There are so many ruins to visit at Hampi that you can end up going back and forth. With a limited time frame, it is nice to have a shortlist of must see places, and the royal complex should be high up on that list.
The Mahanavami Dibba is an imposing ceremonial platform that sports beautiful carvings of local everyday life and special events.
The stepped water tank is beautiful in its symmetry and structure; the aqueduct channelling water into the tank has a grandeur of its own.
The queen’s bath has luxurious proportions, making me wonder what a fuss they must have made over a bath. Once in, you might not want to get out!
The Lotus Mahal gives no indication for its purpose, but it seems like a lovely place to read a book, or hang with friends.
If you spotted a number of elephants in the carvings above, you might deduce that they were an important aspect of life in those days. Elephants were used in transport, carrying building materials, fighting wars, and adding stature. The elephant stables, behind the Lotus Mahal, reinforce that, and are among the most impressive structures of the complex. It takes only a little imagination to visualise a scene from the past, filled with horses and elephants and people and the general everyday commotion of sounds and smells.
I stopped at the Virupaksha temple in the wee morning hour, but the thought of queuing up for a darshan in the popular temple, barefoot on a wet floor, lost its appeal within minutes. Give me an elephant stable over a temple any day! Also, we needed to make a quick getaway in the morning to get home for dinner, but only after a not-so-short stop on the way to a place that is as spectacular as the ruins of Hampi.