Saturday, 20 October 2018

Hampi - A monochromatic viewpoint - Part II

The specialty of the architecture in Hampi is obviously in the intricacy with which the stories are woven into these rocks. To take a rock and give it life, fill it with stories and all so different from each other is no mean task specially when it is all done holding a chisel and a hammer. The intricacies are what that speak volumes, touches the soul and gets us addicted.
These pillars in the Achutraya temple complex bear witness to not only the expert craftsmanship but also to the excellent architecture as they support the roof which sport a detailed rain water draining system. Each pillar is made to the same height, same precision and same excellence. The pillars are the embodiment of harmony in creativity and salute to the great artisans whose efforts are embedded in every groove and etching of these pillars.
This beautiful piece adorns the entrance to the Krishna temple and is over 20ft in height, the symmetry and the grace that exudes from this piece is mesmerizing. As the gaze follows up to the top and meets the ceiling a couple of entwined serpents greet us  as they watch us from the top.
Hampi is a haven for Elephants. They are everywhere, with various decorations all decked up and ready. This pair are again in the Krishna temple and seemed to be in a great hurry to get somewhere. The flow of the shape is immensely soothing. The grains in the semi rough rocks still vibrate an energy that can be felt if you gently run you hands over these magnificent beasts that guard the side entrance. They feel alive and maybe just waiting for the right person to recognize them for who they are.
Intimidating, imposing and oozing aggression, this familiar icon of Hampi, the Lakshmi Narasimha statue in Hampi, once mistaken as Ugra Narasimha needs no introduction. Sadly vandalized extensively and now in a protected enclosure still manages to impress beyond doubt and installs a sense of awe about the grandeur of the past.
I wonder who were the super humans who watched over the city from the tiny shelters that sprouted from vantage points in seemingly inaccessible points over delicately balancing rocks.
She posed coyly greeting the visitors as she had done for over centuries, standing tirelessly. Some admired her, some ignored her, while some thought it was fun to chip out bits and pieces of her. Yet she stood there silently and gracefully watching generations and generations pass by.
Legs of a lion, body of a horse, tail of a cow and a trunk of an elephant, this mythical creature called Yali is seen in plenty around the temple complexes. They are various other combinations of animals that are a part of Yali.
The land of dreams, faiths and beliefs... not sure how this tradition originated. Each little structure is a prayer, a dream to build a house, a mansion or a building. Though how many actually went to build houses after stacking the tiny stones and bricks here is not known it is not uncommon to see these dreams coming up everywhere.
Another curious and interesting example atop a temple dome, interesting headgear, standing proud with a I mean business look and guessing it is Rama, Sita and Lakshmana it has a magnetic attraction to it.
Do these legs belong to a dancer, a goddess, any avatar? All that remains are the bits and pieces, yet the gentleness of the shape as it flows down triggers many a thought as imagination takes over to fill in the blanks and allow the shape to form.
And another one from what I understand it might be a demon from the canines that stick out, but the rest of it is again totally up to the imagination.
The restored shopping complex area in the famed sule bazaar outside the Achutraya temple is geometrically perfect. With the shadows creating a synchronous design, it is really a wonder as to how they have thought of everything to perfection. Though I imagine for them all this was just another day of work in their life.
Signing off on part 2 with this detailing in the hand of the Sasvakalu Ganesha. Just the simple gesture of holding the tusk carved to perfection in the monolithic rock with no room for trial and error as even the tiniest of mistake could have lead to a colossal rework of the entire sculpture.
Please follow part 3 of this journey here.
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Photographs and work by Tharangini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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