The Wild Denizens of Hampi

Published on: 19/02/2018

Hampi wildlife 1

Photograph: Sheshadri Vasan

Hampi, to me, was all about archaeological ruins, historical temples & rock mountains, till I researched and explored the other face of it. Hampi, which became the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century, has always been a very inviting holiday and photography destination for me. The history of Hampi, the ruins that speaks volumes about the rich culture and its heritage, has always mesmerized me since my childhood. Hampi is not only famous for all this; it is also famous for its wildlife. I will be talking about Hampi wildlife in this part of my blog.

Hampi and its surroundings provide a very conducive habitat for these sloth bears, which are also known as Jambavantha as per the Ramayana in Hindu mythology.

It is believed that Kishkinda, the mythical kingdom of the monkey king Sugriva was located on the banks of the River Thungabhadra in Hampi. In the war against Ravana, the monkey king Sugriva, was Rama’s ally. When Rama’s army crossed Hampi en route to Lanka, they met Jambavantha, a bear who joined the army. And the Sloth bears of Hampi make me believe more in this mythical story.

Hampi wildlife 2

Photograph: Sheshadri Vasan

Daroji Bear sanctuary near Hampi is the best place to see these sloth bears in their natural habitat. One needs to have patience and of course some luck to sight them. During my recent trip to Hampi, I ensured sloth bears topped the agenda and I went to the bear sanctuary by late noon on a winter day. After patiently waiting for almost an hour or so, I saw something that resembled a black ball of fur, descending a hillock. After a few minutes, when the ball started coming down closer to me, I was overwhelmed to realize that it’s the Sloth bear, the animal which I had longed to see and photograph. He munched on some fruits and apparently on termites as well and stood on a rock to give me a great photo opportunity. My day was made!!!

The next morning, I ventured out in my car by around 7 am to explore the bird life of Hampi. Hampi has a very precious bird life, Francolins, Cuckoo, Bee-eaters, Quails, Sparrows, Laughing-Doves and of course, my favorite, the Indian Eagle-Owl.

As I drove, I carefully watched the rock formations to my left and right and to my surprise; I spotted this amazingly beautiful bird called the Indian Eagle-Owl. I was fortunate enough to click some pictures of this beauty and proceeded towards the Ruins, main roads and the temples of Hampi where I found a few other bird species. Hampi this time was a very fulfilling trip and I am sure I will return to this wonderful place to explore more, especially the wildside of it.


Sheshadri Vasan

Sheshadri Vasan is a Business Management professional, an avid wildlife enthusiast and a hobbyist natural history photographer. He is from Bangalore and loves to travel to the jungles in his free time. He has visited most of the National parks and Tiger Reserves across the country and abroad along with his wife, who is equally passionate about nature and wildlife. Seshadri’s work has won him accolades from Karnataka State Government’s Tourism and the Forest departments. His work has been published in many nature & wildlife magazines and also in national print media like the Times of India and television. He can be contacted on:

EveryWherever RajivShyamSundar Hampi-12

Where Stones Sing: The Hemakuta Hill in Hampe


Craft Calling: Traditional Lambani Arts and Crafts and the Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra

R6  7662

The Path of a Downfall: Movements that Led to the Collapse of the Vijayanagara Empire


Hampi Ruins in the 1900s: Stellar Photographs From A Forgotten Historical Text

IMG 3527 2

North Karnataka’s Threesome — Badami, Aihole, & Pattadakallu


Hampi Ruins in the 1900s — The Gateways into the City

IMG 3068

Badami Caves — A Feast for Your Eyes


The Diamonds of the Vijayanagara Empire


Architectural Wonders

Temple as viewed from the river 2

Yantroddharaka Hanuman Temple – A Deep Dive


The cute little denizens of the Kamalapura Palace, Hampi


The Tale of the Tungabhadra

IMG 1384

Geological Note on Hampi’s rocks

Elephant Stables, Hampi

On the trail of the elephant in Hampi

603577 10151112098784049 2080128102 n

Hampi – The Other Side of the Coin

Img0689 - Local Breads(Jallad RotiAkki RotiRagi Roti)

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Jallad Roti | Akki Roti

Img0759 - Qubani ka Meetha and Shahajahani ka Meetha

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Qubani ka Meetha and Shahjahani ka Meetha

Img0847 - Murgh-e-Bahmani

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Murgh-e-Lazeez

Img0833 - Nizami Machali ka Salan

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Nizami Machali ka Salan

Img0782 - Dum ki Nalli

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Dum ki Nalli

Img0512 - Anapa Ginjala Pulusu

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Anapa Ginjala Pulusu

Img0731 - Raan-e-Kamalapura

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Raan-e-Kamalapura

Img0813 - Bhaghara Baingan

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Baghara Baingan

Img0564 - Natukodi Pulusu

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Natukodi Pulusu

Img0526 - Tondekai Palya

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Tondekai Palya

Img0573 - Royala Igaru

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Royala Igaru

Img0637 - Pulihora

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Pulihora

Img0704 - Koli Chuttada

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Koli Chuttada

Img0607 - Karibale Cutlets

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Karibelle Cutlet

 MG 8292 final u0ogqz

The Battle of Talikota and the Sacking of Hampi

Img0678 - Kori Ghee Roast

From the Kitchens of Evolve Back – Kori Ghee Roast

Varhara - Royal Emblem of Vijayanagara

Harihara & Bukka: founders of the Vijayanagara Empire


Hidden in Plain Sight

GSC 5685

On Invisible Trails


The Battle of Raichur: The Beginning of the End


‘Monument Mithras’ (Friends of Monuments)

DSC 0106

Vijayanagara Empire – the origins

167 2

Kinnal Craft: Artistic Heritage in Wood


Beyond the Open-Air Museum

DSC 1003 1

The Indian Grey Mongoose


Nava Brindavana – an Ode to Madhva Philosophy

royal stepped tank

A Tale of Two Travellers – 2

DSC 0123

Crafting Livelihoods

Krishnadeva Raya and his two wives

A Day in The Life of Krishnadeva Raya

bank of the river tungabhadra and virupaksha temple

A Tale of Two Travellers

 DSC1936 2

The Unseen Predator – the Indian Grey Wolf


Anegundi – a Photo Walk


Of A Grandeur Long Forgotten


The Women of Ancient Hampi

IMG 4438

A Glimpse of Village Life


Hampi: Undiscovered and Reimagined

Krishna Temple Complex, Hemakuta Hill.

The First Photographic Record of Hampi


The Ruins of the Achutaraya Temple

Hampi abstract 1

Vignettes of the Past

Hampi wildlife 1

The Wild Denizens of Hampi

IMG 5735

The Dancing Girls of Hampi


Vijayanagara Courtly Style

IMG 5747a

Horsepower in Hampi


The Myriad Feelings of Hampi!