple viewed from free-standing mandapa
View of Garuda shrine from free-standing mandapa Inside a mandapa Pillars on the main temple Indian and tourist
Beside the main temple, looking toward the river Another Vijayanagar pillar The chariot-like Garuda shrine Behind the temple, the King's Balance -- with tourist
Tourist resting and "digging" the view Temple ruin on the other side of the Tungabhadra Intricate stonework on a wall Looks like if you move one piece, it will all come down
Pylons for an ancient Vijayanagar bridge over the Tungabhadra Off for a cruise in a coracle Happy cruiser Splashing a bit
Bird, rocks and ruins Another cruiser Rock! Results of wind erosion
Those are steps carved into the rock on the right View toward Kodamdarama Temple mandapa, with small riverside temple on left Small riverside temple with relief of a pair of elephants over the entrance Sculpture of the Goddess inside the riverside temple
Half-buried reliefs of gods. This sort of thing was all over in Hampi, at the mercy of weather, vandals and thieves. Beautiful, large relief of Ranganatha (Vishnu) asleep on the coils of the serpent Ananta, with Brahma being born from the flower of a lotus growing from Vishnu's navel Ranganatha is carved on a large boulder near the river Boatmen leading tourist up a rock to look at more
Mandalas of miniature lingas carved on top of the boulder. This sort of artifact, lost out in the rocks, is part of what makes Hampi so fascinating. Tourist waiting patiently among the rocks Temple on the other side View towards Kodandarama Temple
Boatman helpling tourist cross the rocks. Mountain boots would have been handy, but the boatmen wore no shoes at all! Rejoining the coracle Eroded rock Another ruined temple and Anjenadri HIll (on right)
How the coracle is made. The outside is waterproofed with some sort of tar. On the wing Odd flowers The purandara mandapa is almost in the river
Harvesting green bananas Talraighat gate Sugar cane and palm trees Exterior of the so-called Queen's Bath
The decorated interior of the Queen's Bath is a surprise after the rather plain exterior. It was probably actually used by male courtiers and their "lady" friends. Wall reliefs of practically everything Beautiful square stepped tank The stepped tank
Water conduits for the tank The tank and water conduits Weeding Wonderful wall of the Zenana enclosure
Inside the Zenana enclosure, a beatiful octagonal watch tower The Lotus Mahal Picnicing by the watch tower Intricately-arranged wall stones
The Elephant stables Sasivekalu Ganesha shrine Sasivekalu Ganesha An evening rainshower!