Along the winding, rocky terrain of Hampi……

Ruins & Rocks of Hampi

Along a winding, rocky path to the Achyutaraya Temple, stories of marks of Sita’s saree falling over the rocks when Ravana abducted her in his Pushpak viman (airplane). A little cave which was believed to be Sugriva’s (the monkey warrior) home and so on, was narrated to us. All made into a fine story and located to convince that it’s all true. Every rock, boulder and stone in Hampi has a story to tell. The ruins of Hampi speaks of it’s glory and imperial majesty. 

Rocky terrain of Hampi with its numerous ruins

Story of every rock & ruin of Hampi

Located in Karnataka, Hampi is a place of its own. Huge rocks, ruins carved out of boulders, red soil makes this place inexplicable. Vijayanagara was its name, had an expanse of diamond and jewel markets, enormous mint area, the scandalous concubine trade, the prosperous temples and splurging palace was its character. It saddens to see this place ransacked by the Deccan Sultans and left to perish in the solid soil. They reduced the city to ruins and yet it shows the glimpses of its glorious past.

Pushkarni - Water source near the Krishna Temple

Apart from its man-made splendor, what impressed me were its natural rock formations created by the evolution of mother Earth. Huge and heavy boulders stand unaffected by gravity. It often makes me wonder that how did the people of Vijaynagara accomplish such a mammoth task of using these natural creations to build the city. 

The Palace & Mint Area

Locals tell us stories about existence of almost no boulders in this region. It is believed the the wind and rain swept away the soft soil exposing the hard rocky outcrops. The erosion has transformed these boulder into bizarre shapes. This continued for many thousands of years, crafting the landscape of Hampi. It looks like some one has emptied a gunny bag of rounded pebbles over Hampi resulting into the mysterious looking landscape. 

Shower of Pebbles over Hampi

These ancient people had some fascinating ways to cut rock to suit their needs. If a rock had to be cut straight, a series of holes, all in line were made on its surface. Dry wood was pegged into the plane and then water was poured over to soak the wood. Once it soaked water and its size increased, the tiny pegs made the rock crack perfectly in a straight line.

Art & technique of cutting rocks

During our visit to the ruins, I came across rock formations, thinking this one is better than the last! These rocks seemed like they float on each other or sometimes I felt they have been placed on top of each other…so humanized and yet impossible for a human to even think of! 

Natural placement of Rocks

Grand, majestic and extraordinary is the terrain of Hampi. Kudos to its riches, architecture and of course the magnificent existence of this dusty solid land. 

Me on the Rocks!

Temple built around and over the rock

Bed of Rocks

The Imperial Compilation – Hampi Inspired.

They say everything comes to an end….my recent trip to Hampi & Badami as well…what was left behind were we and many more in their ruins of temples, markets and palaces which once belonged to the great Kings and warriors….What was also left behind were my thoughts inspired by these majestic ruins. I came home, studied the pictures of the architecture, studied the metal used, the bold colours and the importance of water in this area. And then, it was time to use it in my work…

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Mirrors have always been my favourite. I love to experiment with them and guess what? Most things look nice on them anyway. So, talking about the rich Vijayanagara of Hampi, there lived middle class people as well. The most important metal used during those times was copper or peetal. This place was also full of temples where spoons, diyas or lanterns were made from copper. Hence, I thought, I should dedicate my tall, green mirror to the temples and the common man of Vijayanagara.

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This next mirror has a very profoud thought after the beautiful and intricately carved Pushkarni. A water reservoir shaped in a square with triangular steps, was made around Temples for bathing before visiting the Gods. The deep Blue of the mirror with a combination of Gold marks the riches of Vijaynagara..

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Round, rich and deep blue, one of my favourite mirror is Jaala, meaning water. Water being the most important element of life, civilization and prosperity had to be a part of my work. The kingdom survived and prospered because of the infinite Pushkarnis and water holes and a splendid water supply despite the barren land of Hampi. This mirror marks the infinite water reservoirs and the riches of the kingdom of Vijaynagara.

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Storage of any sort has been one of the most important part of our lives. We need it all over. Nidhanika meaning shelf in Sanskrit – is a solid display and storage shelf for books or anything else. It has simple yet ornate golden wrought iron embellishments. The little motif in golden marks the literacy and riches of the era of the Saluva dynasty.

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Last but not the least, after so much time, we saw the Milky way in the twilight that spread over Hampi. That moment was so significant for me, that Koshayi meaning drawers in Sanskrit is a pieceinspired by the clear starry nights over the expansive strech of these ruins. The drawers are made blue with golden beads to imitate the shinning stars.