Hampi, India

Voyage to the Ancient Kingdom of Bisnaga

little subject
Hampi girl walks along the lane in front of one of the highest Hindu temples in old Vijayanagar.
view from other times
Facade yellowed by the setting sun of one of the many buildings scattered around Hampi.
On the banks of the Tungabhadra
Boatmen chat while no more customers arrive at their small makeshift dock.
About to leave
Indian visitors to Hampi leave one of the ruined temples of the old kingdom of Vijayanagar.
With Hampi in my heart
Young salesman displays photo books of Hampi, in front of one of the main - and highest - Hindu temples in the old kingdom of Vijayanagar.
Relief to Art
Carved relief on the wall of a secondary temple in the ancient kingdom of Vijayanagar, on the outskirts of Hampi.
waiting for passengers
Muslim boatman with a coracle (round barge) contemplates the scenery of the Tungabhadra River, the main river artery of Hampi.
Garrido Assortment
Brightly colored powder dye stall in the center of Hampi Bazaar.
To soak
Buffaloes protect themselves from the intense heat that is felt in Hampi, in the dark waters of the Tunghabadra.
hindu laundries
Native women in sari wash clothes in an arm of the Tunghabadra River, also used by buffaloes, fishermen and the general population of Hampi.
golden glimpse
Ruin of a centuries-old building from the Vijayanagar empire, hidden behind a forest of coconut trees.
SiS Security
Indian security guards a restoring Hampi temple, with an entrance between two damaged elephant statues.
boarding time
Passengers prepare to board a large coracle barge that will take them across the Tungabhadra River.
Tower of Time
A turret yellowed by the sun and the centuries, it stands out against the blue sky over the rocky territory of Hampi.
Indian Patience
Couple trying to unravel fishing nets along a branch of the Tungabhadra River.
River Fun
Miúdo bathes in the Tungabhadra River, next to a coracle barge that he uses as a diving platform.
Coke, Sprite or Mirinda ?
Refreshment vendor is in a good mood, buoyed by the good deal brought by the scorching temperatures in Hampi.
an indian sunset
Day ends over the tropical but rocky scenery of the state of Karnataka, around Hampi.

In 1565, the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar succumbed to enemy attacks. 45 years before, he had already been the victim of the Portugueseization of his name by two Portuguese adventurers who revealed him to the West.

The tapered end of the subcontinent never seems to us to be less vast. Nor the inland lands of the state of Karnataka because we ventured out, having already touched the southern edge of India's beak.

The journeys, endless and uncomfortable, continued to wear us out to match. Almost six hours from Ooty to Mysore. Three hours from Mysore to Bangalore. Nine and a half hours again by train from Bangalore to Hozeit. A half-hour by rickshaw from here to Hampi, the destination we were pursuing and which we reached in obvious gastric distress, after a careless meal of tempuras at one of the chaotic train stations we had traveled through.

In the last 30 minutes of the route, the setting became magical à As the poorly motorized tricycle agonized across the rocky lands of vijayanagar. We are at the height of the Indian summer, if you can call it that. The sky was always blue, nothing attenuated the abrasive heat reflected back up through the stone floor.

Mowgli, the feral boy from the Jungle Book, had little to do with these inhospitable places. Even so, the cheap inn we had chosen to stay in had been named in her honor. We craved the coziness of shower and bed as Rudyard Kipling's child craved the shaggy belly of wolf-mother Racsha.

The rickshaw passes through the towering temples of the royal center of Hampi and only stops before the muddy stream of the Tungabhadra River. "Well, I have to stay here" shorts the driver armed with the strength of evidence. "Now, you have to cross in those boats."

We asked ourselves if due to fatigue, if the malaise, no matter how hard we examined the riverside area, we failed to see any vessel. The driver didn't give up. “They are, there, further down. Go a little further and see”.

Even somewhat suspicious, so we do. Only on the verge of the lower riverbank did we finally find a fleet of giant walnut shells, coracles, as the boatmen eager to cash in on the newly arrived passengers called it.

Like any newcomer aboard such barges, we find the swaying boarding strange and even more the little or no hydrodynamic navigation that prolongs the crossing. Protected from the sun by a jillaba and turban, both white, which contrasted with the skin of his brown face, the boatman paddles from side to side without saying a word and always with the air of few friends. We would soon discover that he had charged us triple the rate, with no damage worthy of note, as the fixed price was a few irrelevant tens of rupees.

Shortly after, we entered the guest house Mowgli that unfolds spread over several huts among leafy coconut trees, oversized species of huts and with the decoration and equipment expected by any relaxed traveler.

We rested and tried to recover from the food catastrophe we had been subjected to the day before but the indisposition only got worse. On that night that has however fallen, instead of peace and rest, we are treated to the chilling discovery that the guest house was completely packed with Israeli backpackers.

From several trips around the Earth, we were well aware of its somewhat superb and selfish reputation both with natives and with other travelers. Also how much your presence would most likely affect us. Confirming this, the rave was not long in starting. To our dismay, it lasted most of the night.  

In order to compensate for the damage caused by the psychedelic rumbling and screaming, we slept outside in the morning. As we leave Mowgli's bittersweet welcome for the first time, it strikes us with the certainty that they are about 45º. Even this oven doesn't deter us from renting bicycles and going to the great Hampi.

We crossed the river again, in another barge and already by the table. From there, we circle the sacred center of Hampi Bazaar, among the huge Hindu and Jain pyramidal temples where successive rulers of the Vijayanagar empire worshiped Shiva, Vishnu and other gods.

From 1343 to 1565, this was one of the most powerful empires in the world. This was witnessed by the Portuguese adventurer Domingo Paes and the horse merchant Fernão Nunes. The probability is strong that both got fed up with trying to correctly pronounce his name, until they started calling him Bisnaga to get around the boredom. narrated in “chronic of the Tube Kings” the civilizational glow and the power of the state that, at that time, dominated a large part of the spice trade of the subcontinent and the Indian Ocean offshore and that became the main partner of the Portuguese Empire in South Asia.

In the eyes of Domingos Paes, around 1520, Vijayanagar prospered visibly, financed by the intense sale of spices and precious stones. It was comparable to Rome, surrounded by vegetation well irrigated by aqueducts that brought water from artificial lakes.

Today, Hampi Bazaar – the main commercial stronghold – may lack the grandeur of yesteryear, but sellers are making every diplomatic effort to make themselves and the city more prosperous.

Sara takes advantage. Aware that we are approaching the end of the Indian tour, he finally buys the bright trousers in fine fabric that he has dreamed of ever since he had seen them in Goa. “I don't have your measure in all colors.”, the merchant communicates with disgust. "But I can sew them up and they'll pick up tomorrow." So we did and so we renewed the Indo-Portuguese trade relations so prolific in the heydays before Hampi. 

Afterwards, we circle the temples of Virupaksha and Vittala, which we also enter to admire the countless carved columns, the painstaking paintings and sculptures, and the glorious Hindu architecture as a whole.

Still and always hyperventilated due to the brazier that is felt throughout the state of Karnataka, we explore the old elephant stables, the queen's baths and countless other buildings and temples yellowed over the centuries.

We take the road that crosses the Islamic quarter back to the river and towards the hill of Anjenadri from where we hoped to get a very panoramic view of the complex. But at one point, Indian natives and visitors we come across wave and shout for us not to go any further, to return to the center. “There are bandits up there!” a woman with a brahmin posture shouts at us. "They carry shotguns and everything!"

We were aware that even the motherland of mysticism and spirituality had, from time to time, these aberrations.

Accordingly, we reversed gear to safer stops near the Tungabhadra. There, we come across an inlet of a river stretched between slopes full of boulders. We soon realized the multifunctionality of the deep pool. While we rested there, several buffaloes refreshed themselves almost submerged, like a kid who dived repeatedly from his mini-coracle. At the same time, a couple of elderly natives were fishing from the net, and young women wrapped in folk saris were washing other garments that were just as exuberant or more exuberant.

We continued to pedal in the afternoon outside. And the more we enjoyed Hampi, the more we were delighted to see that, nearly half a century after Vijayanagar's capitulation, life proliferated among the dazzling ruins of Bisnaga.

Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Goa, India

The Last Gasp of the Goan Portugality

The prominent city of Goa already justified the title of “rome of the east” when, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, epidemics of malaria and cholera led to its abandonment. The New Goa (Pangim) for which it was exchanged became the administrative seat of Portuguese India but was annexed by the Indian Union of post-independence. In both, time and neglect are ailments that now make the Portuguese colonial legacy wither.
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Dooars India

At the Gates of the Himalayas

We arrived at the northern threshold of West Bengal. The subcontinent gives way to a vast alluvial plain filled with tea plantations, jungle, rivers that the monsoon overflows over endless rice fields and villages bursting at the seams. On the verge of the greatest of the mountain ranges and the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, for obvious British colonial influence, India treats this stunning region by Dooars.
Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

Gangtok it is the capital of Sikkim, an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas section of the Silk Road, which became an Indian province in 1975. The city is balanced on a slope, facing Kanchenjunga, the third highest elevation in the world that many natives believe shelters a paradise valley of Immortality. Their steep and strenuous Buddhist existence aims, there, or elsewhere, to achieve it.
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

As we wander around Machu Picchu, we find meaning in the most accepted explanations for its foundation and abandonment. But whenever the complex is closed, the ruins are left to their enigmas.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal,

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Kitts, Berkeley Memorial
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis

A Capital at the Caribbean Sea Level

Nestled between the foot of Olivees Mountain and the ocean, tiny Basseterre is the largest city in Saint Kitts and Nevis. With French colonial origins, long Anglophone, it remains picturesque. It is only distorted by the gigantic cruises that flood it with hit-and-run visitors.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Tulum, Mayan Ruins of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

blessed rest
Hoi An, Vietnam

The Vietnamese Port That Got to See Ships

Hoi An was one of the most important trading posts in Asia. Political changes and the siltation of the Thu Bon River dictated its decline and preserved it as the most picturesque city in Vietnam.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Van at Jossingfjord, Magma Geopark, Norway
Natural Parks
Magma Geopark, Norway

A Somehow Lunar Norway

If we went back to the geological ends of time, we would find southwestern Norway filled with huge mountains and a burning magma that successive glaciers would shape. Scientists have found that the mineral that predominates there is more common on the Moon than on Earth. Several of the scenarios we explore in the region's vast Magma Geopark seem to be taken from our great natural satellite.
improvised bank
UNESCO World Heritage
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Balo Beach Crete, Greece, Balos Island
Balos a Seitan Limani, Crete, Greece

The Bathing Olympus of Chania

It's not just Chania, the centuries-old polis, steeped in Mediterranean history, in the far northeast of Crete that dazzles. Refreshing it and its residents and visitors, Balos, Stavros and Seitan have three of the most exuberant coastlines in Greece.

church, our lady, virgin, guadalupe, mexico
San Cristóbal de las Casas a Campeche, Mexico

A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.