Finally I made it to Hampi, taking advantage of the extended holiday weekend over India’s Independence Day, 15th August.

Most temples in South India have an elephant at the entrance, and the Viruppaksha in Hampi, is no exception. Centuries old, this is one of the very few temples in Hampi where worship of a deity still goes on from the beginning, uninterrupted.

As I stepped in, the frontline before the elephant had a Muslim lady in full burqa, with her husband, spending most time in front of this temple elephant, during middle of the holy month of Ramadhan. The elephant didn’t care less.

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The three young intrepid ladies in one of the pics, are from Washington, San Francisco, and Boston respectively, all from the US of A, who came very spiritedly to the Hampi Children’s Trust, just for a day, though they were doing voluntary service in Hubli, quite some distance away.  The children at the Trust may well lift your spirits just a mite higher than the awesome rocks in Hampi could possibly.

I spent two days in Hampi, and got more history into myself to last me several lifetimes.  Sermons in stones, and books in the running brooks, to use a Shakespearean phrase.

Another snap is of  the Vitthala temple, holds the visitor in awe whether or not concomitantly there is any religious or spiritual impact. The last mile, for the visitor, is covered by electric cars that escort about 15 people at a time, up the hill. Recently,  polluting vehicles were banned from the area, to protect the heritage site.

Hampi is not exactly on the beaten track, but anyone who “does” India and didn’t quite spend some time in Hampi, has missed something splendid. It’s well worth roughing it out with living standards and sanitation that would fall short of expectation for any urbanite.