Majestic and Magnificent Hampi – a travelogue

“ With fire and sword, with crow bars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the World has such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city, teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the full plentitude of prosperity one day, and on the next seized, pillaged and reduced to ruins, and scenes of savage massacre and horrors begging description.”

Robert Sewell  in his book "The Forgotten empire"  on the plunder aftermath Battle of Talikota and the downfall of the majestic , magnificent Vijayanagara empire.Folklore says, in the capital city of Vijayanagara , the loot continued for 6 months day in and day out.

Every ruin has a story. Every monument hides more than what it reveals. Every building throws a glimpse of majestical  Vijayanagara times.

10730842_10153357860049829_5958414461527959296_nA view from Matanga Hill of Krishna Temple which was constructed after Vijayanagara empire victory over King of Odisha.

The Vijayanagara Empire  was an empire based in South India, in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of Sangama Dynasty. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India.

The architecture style has been prominent and inspired later Hindu temple constructions.The empire’s patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form.

Sri Krishnadevaraya is most prominent ruler of the empire and presided over the empire’s zenith.Known to almost every Telugu household as Rayala vaaru and the man behind “Rayalaseema”  nomenclature , built the magnificient Hampi . Sri Krishnadevaraya and Tenali Ramakrishna are Telugu’s own Akbar-Birbal twosome.

Our trip started with we luckily getting upgraded to AC 3 tier from SL and getting down at Hospet Railway station (Northern Karnataka ) on the next day morning. We booked rooms in Lakshmi Heritage Hotel (which met our expectations ) in Hampi Bazaar , the downtown Hampi. Hampi is 13 km from Hospet and one can stay in Hotels there. Hampi is one of 15 UNESCO heritage site cities in India and frequented by more foreigners than Indians. We have met people from atleast 8-10 countries from  Europe to Russia to Japan. There are decent enough restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines (Continental, Israeli, Chinese, Indian ) to cater to foreign tourists and autowallahs, roadside vendors speak English ,French,Spanish better than Telugu. One can see guides explaining History coupled with Puranas at the ruined temple sites to foreign tourists.

10520824_10153357781644829_8842374072094336653_n (1) Early morning sunrise view of Achyutaraya temple from Matanga Hill

There are numerous points to visit in Hampi if you get yourselves into listening Autowallahs or guides. We , decided to do one day tour with a autowallah (typically charges 800 INR per day ) and covered some places . Next day explored places on our own. One can skip some places as many are temples, if not interested.One can get a map of Hampi ruins online or can buy a small guide for 10-20 Rs once you land there.

Major sites are Main Virupaksha temple near Hampi Bazaar , Vittala temple where Sun chariot and Musical Mantap is located , Monolithic statue temples to showcase the proficiency of artists at that time,  Matanga Hill for a super sunrise hike , Achyutaraya temple for the photography enthusiasts , Tungabhadra river banks for an awesome early morning hike ,  Hazari Rama temple for some sculptural majesty,  Malyavantha temple for another top view of Hampi, Anjandari hillock for a grand Hampi view , Sunset point for a surreal experience, Kings and Queens buildings mixed with Hindu and Muslim Architecture, and Royal Enclosure and surroundings(Lotus Mahal, Elephants stable)  to showcase how a kingdom existed. Every place has a story ,importance and vitality of its own. We havent covered some we thought would be not so great.

The Archaeological Survey of India museum at Kamalapura exhibits some of the relics excavated and throws light on some of the grand efforts of our archaeologists in excavations which brought the ruins out. The grandeur of the empire can be understood in the literary works of various foreign visitors during Vijayanagara time presented there. It is said that Diamonds , Gold and metals were sold on Streets of Vijayanagara Hampi.

 

1399336_10153357794679829_4552896957631235464_oEarly morning view of Achyutaraya temple on hike way to Vittala Temple.

All pics courtesy : Sawant Tandle

 

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Stone Chariot temple at UNESCO World Heritage site Vittala Temple

 

10352894_10153357804459829_8205686448925969130_n

A Stepwell near Royal Enclosure (You should see the Before excavation and After Excavation pic of these )

 

10431683_10153357873804829_1556515259281077242_n 

Main Virupaksha temple , the central point of present day Hampi

 

1496662_10153357847909829_6354892739794176684_nTungabhadra river and the ruins on its riverbank

 

  • Do explore both sides of Tungabhadra river. Unfortunately, the round ‘teppa’ boats are not in use now.
  • Do take the bicycle or motorbike on rent and have some fun in lush green rural atmosphere . The distance between the sites are sometimes more than 5 km .
  • Do take good sunglasses, a head cap and some water bottles for hike trails.
  • Do explore other cuisines in Hampi restaurants.
  • Do take pride in so many foreigners visiting an Indian Heritage place.

 

  • Do not expect your cell coverage to be present in Hampi .Exception: BSNL.
  • Do not take any winter clothes even during severe winters.Not much use there.
  • Do not expect pictures to do justice to show the majestical nature of Vijayanagara empire.

 

PS : Complete Album of pics : Magnificent Hampi

PPS: I think i now have a plot for an awesome novel/ fantasy film 😛

Other travelogue : Lonavla – Matheran

#ThankyouSachin

I still remember the way i cursed shaoib akhtar  when you got out after blitzkrieg 98 against Pakistan in  World Cup 2003.

I still remember the goose bumps when i watched your Sharjah desert storm innings .

I still remember the day when you  scored 200* , listening to the live commentary by calling up a friend , cursing myself for working till late, and later messaging every body “ Happy Sachin Day”

I still remember the efforts and adventures i put in to watch an IPL match live just to see you.

I still remember , my early childhood, running to the nearby store to get the batteries for the radio as electricity was off.

Thankyou Sachin for all those moments and memories.ThankYou.

This is my humble tribute to the man who made me feel joy, feel happy, feel nervous, feel exhilarated,feel accomplished, feel celebrated and at last brought tears in my eyes today.

sachin

Every young boy in India wants to bat like Sachin, be like Sachin or at best one fortunate just be able to take an autograph to make his own life complete.

He does what our national anthem could never do, what stories of our freedom struggle could never do, what our national leaders over all these years could not even some close to, and to an extent what even Mahatma Gandhi couldn’t manage to do. He brings Indians together. Sachin Tendulkar is one and the only thing India unites on. Be it Hindus, Muslims, North Indians, South Indians, Living in India, NRIs, guys, girls, the urban high rise city folks or the farmer in the village, when Sachin is in 90s we all have but one wish in our hearts.

Probably the only person who is known more than the sport he plays. He is the only  person who can make cricket fans cheer for his earlier wicket. A person who is capable of freezing the Indian Time.The only person who can crash cricinfo servers.A man who turned a sport into an art. He is the anti-depressant for a nation.He is the man who can control the raging crowd in a stadium . Records are just a reverberation of his talent.   He is a Habit . He is the closest i know to GOD .

sachin 3

PS- There is a popular opinion that Dravid has been shadowed over Sachin in all this fame. Iam a big dravid-follower myself, but when Rahul Dravid says “Sachin is my inspiration “ , there should be no further thoughts. DOT.

Sachin is like the poetry of the cricket and Dravid is like the grammar of Cricket”.

Some parts of this blogpost are taken from here .

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The Next Internet – Healthcare, Education, Governance

Internet has changed the way we connect, the way we communicate and the way we share .
Internet has changed the way we express, the way we entertain and the way we get enlightened.
Internet has changed the way we explore, the way we experience and the way we enjoy the world.
Now its time to move on to the next level and see whats going to be changed with this Internet communications.
Internet is already disrupting these three spheres of our life and this is going to be big in coming days.

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Governance

If there is one aspect of life, which even after spending billions and billions into technology, we are still unable to cope up to the challenge, its Healthcare.
We are making huge progress in Biosciences and creating an enormous impact by curing the most deadly diseases on the planet. Internet will help these fruits to be available for all. A patient in Africa can connect with a doctor in India or a doctor in United states and get treated with the help of telemedicine or e-medicine facilities. Internet is helping to get more people to access to healthcare and decrease the costs of healthcare in various countries. Some internet startups are trying to disrupt the Complex US healthcare system and this is another list of startups in SanFrancisco.

Heartbeat online“In rural Bangladesh, 90 percent of births occur outside hospitals. A mobile-notification system alerts clinics to dispatch nurse–midwife teams, who are now present in 89 percent of births. In China, a public–private partnership created a cardiovascular-monitoring system that allows patients to self-administer electrocardiograms and transmit data to specialists in Beijing, who can suggest treatments by phone. At New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, a venture with General Electric uses smart tags to track the flow of hundreds of patients, treatments, and medical assets in real time. The hospital estimates it could potentially treat 10,000 more patients each year as a result and generate $120 million in savings and revenues over several years.” – McKinsey Quarterly Report.

saupload_Computer-Doctor
There are internet startups in India which ease the pain of various healthcare related tangles ranging from  getting a doctor appointment ,to advise on symptoms , to have a discussion with doctors ,to buy pharmacy online, to buy healthcare products online and much more . Complete list can be found here .Working in a healthcare organization , it is exciting to know what progress can be possible.

Education is the only solution to elevate people out of poverty and there are at least 20- 30 % of world population with very low income levels and cannot afford a meal day .To make education accessible for all and available for all, Internet plays a key role. Khan Academy is pioneering in flattening the education field .Anyone who has access to Internet can be educated . Right now, the growth of  MOOC courses which started offering free online education is super successful. Coursera , Udacity and edX are complementing the school/college education and also helping people gain free knowledge.Everyone , even a PHD should try these out.
educ
There are internet platforms offering tutoring services, offering textbook rentals, offering test preparation services, consolidating video lectures,providing virtual classrooms and most importantly developing educational games . Some exciting list is here and the possibilities are endless. Students now have the entire knowledge at their fingers thanks to Wikipedia and Google. The tablet revolution is turning the tide of how education is perceived  and is disrupting the Education landscape in a way that was never imagined , equalising the Education advantage across the world. Social platforms like Linkedin enables to connect professionals like never before and engage more.
India is not far behind this revolution, though there is a lot to pickup the race and there are some exciting internet platforms striving for the change.

Finally, the most important change that just started is the way how governments perform their Governance.
freedom
Obama has successfully used the Internet trends to maximize his victory chances and projects like CodeforAmerica are changing the landscape on how internet can be put to public use. Almost all the government agencies in many countries have online grievance redressal systems and are used effectively for tracking the people issues.Many governments are already using the Web to improve services and reduce waste. Governments can also use IT to better engage citizens, as South Korea has done with its e-People site, which helps citizens send online civil petitions for policy changes or reports of corruption. Our next world leaders are moving to the internet for their political aspirations and be more reachable to their electoral franchise. Media , now a days takes almost any news and issues from the buzz on SocialMedia and which in turn shapes the political discourse of a country.Its widely acknowledged that Facebook and Twitter played a major role in Arab Spring . Technology is transforming and bringing a new wave of democracy in Africa.
NSDL-establishes-new-unit-for-e-governance-projects
In India, we have internet platforms like PRS legislative  documenting the legislative procedure and is bringing the complex constitutional process to common man.Andhra Pradesh has pioneered in e-governance initiatives helping citizens bringing government functions to his doorstep  .Almost every state government is pursuing e governance initiatives and trying to bring transparency. Open Data initiatives are catching up in India and Govt of India has officially announced open data platform.Some government agencies are active on SocialMedia are resolving queries.And very recently the main political parties have taken their battle to the internet sphere with mocking websites. Almost every news channel takes the issues which are on buzz on SocialMedia and on internet. Major political parties now have  digital campaign management teams. It is estimated that SocialMedia plays major role in election outcomes in India, in the coming general Elections.

!!! The world is flattening more , Thanks to Internet.

You can  follow me onTwitter , Facebook and on Quora .The same blog post can be found on my technical blog at 2power21.

“2power21”

Having completed three years of technical education and in the vanaprastha stage of engineering, thoughts crossed my mind to share something related to techie stuff .

I want to start a new blog , not to disturb this random thoughts. I required a name to suit something relating to technology and stuff.

Some of the good names came cross are: Ctrl-alt-del, alt-f4, tech-tatva etc etc. But all was in vain as all the names were taken by somebody else.

Someday, a name suddenly flashed “2power21”, I liked it prolly because of its Google instinct. Google means “something to the power of something “and it also had the same essence. So, the name fixed to be “2power21”.

So, here’s my technical domain http://www.2power21.blogspot.com and it would be a regular blog.

Hoping for your same felicitous support in this technical endeavor,

VamS.

collexion of oneliners..gtalk custom messages..

  • A computer once beat me at chess; but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
  • Unlike others ma brain is a masterpiece. In the left half, nothing is right and in the right half, nothing is left.
  • Memories play a funny role; when u thinks of the times u smiled u tends to cry, n when u think of the times u cried u tend to smile: D
  • To kiss a miss is strategy and miss a kiss is tragedy.
  • I love Winning, I can take the Losing, but most of all I love to play…Boris Becker
  • “Running a business without advertising or doing a research without a publication is like winking at a beautiful girl in the dark—-you know what you are doing but nobody else does.”–Anonymous
  • Surely it’s no coincidence that the word “listen” is an anagram of the word “silent”.
  • i was born so intelligent that , even education cant ruin me.
  • I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline. Got a call centre in Pakistan. Told them I felt suicidal. They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.
  • 2 rules to success in life. 1. Don’t tell people everything you know. -Anonymous
  • Today’s fortune: You will waste time reading redundant status messages.
  • There are two types of people , those who divide people into two types, and those who don’t.
  • Having a girlfriend is like playing cards… U need a HEART to love her; A CLUB to take her to; A DIAMOND to gift her and a SPADE to bury the b***h.
  • Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.
  • This thing, is thing, a thing, good thing, way thing, to thing, keep thing, an thing, idiot thing, busy thing, for thing, 20 thing, seconds thing! … Now read without the word thing.
  • When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that The Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.
  • Life is very interesting if u make mistakes..
  • A good discussion is like a miniskirt, Short enough to pertain interest and long enough to cover the subject!
  • Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.
  • I always advise people never to give advice.

Some from my friends messages:

  • When you want something from the bottom of ur heart, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
  • Ankhen to pyar me dilki zuban hoti hai, sachi chahat to sada bezuban hoti hai, pyar mai dard bhi mile to kya gabrana, suna hai dard se chahat aur jawan hoti hai.
  • To love is nothing; To be loved is something; To love and be loved is everything.
  • dont loose who loves u even if u don’t, for somebody who loves u only if u do.
  • Both pessimist and optimist contributed to world. Optimist invented aero plane and pessimist , the parachute.
  • There is only one difference between dream and aim. Dream requires Soundless sleep to see…Where as Aim Requires Sleepless Efforts to Achieve.


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