Anusha is here every year, and I ask her what drive's her to come so often.
"Life is often hard in India, with office life so mundane. There is sometimes a need to escape, maybe to find some romance." She tosses her long hair to one side and gazes out over the landscape. "Is it not unreal and bewitching?"
I nod, following Anusha's gaze over this mighty moonscape alight in rusty, dusty hues, in this land of over 1000 Gods; a land of magic and monkey kingdoms, maybe culminating in this grandly dreamlike but craggy terrain. Giant boulders litter an ongoing undulating plain.
And it's the sacred Hindu text - The Ramayana - that immortalizes this place even further, King Rama seeking his kidnapped wife here and meeting the Monkey King himself; The Ramayama some 24,000 verses long, an epic Hindu poem in 7-books.
Anusha says that this was one of the richest and largest cities in the world, capital of the 14th-16th century Vijayanagara Empire. "There are ghosts in this place, in the shadows and in the air."
But all I see is 40degC heat haze and ruins, what's left of over 1600 forts, temples and shrines, pillared halls and gateways, all in pieces after the great Battle of Talikota - a monumental spread over 4,000 hectares.
Photo: Royal Wreckage - Hampi, Karnataka, India _ Vyacheslav Argenberg