Hampi: a mysterious ancient Ghost city

Today Hampi is a Ghost town inhabited by mostly apes. On the past power of its ancient inhabitants left only ruins of the once magnificent capital of a trading Empire Vijayanagar, which flourished in the mid 14th century. Meanwhile, Hampi continues to be a center of Hindu religion, in particular, due to the current and still Virupaksha temple.

The official history States that the capital of Vijayanagara was founded because of the good location of the area: on one side the city is washed by the river, with three others – was surrounded by inaccessible hills. In the early 14th century the Empire has been waging a fierce war with the followers of Islam, and the construction of large and well-fortified city was a response to the expansion of the Muslims.

Meanwhile, recently in the scientific circles there is information that, most likely, the village of Hampi, capital of Vijayanagara, is much older than was commonly believed. The fact that the ruins of the capital of the Empire, rising on the foundations of more ancient structures. Many scholars argue that the mysterious and unknown to modern science destroyed the town – the remains of Kishkinda, a mythical state of monkeys.

To such conclusion the researchers came after a detailed inspection of the entire complex of Hampi. The features of his stonework is reminiscent of many ancient structures, razbrosannye around the world, including the pyramids in Egypt. Meanwhile, neither legends, nor the many Indian myths do not answer the main question of how Hampi was built. You cannot imagine how the masters of the first centuries of our era, or even earlier, cut stones, the size of which reached several meters, and the structure of the rock blocks that make up complexes are very similar to the solid meteorite!

What is most incredible is the fact that the stones were cut with an unknown instrument, so smoothly that there was no kinks and rough edges. Mystery shrouded the origin and destination of the road to the temple complex of Virupaksha, built of massive granite slabs, reminiscent of a modern aerodrome. Their size sometimes reaches 7 meters.

However, according to the Ramayana, Vali and Sugriva, brothers of monkeys, has founded a magnificent city, and then reigned in it. But after a while they separated. In the harsh struggle for power Wali supplanted his brother, who had to move to the hill Matanga the Parvata. Sugriva was accompanied by a small but dedicated squad, which was led by Hanuman. In search of his consort SITA, these parts were Rama and his brother Lakshman. Thanks to their support, Sugriva managed to shed the throne of the shrew brother and took his place, and Hanuman became a close aide of the new king.

Strikes the imagination very unusual landscape of the city: he was created from numerous heaps of stones, the size of which ranges from football to quite a decent house. Legend has it that Hanuman, the monkey God, and his warriors competed in the use of force: the more was to throw the stone, the stronger was considered to be athletes.

With the names of Rama and Lakshmana bound and the emergence of numerous churches in the territory of Hampi. Local residents claim that during the journey Rama often stopped to rest and prayer, each time leaving the Parking lot of the Church. Who knows whether these are true legends, but today the temple complexes of Hampi enjoy special reverence.

The jewel of Hampi, undoubtedly, is considered the greatest temple of Virupaksha, the center of pilgrimage for followers of Hindu religion from all over South India. The complex consists of two large courtyards, each of which has an entrance through gopura (gates). The courtyard is almost always filled with pilgrims praying and singing religious songs. According to the legend, to an incoming received higher blessing, you need to invest a rupee in the trunk of the temple elephant standing at the entrance.

In the main temple is a mandapam hall, carved columns which are decorated with magnificent bas-reliefs depicting animals standing on its hind legs. No less amazing and the painting on the ceiling. The ancient artists managed to recreate images of Shiva, a procession, accompanying the elder Vidyaranya, a long-time former Advisor to the first kings of Hampi, many of the scenes from “Shararati” or even the ten incarnations of Vishnu.

Today, the city, as before, surrounded by a high stone wall, however, is partially destroyed. Massive, built of huge granite slabs, it is about 32 meters in length. Locals say that before the Holy city was protected by seven walls exactly the same, and in combination with the impenetrable forest thickets and deep river to get to Hampi was almost impossible.

But perhaps the most amazing building of ancient Ghost town are massive stone “Royal scale”. According to legend, once a year, the king of Vijayanagara had to give it to the poor five metals, the total weight was equal to his weight, including this is supposed to be gold, silver and bronze. Today, unfortunately, this magnificent monument of ancient architecture consists of three stones, stacked in the form of the letter “P”. Bowls, serving for the weigh lost.

All the beauty and strangeness of ancient Hampi is indescribable, however, as it is not possible today to explain its origin. But who knows, maybe one day scientists to uncover the incredible secrets of the city-mysteries.

The Gothic style in medieval art and culture
In the second half of the twelfth century in Western Europe began to appear the architecture of the new, unusual style, radically different from the Romanesque. This style, called Gothic,…


Features of the interior of Gothic cathedrals
Huge internal space of Gothic cathedrals, under the arches which at one time could accommodate the entire population of the city, reduced to a remarkable unity. The new design has…

Continue reading →