Hampi Diaries – Hemakuta Hill

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Hemakuta Hill happened by chance. On our last afternoon in Hampi, we had packed our bags and stopped by at a restaurant to grabs some refreshments. While sitting there waiting for my lemonade, we were leafing through a Coffe book table about Hampi. It was then that we noticed some remarkable monuments atop a hill.  We asked the restaurant owner where these buildings were and he said it was the Hemakuta hill, just besides the Virupaksha Temple. So we were going to miss what was nearest to us, have been to that area at least 10 times during the past 4 days but never bothered to check !

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One of the many shrines scattered on the hill

According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva did penance on Hemakuta before marrying Pampa. To help Pampa in winning over Shiva, the god of love, Kama distracted him and was in turn burnt by his Third eye. Later Rati pleaded with Shiva to bring Kama back to life so he agreed to bring him but only in character and not a physical form. The day Shiva consented to marry Pampa, it rained gold on this hill and thus it was named Hema (gold) – Kuta (hill).

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This shrine looked a bit spooky ..

So, it was natural that most of the temples and shrines on the Hemakuta are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is more of a huge sheet of rocks than an actual hill and is pretty easy to climb, as opposed to the Matanga hill. The way to this hill goes upwards from the left of the main gateway of the Virupaksha Hill.

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The gate at the top of the hill

The best time to visit Hemakuta is during the morning or evening hours when the sun rays are slanting. It was just a coincidence that we managed to go there in the evening and were pretty happy with the effect. It is a great view from of the Hampi bazaar and Virupaksha temple from the top and the shrines on the hill make it more interesting.

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The gate glowing in evening sun

On the top of the hill, there is a two storied gateway which look towards the landscape below. This spot is known as the sunset point and seems to glow in the rays of the setting sun.

Hemakuta Hill was a beautiful finish to our Hampi trip. Although we stayed there for hardly half an hours yet managed to get some glorious photographs. Hope you will enjoy them too..

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Puru

Puru is an IT Project Manager from Pune, India and an avid blogger. He is passionate about travel, photography, cinema and books. He blogs on Shadows Galore, Art House Cinema, The Mutinous Indian and Antarnaad.

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  • umashankar pandey

    You have turned the barren and the stony into interesting shots. Loved the partly silhouetted shrine.

    • http://www.shadowsgalore.com/ Puru

      :) Thanks Umashankar Ji. Had very little time there, now when I look back and see, I guess I could have done better

  • http://www.arnabmaity.com/ Arnab Maity

    One of the best things about Hampi is your chance at mythological stories. Makes it even more intriguing

    • http://www.shadowsgalore.com/ Puru

      :) yes indeed. Hampi is very closely knit to Ramayana. It used to be the Kishkintha of which Sugriva was the king. Hence you can imagine the amount of folklore attached to it.

  • http://twitter.com/IndBiodiversity Indian biodiversity

    Interesting place and interesting story. The spooky temple shot is the best one for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.shadowsgalore.com/ Puru

      Many Thanks! And Welcome to Shadows Galore :)

  • bhavana

    So many travelers are going to Hampi..it is now becoming an object of curiosity for me. I love the spooky temple photo :) and the story behind the hill…

    • http://www.shadowsgalore.com/ Puru

      Hampi is very much like Fatehpur Sikri, with the difference being it was grander when it existed. It took the barbarians 3 whole months to finally raze it to dust. Maybe, those travelers go there to get a feel of that lost glory.