The legends, myths, mysteries from Hippies till nowadays will be published here to introduce you the history of establishment of World's Psychedelic Culture:
A brief understanding of these aspects of Hampi goes a long way to help you make sense of what you are actually going to see and experience once you reach Hampi. Long nights near the fire that stories were passed from the fathers to sons, from the mothers to their daughters, generation after generation the legends kept their origin.
We also spend some time near the fire and listened in few of them, wrote them down and telling them to you:
MYTHOLOGY OF HAMPI
Hampi has a mythical aura surrounding its environments. You would notice something spooky the moment you set foot on Hampi. In any case this is believed to be the mythical monkey kingdom, Kishkinda. It is believed that many of the evens mentioned in various Hindu sacred texts of the Hindus had happened in and around Hampi. The Hindu mythology together with a plethora of local folklores makes the script of Hampi interesting.
The name Hampi is evolved from Pampa, the ancient name of the river Tungabhadra. Also Pampa is the daughter of Bhramha, the Creator God. She was a devoted worshiper of Shiva, the God of Destruction. Impressed by her dedication Shiva offered her a boon and she opted to marry him. The place thus came to be known as Pampakshetra (land of Pampa) and Shiva as Pampapathi (consort of Pampa). The Hemakuta Hill in Hampi is the place, according to the myth, Shiva did his penance before marrying Pampa. Kama , the God of Love, felt sympathy for Pampa for her love towards Shiva. He disturbed Shiva from his deep meditation. That attracted Shiva’s wrath. Known for his anger, Shiva burned Kama with his third (fiery) eye. Rathi, Goddess of Passion and also Kama’s consort pleaded for mercy with Shiva. Shiva grants Kama’s life back, but only as a character and not as a physical being.
On Shiva’s marriage with Pampa Gods from the heaven showered gold on the place. This hill in Hampi is called Hemakuta, literally means heap of gold.
All these places have immense religious significance for the Hindus in south India, especially the devotees of Lord Shiva. In the beginning Pampa was a local folk deity. Through the concept of a marriage with Shiva, goddess Pampa is associated into the pantheon of the Hindu gods.
The places mentioned here has a continuous religious history ever since known timeframe. It just happened that the Vijayanagara Empire came in-between and gone as an episode in Hampi’s long history. Even today the annual ceremonial marriage festival & the betrothal are important festivals in Hampi. With time, Shiva became more popular here as Virupaksha. Virupaksha, an incarnation of Shiva, literally means the one with oblique eye. This refers to the fact that Shiva has three eyes. The third fire eye on his forehead opens when he do the destruction.
RAMAYANA IN HAMPI
Ramayana , literally means the story of Rama , is one of the sacred texts of the Hindus. According to various estimates, the epic poem was first composed during 500 BCE and 100 BCE. Ramayana is told in 7 cantos (kandas) and tells to story of Rama, Sita and the demon king Ravana of Lanka who abducted Sita to Lanka. The central theme and moral of Ramaya is the victory of good
over the evil. The main character, Rama is attributed as one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Interesting in this incarnation, Rama is portrayed with humanly values and weakness rather than the godlike supernatural powers.
Rama and Lakshmana , reaches Hampi in search of his lost wife Sita. Hanuman, the general of the monkey king Sugreeva mistook them for spies from the rebel kin of Sugreeva. On hearing their story Hanuman brings them to Sugreeva. He eventually takes them to a cave and shown them a set of jewels. Rama recognizes them as that of his wife Sita. Sugreeva explains them that Sita dropped them at this site when the demon king Ravana (of Lanka) abducted her on his flying chariot. Later Rama kills Vali, the rebellious brother of Sugreeva, and installs Sugreeva as the undisputed king of the monkey kingdom. Hanuman offers for help to fly to Lanka. He returns with the news that Sita was indeed in the custody of Ravana. Hanuman offers Rama the help of his monkey army to make a bridge across and attack Lanka. Rain plays the spoil spot and the plan gets postponed till the rains are over. Rama and Lakshmana takes refuge during the rainy season at a nearby Malyavanta Hill. The epic goes on till saving Sita from Lanka and further.
What signify are the locations narrated in the epic. The place is treated sacred since it born the footprint of Rama, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Hanuman , who is a loyal follower of Rama is iconic of devotion and valor. Probably Hampi has much more icons of Hanuman than any other gods. Rishimukha Hills where Hanuman met Rama & Lakshmana is a hermitage. The cave where Sugreeva supposedly hide the fallen jewels is on the way to Vittala temple via the riverside ruins.
ORIGIN OF HAMPI BOULDERS:
Those finally end up in Hampi invariably wonder how on earth such a landscape got created! Well, you have two choices to find a solace: one in geology and the other in mythology.
The geologists’s version first: The Hampi’s boulder strewn landscape is one of the oldest exposed surfaces on earth. Unlike most of the mountain ranges, the boulder heaps of Hampi were not formed as a result of volcanisms or of any uplift in the earth’s crust. The boulders were once part of gigantic granite monoliths (massive mountain of rock). Tens of millions (some even put it as a few billions) of years of erosion thanks to the natural forces (sun, storm, wind etc) made the surface of the monoliths crack, split and eventually metamorphed in to its present forms. The pieces that lost balance in the process crumbled and formed the boulder heaps. The ones managed to balance somehow remained in some quasi-stable state, puzzling the spectators. Children (and also curious among grownups) who visit Hampi often ask, How did they manage to stack up such giant boulders one over the other!? The answer is simple. Nature played the role of a sculpturer. It scooped out the ‘unwanted’ portion out of those giant granite monoliths, making it look as if someone had stacked the boulders with precision.
Hampi is believed to be the erstwhile mythical monkey kingdom. And there was a bitter power struggle going on between the princely brothers, Sugreeva and Vali. In a pitched battle Vali defeats Sugreeva and chases him out of the kingdom. The frightened Sugreeva took refuge at the Matanga hill (the tallest hill in Hampi ) as Vali can’t climb it thanks to an earlier curse on him. Rama , the king of Ayodhiya , reaches Kishkinda in search for his abducted wife, Sita. Hanuman, the monkey general finds Sita in Lanka (Sri Lanka) in custody of the demon king Ravana. Vali offers help of his monkey army to attack Lanka and free Sita. In return Rama helps him to kill Vali and regain the throne of the monkey kingdom. The battle between Vali and Sugreeva was so intense that the boulders threw at each other piled up all around Hampi. In another version of the story, the monkey army piled up the boulders here to build a bridge to Lanka. That helped the monkey army to march to Lanka.
Rishikukh Hill, a popular spot among the boulderers as ‘Hampi Island’ is believed to be the place where Hanuman first met Rama and his brother Lakshmana. According to the myths the place south of Rishimukh (across the river) is the place where Rama crowned Sugreeva, after killing Vali. A temple called Kodanda Rama Temple stands at this place. The Anjaneya Hill, with the characteristic whitewashed zigzag stairs to the hilltop is believed to be the birthplace of Hanuman.