The Glorious Hampi

The rhythmic beats of the classical music resonated in my chest as the dancers flexed to the beats, creating a much needed ambience as I stepped into the temple of Hampi, a proud badge that the Vijayanagar Empire wore on its chest. With the waves of Thungabadhra river lapping against each other, the temple’s architectural history and its famous Hampi Utsav, or festival, the place is a heaven. I was one of the half  million people visiting the world heritage temple, the Hampi.

The history begins with to Harihara I and his brother Bukkaraya I of Sangama dynasty were hunting. The events started when the brothers were hunting, and when their hunting dogs were chasing a rabbit that was desperately running for its life. The rabbit eventually stopped running, and confronted the dogs after a while, amazing the brothers. The brothers couldn’t help but think that the place might be of spiritual eminence, and ended up building the mighty Vijayanagar Empire on that site with its capital as Hampi.

“The place might be of spiritual eminence”

The Vijayanagar empire put a heavy emphasis on the arts and culture, making way for numerous poets, architects, dancers, sculptors, musicians,- the list goes on and one. The rich culture and history can be felt in the air. Hampi seems to hold itself with pride.

“The rich culture and history can be felt in the air.”

The Empire prospered as the brothers used invaluable diamonds and emeralds to  build more temples and histories.

As I walked into the temple, my legs unconsciously following the rhythm of the music from the outside, I was overwhelmed that I was walking through the place that held such important religious histories from the Hindu theology. The thought that Lord Rama had stayed in the shrine on his way to rescue his beloved Sita- as stated in The Ramayana, or the place where Goddess Parvati wedded to Lord Shiva, or the fact that I was walking through every other shrine for numerous other Gods like Lord Hanuman, overwhelmed me.

The serenity in the main shrine of lord Shiva would melt any rock. The lord stood tall and proud in the form of Shiva-linga, power and prosperity being emitted like light from the sun himself. How I longed to be one of those stones that held the lord high on the pedestal! How I longed to be the rock that millions of people walked on, carrying million other stories to tell the lord, carrying a billion other prayers to ask for!

As I walked out of the shrine, the beats of classical music growing louder step after step as I headed out, I couldn’t stop thinking of all that Hampi could have been if the armies of Delhi Sultanate, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad bin Tughlaq had not invaded and plundered South India and it’s temples; what could have been of Hampi if the duo’s army didn’t destroy the same in the following years.

“I couldn’t stop thinking of all that Hampi could have been”

Promises were made to visit the place again, when the stars align well, when the universe wants my tired eyes to feast on what the majestic architecture and it’s history had to hold; on what the experiences and emotions had to hold.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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