A wandering bird's-eye overview of most things even vaguely related to travel, and an opportunity for writers, artists and photographers to contribute the historical, the hysterical, the quirky and quixotic... anything with heart.

3 years ago
Royal wreckage
Royal wreckage

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

  1. uspandeyz 

    Perhaps I have an inkling of what goes on in Anusha's heart. Perhaps I bond with her ever so fleetingly. It is certainly far from the madding crowd, the office and the daily grind. What she looks for in those brown-baked moonscapes is a release that is as mythological as the golden times it purports.


    1. lostboys 

      Thanks Uma.
      I wonder if Anusha may be a scribbler like yourself, with modern Mother India awash with literary fish swimming against the tide of `advancement'.