Meeting Pilgrims in Hampi
|A Pilgrim Lost In Rhythm Divine|
|Young Pilgrims at Sacred Center|
In last few weeks I have written about the monument, ruins, and temples of Hampi, but I had a feeling that the series is incomplete without mentioning the wonderful people I met in Hampi. Lakhs of tourists from Indian and abroad come to Hampi every year to look at the magnificent monuments left behind by the kings of the years gone by. History has taken its course and where armies used to guard now monkeys hold the fort. The path that queen used to take for a stroll has become a grazing ground for goats and the towering temples are now home to parakeets.But can a series about a holy town be complete without talking about pilgrims to the holy place? I had a good experience meeting pilgrims in Hampi.
Archaeologists’, tourists, photographers have started coming to Hampi only in last few decades, but from the time before time, the temples of Hampi have been revered by the believers and pilgrims have been coming from all parts of India to have a darshan of the lord. Hampi Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest temples in the country where puja is being performed continuously for centuries. I met some such pilgrims and was fortunate enough to click pictures of some of them. These families have been coming to the sacred center of Hampi for generations and are following the tradition of their forefathers who came to Hampi before them.
|Patils The Pilgrims|
Let me talk about some of them. First of them was the Patil family of Solapur. One of the Patil brothers approached me while I was clicking the picture of a tired pilgrim sitting between two pillars one was depicting a dancer and other Krishna on flute appearing as if the pilgrim is lost in rhythm divine. Mr. Patil wanted to know if I will click his picture and on knowing I will he wanted to know how much I will charge for the same. The joy on his face that I will click him for free is hard to describe, he could not believe the same and wanted to know if he brings his family would I still click them for free? I said yes and soon the complete Patil clan was standing and sitting to pose. I had to convince womenfolk of the family to look into the camera, the youngest of Patil brother is sitting on the platform. None of the family members had access to computer or email so I asked the youngest brother for his address and noted it down. I took some printouts with help of an online print and delivery service and sent the same to Patils in their village in Solapur, I hope they are happy the way pictures have come up.
|Mr. Venkatesh and his Family|
Another wonderful gentleman I met was Mr. Venkatesh, a senior government officer in Hospet with his wife and three beautiful kids. I actually thought his daughters are twins but they are two years apart. He was kind enough to pose for the pictures with his family and also gave me his email to send the pictures. So in the picture here you will find Mr.and Mrs. Venkatesh their daughters Chandana Venkatesh, Sahana Venkatesh and their son Sharat Chandra.
|Parrots Living in Temple Tower|
No talk about pilgrims can be complete without talking about the priests. As clicking on pictures of the deity is not allowed I clicked pictures of two priests one of them was just entering the sanctum sanctorum and the other was preparing the holy water to bless the pilgrims.
|A Priest and Pilgrims|
Earlier posts in this series
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