Photo story : Hampi and a little tiny bit of Bijapur

This was one of the most amazing trip of my life, at that time i was in Mumbai and my Brother -in-law had planned this trip who is a photography enthusiast by the way, i travelled to Pune via bus which i Hate because i have a very low threshold for motion sickness, but i had to embrace my fear because for me it was a photography trip. Anyway, i reached there and the next day we took off, there were five of us in the car I, my elder sister, bro-in-law, his brother and my sweet niece and yes we travelled from Pune to Hampi via Bijapur and back by car, 1300 Kms approx. 

Our First stop : Bijapur

Bijapur city is well known for its historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of the Adil Shahi dynasty. But we only had time to visit the Gol Gumbaz, for those who don't know what it is, its the most famous monument in Bijapur. It is the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah (ruled 1627-1657). It is the largest dome ever built in India, next in size only to St Peter's Basilica in Rome . A particular attraction in this monument is the central chamber, where every sound is echoed seven times. Another attraction at the Gol Gumbaz is the Whispering Gallery, where even minute sounds can be heard clearly 37 metres away. Gol Gumbaz complex includes a mosque, a Naqqar Khana (a hall for the trumpeters) and the ruins of guest houses.

I’m going to jump ahead in the story to share this photo below, taken with an 24-70mm lens and Nikon D800 of Gol Gumbaz.

Our Second and final Stop : Hampi

Hampi is the most historical place i have ever been, it is very very beautiful, for those who are interested in history its a must go. And the best way to absorb the beauty is to walk or hire a bicycle. The food in the restaurants is okay but the food stalls around the city are amazing.

A little history about Hampi

Hampi (Hampe) is a village in northern Karnataka, India. The name hampi can also mean "champion". It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.

The emperor Ashoka's minor rock edicts in Nittur & Udegolan (both in Bellary district) lead one to believe that this region was within the Ashokan kingdom during the 3rd century BCE. A Brahmi inscription & a terracotta seal dating to the 2nd century CE were also discovered from the excavation site.

The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE

Immediately before the rise of the Vijaynagara kings, the region was probably in the hands of chiefs of Kampili, now a small town, 19 km east of Hampi. Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1343 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra river on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river.The city of Vijayanagara was originally encompassed by seven lines of fortifications. These fortifications had a large number of bastions and gateways. The seventh & the innermost fortification enclosed the main city & is the best preserved. The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings. While most of the monuments at Hampi are from the Vijayanagara period, a small proportion may be assigned to pre-Vijayanagara times. The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines & some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijanagara empire. The earliest amongst them, the Shaiva shrines with their stepped pyramidal vimanas or superstructures, date to the early Chalukyan period around ninth-tenth century AD.

Okay that is it for the history lesson, i am not gonna bore you anymore. Lets have a look at some images i took .

We had booked little cottages which had the most amazing sunrise view, paddy fields in the foreground, coconut trees in the mid ground and tungabhadra river and mountains in the background - Delicious right? now let me show you the photograph.

But my favourite photograph of that trip is below. There's an interesting story behind it, as you can see from above image that the location of our cottage was amazing, but after sunset it gets pitch black. But i was determined to take a long exposure image of the river, so i packed my bag before sunset and navigated my way through the paddy fields to the river bank which took me hardly 7-8 minutes and got myself busy in figuring out the best camera setting to take the picture, if you see the picture the water looks very blue, thats because i was constantly flashing blue flash light into the water, anyway so i was taking images after images and then suddenly i realised that i was alone, in the dark with no one around. At that moment all the horror movies i had watched started protruding in my head and i was calculating all the possible outcomes of that night , i swiftly packed all my gear and started pacing towards my cottage, gasping and laughing at my stupid endeavour. Which by the way took me almost an hour to reach.

But the photo turned out good. :)

Exif :  Camera NIKON D800, Lens24-70mm f/2.8g, Focal Length 24mm, Shutter Speed 30s, Aperture f/14, ISO 100.

So that was Hampi, I had an amazing time there, got some good photographs and some interesting stories.

That's all Folks! , please comment and share, your feedbacks will help me grow. :)

- palash bakshi