Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Hampi, day 6 (part 1); most amazing sunrise revisited, Hanuman, Vishnu, Shiva
With little else to do at 5am in Hampi, I figured I might as well head back to Matanga Hill and see the sunrise again.
This time, knowing the way, I was there in plenty of time to even beat the monkeys there for the best seat in the house, well, on the roof, anyway.
It was interesting to watch the monkeys, as I had yesterday, as they gathered on top of the ancient temple and sat facing the east. They seemed to be just as interested as I was to see the sun come up over the endless scape of scattered stone.
They watch as the first glimpse of the rising sun, nearly identical to that of the morning before, lit their faces with the delicate light and gentle warmth of dawn.
Noticing a different trail, leading down the south side of the hill, I followed it down to see where it goes. I came down among the banana fields at the south-eastern corner of the hill and continued along the path to the ruins, passing a colorful burst from a bright yellow and red shrine along the way.
The decapitated towers seemed much grander, cloaked in early morning sun. Much of the site seemed to regain a vitality that had faded before I'd arrived for my previous visit. Since then, I'd also learned that the towers hadn't crumbled as a result of time bur had been dismantled by the muslim invaders in order to remove the gold stashed within. The Virupaksha Temple, back inHampi Bazar, was spared because of a family of pigs that had made it their home. Since pigs are considered filthy in the Quran, the temple was left untouched and dubbed the 'Pig Temple.' As for the other ancient temple sites around Hampi, it was off-with-their-heads!
Once again, I left the ruins through the hill, visiting the Hanuman shrine a last time. I never did see the woman again who demanded my money the first night, but along the Hampi Bazar Rd., I unexpectedly came across Vishnu and Shiva. I gave them a donation for their effort and they, in turn, posed for me.
Today was, finally, our last day in Hampi, and we had a busy one planned out.