Of pebbles and boulders

It’s bizarre but charming ..the boulder strewn landscape is what as far as eyes can see. Then comes the perplexing part…the way these boulders are ‘arranged’, standing in delicate balance, waiting to topple any moment, as if someone has meticulously placed them this way.

Hampi 176Unlike how pebbles are polished in the flowing water of a river, Hampi’s boulders were formed by blowing wind. The strongly blowing sandy wind was something like rubbing a hard surface with sandpaper, slowly crafting the landscape.

This is the setting of some parts of Ramayana, the Hindu epic poem. The place was a monkey kingdom. Two monkey brothers, Vali and Sugreeva , were at war over the throne of the kingdom and the handy boulders is what they threw at each other during the battles :-)

An entire imperial capital city was literally built out of these rocks. One of the most interesting part of Vijayanagara architecture is the way they sliced the boulders…with rudimentary metal tools to make some holes, a few wooden pegs and a little bit of water to split neatly a rock as big as an elephant.

So, bouldering, of course, is the best activity here..climb large boulders with bare hands. The terrain offers a huge variety of difficult ‘problems’ you can climb and ‘solve’ and to leave behind a few chalk powder smeared finger marks on the boulder, for the next monsoon rains to wash!

“Geologists have a saying – rocks remember”!

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