The ruins dotting the temple town of Hampi narrate a tale of the past as well as form a parallel storyline that I lived last month. Embracing this ancient Vijayanagara kingdom, I lost my heart, beat by beat to the past, present and to the times that lie ahead. Some places are like love, hard to contain and impossible to let go; Hampi is all love…it is a staccato of stories that follow you, forcing you to sit down and listen. It is the melodies that live in stone, forcing you to believe in miracles. It is impossible to not fall in love with this majestic ancient city. I did too, and carefully brought back a little bit of Hampi with me. Anjani Parwat Anjani Parwat
Hampi has to be carefully unfolded, layer by layer. Its not to be done like a To-Do List, neither can be deciphered in a single post. It’ll take a lot of introspection to even gather my scattered thoughts about Hampi, let alone putting them into words and setting them free in the universe. But today is a good day to begin or this post might forever be lost in translation.
As I recollect a beautiful evening at Anjani Parwat to be woven into words, my heart goes back to re-living the peace and tranquility that engulfed me here. Anjani Parwat, as the name suggests is the hill where Lord Hanuman’s mother, Anjani resided and also Lord Hanuman’s Birth Place. Anjali Parwat is located in the town of Anegundi, also called Kishkindha in Ramayana. From Hampi, one has to cross the Tungabhadra river to reach Anegundi which welcomes you with a panorama of places to explore. At Anjani Parvat, a short trek of Five Hundred Seventy Five steps leads you to the top, which has a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman as well as breathtaking three-sixty degree views. And, the journey to the top is as beautiful as the destination.
It took almost forty five minutes to reach the top, as I stopped for the nth time to admire a view, click a picture, introspect and gather my thoughts which were running wild. With an unusual travel buddy, I hardly knew what to expect, but then that’s the beauty of travel;Things start falling into place by their own. I could hardly look away from the exotic views that came along. The river Tungabhadra gushing away in distance, irrigating many a banana plantations, a city of rocks stared back at me as I tried to look away and walk straight.
Five hundred seventy five steps and maybe a divine intervention later, there was a sudden peace in chaos- both outside and within me. Faith seeping through the stone walls of the temple and monkeys enjoying an evening bounty of coconuts is my first impression of the place. The environment seemed to be pregnant with prayers, as an unending recital of Ram Charit Manas (ongoing since 29th Jan 2011) resonated all around. Brimming with devotees from all over the country and echoing with prayers, Anjani Parwat still embraced a certain calm that’s hard to explain.
As we left the temple behind to follow a trail to yet another beautiful sunset at Hampi, breathtaking vistas continued to guide us. I could have stopped and stared at the confluence of the sky and earth all day. Moving closer to the horizon, boulder by boulder, this was as surreal as it could get.
The horizon then coaxed me into a silent trance, as clouds gathered and engulfed the sun. I hold this golden hour very dear to my heart, regardless of the fact that there was no sunset to be seen. Conversations are sometimes magic but here it was the silence that lulled me into something as unbelievable as love. Hampi stole my heart, even though its pretty sunsets were nowhere to be seen.
If there is a forever, it is in the lap of Mother Nature. Still in that trance, I didn’t want to be brought back to the real world. I could have spent an eternity looking at that sunset that did not happen, my thoughts wondering about what could have been the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.