Chasing the Flintstones in Hampi

Achyuta Raya temple at the foot of Matunga hill.

Once there, you will see green fields, date and coconut trees. The place looks quaint and ageless in the way of many Indian villages, where bullock carts are still the way to get to market.

Then, at some point, you reach the top of the hill overlooking the ancient ruins of the medieval capital of the Vijayanagara empire and you swear you have just arrived in Bedrock and that Fred and Barney are going to come up the hill in their stone-wheeled vehicle!

Spread as far as the eye can see are ancient stone temples, great plains of boulders that look as if the Gods have used the place for a bowling alley and Kings have had their play.

There are stone-carved elephant stables, temples that sing in the wind and a lazy river winding her way through this surprising landscape like a ribbon on a present about to be unwrapped.

Further back into the reaches of time and history, back to a time when the Gods still moved around the earth, Hampi was known as Kishkinda or the Monkey Kingdom.

You can see the Anjaneya temple atop a very steep hill just outside of the village. This is said to be the birthplace of Hanuman and although the climb is steep, the view once you reach the top is well worth the climb.

Remember to take water and offerings for the many monkeys you will see on your climb.
Once you reach the giddying heights, you will see the entire spread of the ruins of Hampi.
Looking at the ruins from here you would know the reason why they chose this place as their capital.

All around in the horizons are the rugged, rocky mountains, and at one side is the mighty Tungabhadra river.

It was a naturally secluded and almost impenetrable area. So when Rama and Lakshmana arrived in Hampi, in search of Sita who had been abducted to Sri Lanka, Hanuman shows them a set of jewels. Rama identified them as belonging to his wife and it is from here that Hanuman launched his epic rescue of Sita from the clutches of Ravana.

Remember to keep an eye on your belongings and food as the monkeys here are not shy to take what isn’t offered to them!

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