Friday, January 1, 2010

Right next to the Vitthala temple, is an unidentified Mantapa. The ceiling no longer exists, but we can identify it as a Mantapa with the large door framDSC00862e like entrance to it. Whatever it may be, but i guess it would have been very important as no other pillar in Hampi is as high as this.  There are some other temples here, but they are locked as the internal structure would have been very weak because of the invasion and also nearly 500 years of wear and tear.

Go along the same road, and we reach the Purandaradasa Mantapa. This small simple Mantapa is dedicated to the composer Purandaradasa, who had written and composed many songs on Lord Vishnu. Every year, a music DSC00860 festival is held at this very Mantapa where renowned musicians from various parts of the country take part. A small platform is specially made outside the Mantapa for this event. There is a 2 foot idol of Purandaradasa inside this Mantapa. This is just at the Tungabhadra river shore and the water is shallow, so you can find tourists and locals having a fun bath in the water. Near this mantapa, the width of the river is less and we can find ruins of an old stone bridge on the river.

The Archaeological Survey of India planned to construct a bridge over the river, but was stopped in the middle as United Nations’ advised against it as there should not be any artificial constructions inside a World Heritage Site. We can still find the iron beams for the unfinished bridge. We moDSC00849ve along and we reach a place full of rocks. There is a vast flat section of rocks here and we find the Sugreeva's Cave.

The Sugreeva’s Cave does not look exactly like a cave because its not even big enough let in a small child on two legs. A person has to be on all fours to enter into it. Moreover, the ceiling of the cave is at a height of just 3 feet from the ground. Legend says that the Monkey warrior Sugreeva had resided here when he had been overthrown by his brother Vali. This belief that the Monkey Kingdom, Kishkindha was here supports this belief. There are huge stone boulders at this cave suggesting a big entrance in the Treta Yuga and the roof collapsed in time due to earthquakes. From the Sugreeva’s Cave, we see the river bed and its a nice place to relax in the sand in the evenings. The temple priests offer their Sandhyavandana (puja during sunrise and sunset) here on the river bed. We walk on to the rocks and move ahead to reach the King's Balance.


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