Culture meets adrenaline in Hampi

Dawn to dusk in Hampi is not enough to quench your cultural thirst? Whether you are up for a few more stops along historic roads or would rather be on top of the rocks with your climbing gear, the ancient empire has a lot more on offer than it seems like.

Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple Hampi India

Jump back into the saga for a couple hours more

Climb up to Hemakuta Hill to get a gasping view on temple, land and rocks. The flat top hill sprinkled with temples and pavilions are the exact location of many legends around Lord Shiva and Pampa, a local girl who was dedicated to marry him. The place is a perfect location for sunrise or sunset catching.

Hemakuta hill Hampi India

As far as the eye can see – Hemakuta Hill, Hampi

Get down to the northeastern slope of the hill for the one-piece giant boulder carving of Ganesha. The infiltrating light into the pitch-dark interior creates a mystic atmosphere around the Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple. This stopover was one of my personal favorite in Hampi.

Ganesha contemplating

Contemplating – Hadalekalu Ganesha Temple, Hampi

The nearby Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple at first blink looks like any other sanctum of the elephant-headed deity. Ganesha’s body is however surrounded by a snake, which he caught to prevent his tummy from bursting out after excessive food intake. If you go around the pillared pavilion the backside of the God will reveal a human form, which makes this 2.4 meter statue a distinctive one.

Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple Hampi India

Don’t forget to check the back – Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple, Hampi

Further down at a height of 6 meters stands the magnificent monolithic Lakshmi Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The half man, half lion figure originally contained the image of goddess Lakshmi however the statue has been severely damaged hence not visible anymore it its entirety.

Lakshmi Narasimha Hampi India

Incarnation – Lakshmi Narasimha, Hampi

A few steps away Badaviling Temple features a 3-meter high Shiva Lingam placed on a pedestal filled with water.

By the way, did you know that the Lingam represents the phallus?

Shiva Lingam Hampi India

Representation – Shiva Lingam, Hampi

If you want to see the king’s toilet, head to the Royal Enclosure where you can catch the stone remains of it and start the guessing game, how did it really work? The seat of the empire is spread over hundreds of square meters with relics of the King’s audience hall, the bathing area, a classy swimming pool and many more. Fork out a good thirty minutes to one hour to roam around the fortified area.

Royal enclosure Hampi India

A different life today – Royal Enclosure, Hampi

There are still a huge number of relics of this lost empire sprawling over 36 sq km in Hampi so if strength and time is not a concern feel free to go on and on…

Adventure seekers

Only a few heading to India know that Hampi does not only cater for culture vultures but it’s a little hidden paradise for adrenaline junkies. The diverse rock formations make it an excellent place for bouldering either you are beginner or a professional climbing-freak. Badami at a 150 km distance is also one great spot for bouldering, contact Tom & Jerry climbing shop for 3-day group trips.

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