Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunset Point of Hampi.


I am peculiar in the respect that I am awed by the monumental treasures of this country. I appreciate them beyond even my imagination. Artistic creativity spiced with divine inspiration. So many examples of out of the world carvings, sculptures, monuments, temples etc in this subcontinent. its astonishing to say the least.
Hampi is a surreal and ah so peaceful place. The river tunga bhadra flows through the city, the ancient capital of vijayanagara, I visited this place in the cooling winter months some time back. The trip lasted a week or more and every day I was able to get away to remote natural places with such loving and restful aura, that even a speed freak like myself was able to unwind utmost.
My friend and I took a bus from bangalore and reached this little hippie town in the morning. The volvo leaves you in an intermediate (bigger) town some 20 odd km from hampi from where we hitched a local karnataka transport bus. The town is centered around the main kings temple dedicated to lord shiva (virupaksha i believe). The town has many small shacks/hotels with lot of the same ol hippie paraphernalia, but as soon as i set foot to the place... i could feel a change in my mental processes. I could slow myself down to rest my weary mind.
We got a decent room from the hotel called "half moon shack" if i remember correctly. Half moon always follows me to a new destination~
The town is split between the old orthodox part housing the temple etc (the mainland) and on the other side of the tungabhadra (accessible through boat only) is what is loosely called "the island" we reached the island by afternoon after freshening up. This is a hardcore hippie layer. People here staying for months on end for sure, in shacks after shacks.. reminded me of anjuna or chipola or arambor of goa. We walked through many kilometers. we were just chilling and checking out the scenery. We heard of a place called hanuman hill or sunset point famous with the goras. So we thought the view would be worth it, it was some 4 odd km inside from the river. We walked slow and paced. We walked close to streams and rivulets on the way... many rivers here joining to tungabhadra. Chilling out next to the fast moving streams... we were right on time to the hill... we climbed fast while the sun was full blown out.. it was hot yet due to the winter time it was pleasant enough.. We reached the summit, a hanuman temple of significance here.. where hanuman was born actually by anjani it seemed. I meditated within the temple and on the excellent view around the hill... the highest and the only real summit for a long distance around.
We meet up with many sadhus and chill out with them in their cave (close by) where they all are bunking while in hampi.. some from tamilnadu, some from andhra some from UP, and so on.. nice people. and they just entertained us with stories of that place. we take leave of them soon, and head out to explore the hill, its pretty big at top and we find a place at the other extreme end to look out into nothingness, the view from up here is awesome, you can see the river dividing the island and the mainland, the green green lands everywhere (fields et all).. very beautiful indeed, the temple attendant is good to us, and keeps us happy with some complementary tea and what not. Pretty cool day so far in hampi i think to myself. Awesome~
We sun bathe, my friend just chills resting on top of his backpack, i too am tired with the bus journey, but get up once in a while to take some photos and explore the huge boulders residing in the periphery of the hill.. many places away from direct sun on this hill under boulders.. a must in the summer months (when this whole place gets scorching hot, touching close to 45 degrees celsius). Fortunately even with the sun out, the weather was just right.
we wait for the evening, the place is called sunset point so we guess it has a meaning deeper to it, we start seeing white people come to where we are sitting to also get a view of the setting sun, all the hippies congregating this side of the river. Very surreal and beautiful sunset, the sky lights up.. everyone eventually leaves, but we are just too mesmerized to even move. the night has started setting in, and we find that its our time to depart as well... we get back down creeping for a view in the darkness and watching our steps very carefully lest we fall and crack our heads (too soon).
There is just one problem, the boats to the other side stop very soon, we dont have transport nor the time to walk back all the way to the riverside. We start asking around for any sort of ride we can hitch, no use for a long time, no ride available at all. there is a small town near the hill; yet no luck for any wheels still.
God takes pity on us i guess,
we find a car driver on his way to meet his friends near the river, and he helps us by giving us a ride till there, we give him some money and jump on the last boat to the other side, cause of my appearance i can be mistaken for a freakin hippie at these times of the night, the boatman asks me for some 20 times the amount for the ride, i give him curt responses in hindusthani to explain to him that he is an asshole... he gets it.
Some time later I am fresh again after the days trip, and i get to my rooms rooftop (we got ourselves a decent room with a roof).. which is so so very close to the sanctum sanctorum of the virupaksha shiva temple, i hadnt still entered the temple but with the moon rising next to the beautiful monument, it just made me very content... when the place gives such abundant peaceful restful loving vibes, so soon and without expectations of effort in return.
I get an amazing first nights rest looking forward for another journey deeper within vijayanagara for the next day..

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