How Hampi turned out to be the Perfect Place for a Perfect Birthday – by Yamini Gupta

When I first heard about Hampi, it was for one of my girlfriend’s 30th birthday. We were looking for a weekend getaway and i remember one of my friends wholeheartedly recommending Hampi. Now honestly, I wasn’t quite excited with the idea of visiting a historical place on a birthday. So when we left from Hospet to Hampi at sunrise, in my head I had already imagined spending the next few hours looking at temples and structures and learning the history behind them. It was so expected, that it was no longer exciting.

But boy, I was so wrong. It was just 15 minutes into the auto trip; when the landscape began to change. Giant monolithic rocks sparsely began to appear on the horizon. They were huge. Beyond any measure, beyond my capacity to fathom what could possibly they be doing there. Stand-alone rocks, just lying in isolation, with no signs of a parent mountain around. And then with every passing km, my jaws dropped more. My presumptions were wrong, when I had thought that Hampi was ordinary. That what more it can possibly offer than a couple of history and architectural lessons.

Yamini Gupta - AAO Travel Tribe Stories Hampi

Instead, it was magical. It was an era that had stood so still through time, that it engulfs you. It made me believe that I am a part of it. Living and breathing in it. By the end of that day, we had started making up stories and acting like the kings and the queens of the place.

We spent hours role-playing, getting lost from one ruin to the next, searching for the purpose of the rocks and structures that had stood intact on top of each other for ages. Though the day ended soon, I often find myself extending and revisiting it in my thoughts and dreams. It was the perfect place for a perfect birthday.

– Travel Story submitted by Yamini Gupta

A Delightfully Disturbing Evening in Hampi – by Arya Malayali

I was always fond of travelling. Who isn’t? But every journey told me different stories. Nothing was ever same.

Few years back, I happened to pack my bags to Hampi. Being an UNESCO heritage site, it does what it should. It depicts the story of Vijayanagara empire through many temple complexes. From the art to architecture to every single tiny element you see there fits there and only there, it’s unbelievably beautiful.

One evening there, I climbed up a relatably small rocky hill unsure of what was waiting for me behind a Stone temple. It wasn’t much, just another sunset but not like any other. I could see the entire stretch of Vijayanagara empire till my eyes could see. The ruins of an age bygone that still seemed charmingly rich. I wanted the years to go back and I pictured myself living as one of them. It left me with thoughts and imaginations that were unknown to myself till then.

Arya Malayali - AAO Travel Tribe Stories

 

But it wasn’t just the picturesque view, I tell you. I realized I was surrounded by so many people so the silence around me was as surprising. They were all waiting at peace for the sun to disappear. Maybe they were also thinking about how it would have been to be living there, like me.

Strangers, they were all yet I felt connected to every one of them. I am sure everyone around me felt that way too. So different we all were but tranquil we felt inside.

The place was delicate and dynamic at the same time. Giving all the answers and making me ask questions to myself. Confusing yet contenting. Delightfully disturbing.

This surreal evening is probably one of my most precious memory I cherish and hence an achievement.

– Travel Story submitted by Arya Malayali