Sunday, January 10, 2010

This is the last leg of my journey in Hampi and i was really tired after strenuous three days in the hot sun. Anegondi is a small place as we see it today, but it must have been pretty big considering that fact that it was once the capital city of the Vijayanagara empire. There are various places one can visit on the way to Anegondi. DSC01394

As mentioned, we need to take the motor boat to cross the river and reach the Virupapur Gadde. There are pretty good accommodations in that area and we can find most of the foreigners staying in there.  The view of the Virupaksha temple side from Virupapur Gadde is amazing. Again there are places where we can take bicycles or mopeds for hire and go around visiting the places. For lack of time  and strength, i took and auto rickshaw here.

The first monument that comes across on the way to Anegondi is the Bukka’s aqueDSC01396duct and an old bridge constructed near it. The Bukka’s aqueduct is the oldest of the water sources of Vijayanagara and had been there since the days of  Harihara, the first king of Vijayanagara. Currently, it is not of use and broken in places. As we move along, we come across rocky areas and stone boulders on either side of the road. There is one hill here and a temple atop it. This hill is named as Anjanadri and its other name is the legendary Kishkindha. It is believed that this is that hill where the empire of the moneys once existed. It is a steep climb of about 1000 steps and because of the lack of time, i could not climb it.DSC01409

Moving along, we come to the Pampa Sarovar. This small lake is covered with Lotuses all through the year and there is an old Siva shrine here.  The pillars of the temple are as old as the ones in Hampi dating the temple to 15th century. There is also a shrine for the Devi in here. Moving along, there is the famous Durga temple which dates to around 13th century. This temple is on a hill where we need to climb some steps. The kings of Vijayanagara were frequent visitors to this temple and special offerings were made during the Dussera festival. It is a very small shrine but a very important one for the locals. Right in front ofDSC01442 the shrine is a small idol of a lion, the vehicle of Goddess Durga.

Moving along, we see some unidentified mantapas on the road and there one particular mantapa where the ceiling piece has fallen on to the ground but the pillars are intact. The ceiling has a beautiful design and one can find that plate in the floor.

Moving on, we enter the little village of Anegondi. There is an entrance that leads to the villagDSC01444e. There must have been many important monuments in this village once upon a time, but today we  only find the Gagan Mahal, the Queen’s palace. This is currently being used as the Village Panchayat Office. This building is constructed as a fusion of Indo - Islamic architecture and is painted, so we cannot know what it looked like in the past. The designs on the windows are clearly of Islamic architecture as we had seen in the Lotus Mahal. There is a small platform to one side of this structure, which is carved with good design.

There is DSC01455a temple just in front of this building which is dedicated to Ranganatha, a form of Vishnu. This is one of the oldest temples of this region considering the pillars and the stone sculptures we find in this temple. This temple is remodelled and the sculptures and pillars we see here are found in the other parts of Anegondi and moved here. The idol of the Ranganatha is in a resting position with a round plate made of brass in the background. There are smaller shrines for the Devi and Alwars (learned men of the age). Near the Dhwajasthamba, there are idols of Garuda (Lord Vishnu’s vehicle) and other gods. DSC01470

Moving on further from this temple, we come across a small lake at which we find an unidentified mantapa on its shore. We cannot reach the mantapa as it is covered with bushes. Moving further we come across the last monument in Anegondi and my journey in Hampi, the Hatchappa Mantapa. The Hatchappa Mantapa is considerably bigger than any of the mantapas we come across in Hampi. It was closed when i reached over there and there are various idols and sculptures in there which were found in various places in Anegondi. There are sculptures of fishermen and other professionals in here. Some of the pillars of this temple are round with good designs on them.

Coming to the end of the tour in Hampi, i return back home…


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