When you have friends, who are like minded and have a profound love for history, then why not have a reunion in one of the most popular heritage city like Hampi which dates to 16th century. It was a beautiful month of July, an overnight journey from Bangalore took us to Hospet which is 5Km away from Hampi and for the next three days, we made Hampi our home away from home.
One might have heard, seen or spoken a lot about mythological Hampi, its history, the ruins, the invasions and we too anticipated to see the same as we traveled in Tuk Tuk or let’s call it auto rikshaw in the Indian terms. But what caught my attention was the gorgeousness of village life and its stunning landscapes. It was all encircled with paddy fields and lush green banana farmsteads with sporadic waterholes which was a treat to our eyes and adds to the beauty of historical Hampi.
That doesn’t end here! It also took me a while and little did I realise there were plantations of sugarcane and corn too. The agriculturalists are so obsessive on their farming, they are seen working in their respective farms either sowing, removing the unwanted plants, ploughing or administering the area. This shows their passion and commitment towards plantations which is their main source of livelihood. Blessed is Hampi with its natural resources and one of them being the massive source of water from river Tungabhadra that flows through Hampi which is used excessively for irrigation, else they depend on the monsoon showers. An upright maintenance, results in a good yield! The gigantic boulders in different shapes and sizes serves as a backdrop to these plantations which is spread in large areas, appears very picturesque and these beautiful landscapes are like a natural museum.
Apart from agriculture cattle rearing is also one of the occupation villagers adhere to. As you travel, it’s a common sight to find bullock carts and shepherds taking the herds in large numbers for grazing. The cattle’s like cow and buffalo are also used for ploughing the fields in lieu of the machinery. These villagers or communities and the animal herds are an essential part of the world heritage site and they add to the cultural significance of this place.
One who loves to experience some thrill in the waters of this ancient town, coracle ride is an unique thing to do on the river Tungabhadra. The boat is of a bowl or a saucer shape and is commonly found in the country side. It’s made with bamboo strips and is interwoven. Its sturdy and waterproof, can accommodate about five to six people and the boat is rowed with one paddle. Taking this ride was not in our itinerary, but we heard so much about it, we decided not to give it a miss of experiencing this thrilling ride. With little apprehension, we got on to the coracle and started our ride on the swirling waters of Tungabhadra. The spin of the coracle in slow motion in parallel to the sound of the water as the rower rowed, can give a panic moment to the weak hearted though it’s not dangerous. The entire ride onward and return with a view of giant boulders in distance with one or two birds resting on it or flying of birds above the water in unison appears so magical, it can take a person to trance in this charmed setting of countryside Hampi.
While we were anticipating to see some stone structures of Hampi as history taught us, what came as a surprise to us was when the driver stopped at a place and we had a person handing over to us a pair of pigeon, one coloured white with black spots and the other bird solid black. We drove further for about two Kilometres, my two friends holding the birds which rested in their palm calmly and at a specific point as instructed by our driver all we had to do was let lose the birds allowing them to fly. Fluttering their wings, they flew up high in the air and as we were told, they get back to their destination from where it was picked. This trait of the pigeons has helped humans in the primitive period to use them as great messengers and were successful.
This village tour is highly recommendable for nature lovers and one cannot get saturated by the beauty and charms of the village life. There may come a time you want to escape from your busy schedule of city life and get into a serene mode, Hampi would be one of the ideal destinations to take your mind to tranquility. The good times we had at Hampi, we didn’t create moments, but memories!