It is impossible to miss the Tungabhadra, especially at Anegundi. The shortest way to get there is to cross the river by a boat or coracle, and most of the places there are located somewhere along the river. The last place we visited at Anegundi was on our way back to Hampi after visiting the Pampa Sarovar. We crossed a makeshift bridge made of fallen pillars laid across a stream merging into the Tungabhadra, and climbed up a hillock which would take us to a point right opposite the ghats of Hampi. On the way, we were told, was the cave where the monkey king Sugriva lived. We briefly entered the cave through the temple-like structure built at the entrance before moving on to other, more interesting things….
As we walked towards the river from the hill, we saw many more temples along the route. They were being renovated, so we couldn’t enter any. I wonder what they will look like once the renovation is completed!
The river was visible from a distance all the time… especially the huge stone pillars which once held the only bridge to have spanned this river. (Recently, efforts were made to build a new bridge, but environmental and heritage activists opposed it on the grounds that since the entire city was a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a modern bridge would mar the ancient beauty. Work went on, regardless, till a part of it fell into the river. That put an end to the bridge, at least for now!)
Incidentally, the makeshift bridge we had walked across earlier was made of some of these pillars; thankfully, they at least didn’t have any carvings on them!
We crossed the river by a coracle, but had to walk some more to get to the ghats where our driver was waiting. Here are some sights from the path along the Tungabhadra….
We finally reached the ghats, and walked towards the road…. Here, the path was paved by more stones… many of them found here... it is not uncommon to walk on rocks with markings, and we wondered what these were…..
Our guide pointed towards one of the stones on the floor and said, “Look, it’s a stone dagger!” Indeed, it did resemble one! It was fun to look for shapes on the flooring!
The path would lead us to the road, and thence on to the other places on our itinerary.
It was time to bid goodbye to Hampi and Anegundi, and this was probably the best place for it! As we stood facing the river, on one side, we could see the spire of the Virupkasha temple, and on the other, the boulder covered hills of Anegundi.
The river had flown quietly for years while kingdoms had come and gone, as an empire lay forgotten under rubble, and as time went past! The river continued to flow as people came from all over the world to see what was left of one of the greatest empires in India, and indeed, I wondered what the river would see in the future after we were all gone! This brings me a full circle. I began this series with a post on the rocks and boulders – Stones do speak – and I complete the series with this post on the river. These rocks and the river are, after all, the constants through the passage of time! What a story it would be, if only they could speak, or rather, if only we could hear them!