As I travelled across this town and clicked these Hampi photos I wondered how many times this place fell prey to human greed.
It felt as I walked across its empty ruins, that people submitted themselves to the insatiable thirst to acquire more and looted Hampi generation after generation. And then they returned again, and took back with them whatever else they assumed was of any value.
As I walked through the empty ruins and tried clicking some Hampi photos, I was reminded of that computer game I used to play when I was kid, where you take a big army of knights and swordsmen and bring down the neighbouring empire.
Beautiful but empty monuments were lying wasted, losing their significance to the impenetrable gloom. Temples, either sealed or left wide open as if gotten robbed of their spiritual value too.
Though the many world heritage sites here never sleep today because of the continuous drilling and renovation, if you ask someone the ubiquitous question of what actually might have happened to the city, back in time, everyone finds themselves despairingly helpless.
There are two sides to tourism here. One that caters to the new age tourists, offering them a place much more tranquil full of budget lodges and open-roof restaurants. And the other narrates the many confusing stories of its past – stories that date back their existence thousands of years ago.
And if you will see any photo blog on Google for pictures of Hampi, you will see the latter.
I often find tourists defining their experience of clicking Hampi pictures with a set of few familiar words, something like “laidback and relaxing”, after all, the town has almost transformed itself into a place no short of such ‘authentic backpacking experiences.
From renting scooters to trying rappelling, expect everything here that you otherwise find in the humble mentions of a guidebook.
But if you explore this town in a little untraditional way and try to see it from eyes full of imagination, you will get reminders of a gruesome past, experiencing timely indications of the flourishing empire that it once was.
Google for Hampi pictures and you will see the dead side of the flourishing empire that it once was!
I remember taking an unexciting walk through its dead, uncelebrated emptiness in search of some Hampi photos. There was limited movement around. Occasionally, a rented scooter or a hired auto-rickshaw would churn past before leaving it all empty again. Roaring winds, once more, fill the space.
I’ve seen the remote towns of Ladakh and the isolated mountains of Bhutan but the kind of emptiness I found while clicking pictures of Hampi was, by far, unparalleled. It appeared to me like one of those places that stays deep inside you, leaving you confused and muddled with its current state of affairs.
As I continued my walk, I found myself walking and looking out for some undemolished, not-so-perfect-ruin, down a long, straight, hushed walkway, but all I found was an eerie silence stretching out for as far as I could see. Occasionally, I went speechless by the emptiness of the landscape. My heart and soul felt empty.
I walked and walked, but couldn’t find any hint of a world where this place – even in recent history – was actually alive.
Disclaimer: Some of the pictures shared in the article belong to Jinson who was the official photographer of the Golden Chariot luxury train.
I visited and clicked these Hampi photos during two of my visits: one happened in 2016 and the other with the Golden Chariot in 2018. During my first visit, I also visited many other places in Karnataka and Kerala, out of which visiting Namdroling Monastery Bylakuppe and experiencing Theyyam were two highlights. Since I am more into cultural experiences, watching Theyyam was quite an experience too.
Now, moving back to the topic at hand, if you are visiting Hampi during peak tourist season (between November and February) you will find it full of tourists – almost breaking your connection with the emptiness of the town.
I will there recommend you visit this place during the hot summer, especially if you are visiting to click pictures of Hampi and want an empty background. It is in summer when there is hardly anyone around. Sure it will be hard to travel because of the heat at that time but the experience will be more real – allowing you to go back in time and connect yourself with the place more closely.
So yea, the best time for a photographer to visit Hampi is summer.