Hampi’s Shades of Grey

Royal Enclosure
Ruins in the Royal Enclosure

There are four primary colors in Hampi- the various shades of brown and cream in the monuments, the patches of green peeping through the dry landscape and the blue of the sky. So you don’t lose much if you go from RGB to grayscale, and monochrome is all the rage in photography, isn’t it?

Sister Stones
Didi teri behna to phati

The Sister Stones are what happens to you if you ignore mommy’s command to eat your vegetables- you are cursed to forever stand in the hot dry sun while people gawk at you. The younger sister cracked in the middle a couple of years ago, so the spectacle of the two huge boulders leaning on each other is not as grand as it was earlier.

Carvings on wall of Mahanavami Dibba
Mahanavami Dibba

Remember sixth grade geography? Learning about Earth’s landforms- mountains, hills, valleys, plateaus, plains, rivers, deltas? Mahanavami Dibba is Vijayanagara’s answer to the plateau, an elevated structure in the middle of the Royal Enclosure for the king to lord over parades, victory processions, Billo dancing. There are two staircases, the main one with big steps that tire you out, and a side entrance with less steep stairs. I guess this was the king’s way of throwing his guests off balance- they come up huffing and puffing and lo and behold! the king, who started at the same time as them, is already sitting there, looking calm and relaxed, while they look like one of the red-faced monkeys that abound in that place. Gotcha!

Royal Enclosure
It is huge, though not that royal anymore

The Royal Enclosure looks like someone did town planning and forgot to construct the houses. There are quite a few bathing tanks, and had there been water in them, quite a few of us would have jumped in, what with the sun determined to scald the flesh off our bones. Most of the tourists seemed unsure of what to do in the ruins after admiring the carvings of the Mahanavami Dibba. I mean, if I want to ooh and aah over rubble, I’ll just go to the Bangalore Metro construction sites.

Donno if there are fifty, but shades of grey suit Hampi, don’t they?

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