Hampi Anegundi

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2012

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A few kms away from Hampi and across the Tungabhadra river is the fortress town of Anegundi, which pre-dates the Vijayanagar Empire. Here is Anjanadri Hill believed to be the birth place of Lord Hanuman. As you turn from the main market to the river saw this man dressed in Sadhu robes. Do not think he is a Sadhu but he is happy to be clicked and wants a donation after that. Poses well for pics.

U are on the banks of the holy Tungabhadra river. The hill u see straight in front of your pic is Anjanadri Hill birth place of Hanuman. The white structure is temple on top of hill. On the left of pic is the sacred Rishya-mukha hill. I missed clicking the 108 and 1008 linga that are there in a square area. If u have pic please mail me.

A view of the Anjanadri Hill (right of picture or left of entrance gopuram) taken from the Vithhala Temple just before sunset.

Early morning devotees taking a dip in the holy river and praying to the Sun God. This is the most sacred bathing ghat on the Tunghabhadra called Chakratirtha.

The people that you see on the banks of the river seem to be from North India. They come here in the morning, pray and wash their clothes. The black inverted pieces that you see in the pic are local boats called Coracle. From here u get into a Coracle and will be dropped close to the Anjanadri hill. 10-12 persons per boat, cost app Rs 125-150/ per head.

Close to the river is the Kodandarama temple. The temple is unusual in that large images of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana enshrined in the rectangular sanctum have been carved in bold relief on a bolder. According to local tradition this is the place where Lord Rama killed Vali n crowned Sugreeva. The name Kodandarama means crowned Rama in local dialect.

In normal course take the boat from the ghat. There was no boat available. A local asked us to walk down 10 minutes to the Purandara Mantapa ie what you see. In the background is the Anjanadri hill. Having got me far away from the main spot I was forced to pay Rs 400/ to cross the river. A pretty girl from Poland with a great smile paid Rs 900/. Some solace!

Close to the Purandara Mantapa is the ancient birdge, that you see, which connected Hampi with Anegundi. It was built in 1383. The mantapa is named after the legendary poet Shri Purandra Dasa.

I got into a Coracle, local boat like what you see. It is a circular shaped country boat used to cross the river. A huge floating basket would be a simpler word. About 6 feet in diameter. Coracles are made of bamboo, cane, plastic sheets and a fine coating of bitumen to make it leak proof. There were a few small rapids, felt like was river rafting. Loved it. Felt safe.

I thought he would drop be at base of the hill. He dropped me next to rice fields and said all foreigners like to walk thru rice fields so u also do. U see Anjanadri Hill in front.

15 minute walk thru the fields was fun although did loose my balance sometimes. Loved this pic of coconut trees with Hanumanji birthplace in the background. The small white structure that you see at bottom of the pic is from where the climb starts.

This is on the top of the hill. What amazed me is how big the top area was and the number of boulders there, all in some sort of equilibrium. Tourists walked thru them as you can see.Good fun.

Well laid out steps. U see lots of tourists esp devotees from the North where Hanumanji is worshipped in large numbers. There are if I remember correctly 500 odd steps. Quite a climb. Took me about 30 minutes.

The purpose of this pic is to show you narrow the pathway is at places, note boulders on both sides.

U see the temple on top of the hill. As per tradition it is the birthplace of Hanuman. A number of foreigners come here to saying ''''birth place of monkey God''''.

I was tired after the walk down. Hit the main road and started walking in Anegundi. Forget the name of the village but was told there was a Surya Mandir. Since am a Surya devotee decided to go there. On the river bank was this monument that you see whose name I forget.

I was told the Surya temple was in the centre of the river so when I saw a boat coming got into it. Little did I know that the boat was going to Sri Nava Brindavana Darshini considered as a place of piligramage by many. U see ladies sitting in the boat.

U see Sri Nava Brindavana. Has nine Swamis ka samadhis. Tulsi is grown here just like in Vrindavan. Every devotee is to take a parikrama three times round the samadhis. U are not supposed to enter the samadhi area as indicated by the yellow line that you see in the picture.

Devotees praying to Lord Vishnu. The temple priests told me that I should consider myself blessed that had darshan of this holy spot. He was amazed when I told him how I came there thinking was going to a Surya temple.

I took a boat back to the banks and was told that this is the Surya temple that I was looking for. The boat would drop me to a point beyond which I would need to walk through knee waist deep water. Not too sure I took a few local boys to guide me.

The 3 musketers with Surya image in the background. The two of them guided me, the third insisted on coming - his friends had to lift him. It was great fun. They went to school, helped tourist to make some pocket money. They knew a few words of English and were excited when told them from Mumbai. I was impressed with their confidence and approach.

A close up of the Surya image. A local told me that by seeing the point on which the sun''s rays fall you can know what time it is during the day.

All over Hampi saw big boulders of all shapes and sizes that were some how in equilibrium. This is another one outside the Surya temple.

I walked to the main road, took a lift. Lucky to meet two tourists from Himachal Pradesh. They took me to a fort (missed taking picture, can someone send). As we walked into the fort there were a few temples and a place where king Surgriva of Ramayana stayed. U see some tourist walking towards that area.

On the way back we stopped at the holy ''Pampa Sarovar'' that you see. Pampa is the ancient name for Tungabhadra, the river on whose southern bank Hampi is situated. Something special about this place. Very good vibrations.

We saw bus loads of devotees from North India who were travelling to all religious places in the South. They camp at open sites, have a cook who makes food and relax in the open. Quite interesting. My Himachali tourist friends told me this was quite common. Devotees pays a fixed fee for transport, food cost is shared.

The auto took us through many villages after we reached the banks of the Tungabhadra. The riverside has many hotels that are mostly inhabited by foreigners. Very quiet and serene place. Took a motor boat and crossed the river. A five minute walk took me to the main Hampi market. It was a 8 to 5pm today. Tiring sunny but had a great time. Lots of walking so good exercise too. If u want a articulate well read English Hindi speaking guide call Prakash 9448795114.