Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hampi and Badami

By day 2 we were getting used to being tourists in India and were wowed by every aspect of what we saw. Our cameras working over time; we did not want to miss a single shot. We spent the entire second day in Hampi - the capital of the Vijayanagra Empire built between 1336 – 1565 and on the third day we visited the Badami caves that date back to 600 AD; they made of almond colored sandstone and get their name from the stone; almond in Hindi is Badam. The city and the caves were spectacular – I could imagine a civilization flourishing in these surroundings by the banks of the Tungabhadra river. 
As we were exploring Hampi I could not help but compare it to Machu Pichu. We had visited Peru earlier in the year. Both were built around the same time – one was a learning and religious center way up in the mountains and the other was a sprawling capital of an empire that had temples and monuments at every turn. Machu Pichu is made from stone and is a glorious salute to Incan architecture and engineering. While Hampi has beautiful carvings adorning every aspect rich with art and culture. Sadly,  I also noticed was how the Indian government had maintained Hampi; plastic bottles everywhere, graffiti on the walls tarnishing history that goes back thousands of years. In comparison, The Peruvian government has taken the maintenance of Machu Pichu very seriously; restricting the number of tourists that can visit and not allowing visitors to carry anything that would tarnish the the premises. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites that I was fortunate to visit in the same year. Below are some pictures.


Anonymous said...

Very cool pics!

arvind said...

Wow. Most amazing pictures of my home state. Its high time you got that whole photo exhibition gig going :) Thanks for sharing. Keep them coming. Its time for you to go on another vacation ;)

Alefiyah said...

Thanks Arvind :) Glad you like them; next up GOA :)