Current Issue
Organiser Home
The Moving Finger Writes
Media Watch
Thinking Aloud
Kids Org.
News Round-up
Readers’ Forum:
Kerala Newsletter

Previous Issues
September 04, 2011

August 28, 2011
August 21, 2011
August 14, 2011
August 07, 2011

July 31, 2011
July 24, 2011
July 17, 2011
July 10, 2011
July 03, 2011

June 26, 2011
June 19, 2011
June 12, 2011
June 05, 2011

May 29, 2011
May 22, 2011
May 15, 2011
May 08, 2011
May 01, 2011

April 24, 2011
April 17, 2011
April 10, 2011
April 03, 2011

March 27, 2011
March 20, 2011
March 13, 2011
March 06, 2011

February 27, 2011
February 20, 2011
February 13, 2011
February 06, 2011

January 30, 2011
January 23, 2011
January 16, 2011
January 09, 2011
January 02, 2011

December 26, 2010
December 19, 2010
December 12, 2010
December 05, 2010
November 28, 2010
November 21, 2010
November 14, 2010
November 7, 2010

October 31, 2010
October 24, 2010
October 17, 2010
October 10, 2010
October 03, 2010

2010 Issues
2009 Issues
2008 Issues
2007 Issues
2006 Issues

About us
Contact us


November 21, 2010

Page: 18/32

Home > 2010 Issues > November 21, 2010

A pictorial journey through Hampi
By Dr Vaidehi Nathan

Hampi: Discover the Splendours of Vijayanagar, Subhadra Sen Gupta, photographs by Clare Arni, Niyogi Books, Pp 262 (HB), price not mentioned

THERE is an ancient proverb ‘garland in the hands of the monkey.’ The monkey cannot appreciate it. It tears it to pieces, withering the petals. Well, the ruins of Hampi echo the proverb. The Muslim invaders tore the city down, burning all that was inflammable and breaking all that was brittle. So the grandiose stone structures remain, telling and retelling the glory of the Vijayanagara Empire and the capital Hampi, situated on the banks of the beautiful Tungabhadra.

Travellers who visited the Vijayanagara Empire in its pristine days have written in wonder and awe about the beauty of the city, the town planning, the highly evolved drainage system, the aesthetic and the spiritual appeal of the place, even as it flourished as a trade centre, busy exchanging goods with traders from various corners of the world.

Subhadra Sen Gupta, a writer, walking these arcades five hundred years later can picture the scene as it would have been. "For me the most haunting place in Hampi is the long stretch of abandoned arcades they call Hampi Bazaar. At one end is the boulder strewn slope of the Matanga Hill and at the other the first gopuram of the Virupaksha Temple. Connecting the two is the broad avenue with rows of rooms on both sides, a colonnade that must have housed shops." Subhadra writes on Indian history and culture, fiction and travel writing.

In a visually very appealing book, she captures the magic of Hampi. Starting with landscape and panorama, moving on to history, profiling Krishnadevaraya, reconstructing the life as must have been, describing the art and architecture, the author takes a pause at the unique temple at Vitthala before signing off at the Royal Enclosure. Photographs by Clare Arni are precise, clear and narrative. Clare specializes in architecture, travel and documentary photography.

The history of Hampi is interesting. The region is connected to the Kishkindha, in Ramayana. The river Tungabadhra had another name Pampa Devi, the daughter of Brahma. It is the term Pampe that got corrupted to Hampe and finally anglicised to Hampi. The area is strewn with landmarks from the scenes in Ramayana like the spot where Rama stayed during monsoon, the cave Hanuman and Sugriva used for safekeeping Sita’s jewels, the ones she dropped while being abducted by Ravana, the place where Bali was killed etc.

With rich text content, the book is more than a coffee table edition. Doubtlessly, the author has fallen in love with Hampi and wants to share the joy with the readers. Hampi has been declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO. It was almost on the verge of calling off the status because the site was not being cared for by the Indian and the state governments. Books like these would go a long way in reviving interest and focus on our heritage. The book also lists festivals, and has maps to guide a visitor. It is a very well produced volume.

(Niyogi Books, D-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi-110 020)

Previous Page Previous Page (17/32) - Next Page (19/32) Next Page

copyright© 2004 Bharat Prakashan(Delhi) Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Designed and Hosted by KSHEERAJA Web Solutions Pvt Ltd