WHISPERING ROCKS AT HAMPI
Hampi is one of the largest natural bouldering sites in the world.
I found up to the expansive plateaus where huge rocks balance in seemingly precarious positions to be so unreal, that it is impossible to believe no human has arranged it that way.
A foremost travel destination alike, Hampi is my version of time travelling in real time through 5000-year-old ruins, scattered villages, seas of green paddy, monkeys ruling palm-tree-kingdoms, river crossings across the Thungabadhra and panoramic sun-touchd landscapes that extend over the horizon. And as if that isn’t enough to keep me happy, unforgettable warm breeze and drizzling it has endless boulder of astound filled up mountains to last me a lifetime.
Hampi’s Mocking Rocks
Granite boulders surrounding Hampi must give the area a natural fortification, making it a great choice for the capital of the great VijayaNagara empire (1336–1565). I am especially interested in the boulders of this area. Basically, the lands belong to ‘The Mesozoic Era’ 245 BC-65BC. Hampi and its surrounds were formed towards the end of this era.
Hampi invariably wonder how on earth such a landscape got created! The Hampi’s boulder strewn landscape is one of the oldest exposed surfaces on earth. The boulders were once part of gigantic granite monoliths (massive mountain of rock). Tens of millions of years of erosion to the natural forces made the surface of the monoliths crack, split and eventually met morphed in to its present forms. The pieces that lost balance in the process crumbled and formed the boulder heaps. The ones managed to balance somehow remained in some quasi-stable state, puzzling the spectators.
The boulders in Hampi have the same composition as granite. They are a part of what is known as the Eastern Dhaarwaar Craton. A craton is a piece of the Earth’s crust that has existed as a solid, without being modified by plate tectonics, since they were formed. They are highly metamorphosed.
The boulders in Hampi which we see today, were originally giant granite monoliths. After withstanding millions of years of erosion caused due to sun, storm, water, wind etc. these monoliths developed cracks, and started splitting. After splitting and loosing balance they crumbled and somehow settled in the present form of heaps of boulders. Thus, nature helped in the formation of the mysterious land of the boulders.
Granite is an intrusive igneous rock. That means it is formed by cooling magma deep in earth crust. Geologically, it is part of Close-pet granite province of Karnataka. Close-pet is the British era name for Ramanagara near Bengaluru where the roots of the ancient volcanic system are (i.e. where magma was generated) and Hampi area is one of the massive intrusions (i.e where magma was collected).
Nature played the role of a Sculptor. It scooped out the ‘unwanted’ portion out of those giant granite monoliths, making it look as if someone had stacked the boulders with shoulders.
Grand, majestic and extraordinary is the terrain of Hampi. Kudos to its riches, architecture and of course the magnificent existence of this dusty solid land.
Every rock, boulder and stone in Hampi has a story to tell. The ruins of Hampi speaks of it’s glory and imperial majesty.
Located in Karnataka, Hampi is a place of its own. Huge rocks, ruins carved out of boulders, red soil makes this place inexplicable. VijayaNagara was its name, had an expanse of diamond and jewel markets, enormous mint area, the scandalous concubine trade, the prosperous temples and splurging palace was its character. It saddens to see this place ransacked by the Deccan Sultans and left to perish in the solid soil. They reduced the city to ruins and yet it shows the glimpses of its glorious past.
Apart from its man-made splendor, what impressed me were its natural rock formations created by the evolution of mother Earth.
Huge and heavy boulders stand unaffected by gravity. It often makes me wonder that how did the people of VijayaNagara accomplish such a mammoth task of using these natural creations to build the city.
Locals stories about existence of almost no boulders in this region. It is believed the wind and rain swept away the soft soil exposing the hard-rocky outcrops. The erosion has transformed these boulder into bizarre shapes. This continued for many thousands of years, crafting the landscape of Hampi. It looks like someone has emptied a gunny bag of rounded pebbles over Hampi resulting into the mysterious looking landscape.
During our visit to the ruins, I came across rock formations, thinking this one is better than the last! These rocks seemed like they float on each other or sometimes I felt they have been placed on top of each other…so humanized and yet impossible for a human to even think of!