Friday, January 7, 2011

Vintage Hampi

This is quintessentially Hampi.

Wherever you are in this city, if you look towards the horizon, I can bet you that 99% of the time, this is the vision that you will behold - mammoth boulders of all shapes and sizes. And after you accustom your mind and vision to the strangeness of the boulder shape and size, what truly baffles you is the way they are 'positioned' one on top of the other. They stand in what appears to be such a delicate balance, a precarious perch of sorts and you expect it to topple with the push of a little finger. It makes you realize that you just saw a new dimension in perfection.


Of course, our globe is replete with fantastic and awe striking features, sights and sites. But to be confounded with such an unusual phenomenon that you cannot help but wonder how on earth it came to be, does not happen as often. Hampi is one such place that bewilders you and beguiles you and makes you go as far to wonder if there actually is a magical mystical power that woke up one fine day and decided to pick up pebbles and make piles of them, because there are truthfully no clues that point to a more likely possibility. The sights are so unusual and almost anachronistic, that one can't help but feel that a supernatural explanation is more probable and believable than a natural one.

Of course, the tales of wonder, might and power associated with Hampi doesn't help convince one of a  scientific explanation for why the topography is so. Why would it, when it says in the Ramayana, the Hindu epic poem, that the flat land became boulder stricken as a result of a war between the monkey rulers, Vali and Sugreeva, heirs to the throne of the erstwhile monkey kingdom. In the absence of sophisticated weaponry, the battle was apparently conducted by throwing boulders at each other! And the panorama of Hampi is what ensued.

Legends abound, this being India after all. We are the stuff that legends are made of.

But those aside, if we go back to the history of Hampi's geography, literature says that eons ago, the land of Hampi was flat. Gusty winds and torrential rains gnawed at the soft soil and swept it away, leaving behind the rock hard outcrops.The strong sandy wind, acting much like sandpaper against a hard surface, chiseled the rocks along the natural fault lines of the rock foundation, metamorphosing the rocky topography into Cyclopean boulders of behemoth sizes. Here, nature herself was the sculptor, and she created what is one of the oldest surfaces on the earth, and undoubtedly, among the most stunning.

1 comment:

Thank you so much for being here. You must know that I love reading your comments more than I love the idea of baby bunnies eating frosted cupcakes sitting atop a cloud. They make me happy when skies are blue, yellow, pink or grey. ♥