What about another post from the land of ruins and rich history? I have always observed a thing that mostly all the flourished kingdom have a steep downfall with almost no trace of stories! One of them is Bhangarh Fort, the most haunted place in India, which I recently posted and the another one on my mind was the magnificent ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site.
I read about such places a lot and one fine day in 2015, me being a travelholic, made an instant plan to a road trip from Pune to Hampi! Yes, I am crazy! It is at a distance of around 550 KMs. I will continue the details in another post.
Hampi, known for its archaeological significance, is an ancient village in the South India. It sprung up on the maps recently when NY Times ranked it second, among the 52 global destinations, on the must see places around the globe in 2019. As I mentioned in my Bhangarh Fort post, I am amazed by the ruins, old structures and mysterious history. Hampi has some of the giant monolith structures, monuments and beautiful temples like Virupaksha Temple, Vitthal Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Statue Temple, Hazara Rama Temple and more. Hampi was the capital then in 14th century.
Today, this post is about one of the most imposing sculptures in Hampi – Lakshmi Narasimha Statue. Narasimha means half-man, half-lion. Located on the southern part of the Hemakunda Hills, Lakshmi Nararsimha Statue is the largest Monolith statue in Hampi. It was built in 1528 AD during the rule of Krishnadevaraya, one of the greatest ruler of Vijayanagar empire.
WOW! When you see it; you feel it! It is so mesmerising that I could not stop myself from gazing it. I went into my virtual world of imagination as how was it made, the idea behind it’s creation and more.
We reached the temple and luckily there was no one. We took photographs, sat for a while, admired the creation and nature around. The face of the Lakshmi Narasimha Statue was fierce while I can imagine how calm Lakshmi face would have been, if it was not destroyed in the battle.
The history of it can be summarized by the ASI Board.The Archaeological Survey of India board reads, “This magnificent monolithic Lakshmi Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu stands at a height of 6.7 mts. It is one of the finest examples of Vijayanagara sculptures. Narasimha is seated on the giant coils of Adishesha, the sacred guardian snake of Vishnu. It’s seven-hoods acting as a canopy arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front.
The roof of the chamber enshrining the statue is missing which has lead to much weathering and damage to the monolithic sculpture.The four arms of the statue with it’s various attributes have been broken and the seated figure of his consort Lakshmi on his left lap is missing. The face too has been damaged which misled people into believing that it was the Ugranarsimha or Angered Narasimha. The presence of the right hand of the god’s embracing the lord at the back is proof of it being that of Lakshmi Narasimha.
The statue was consecrated by priest KrishnaBhatta at the behest of Krishnadevaraya in 1528 AD as per the lithic record nearby.”
- Best time to visit Hampi: September/October to February
- Timing: 6 AM to 6 PM (open all days)
- Entry: FREE
- Location: https://goo.gl/maps/dvE3bLT4sKNb7ZYw7
While looking at the monolith structure, I was wondering how creative and destructive a human mind can be at the same time.