In all my previous blogs in this Hampi series, I have introduced you to all the ancient temples and monuments in Hampi along with its imposing historical stories. However, Hampi also has another delightful side in terms of nature’s beauty. So, in my current and next blog, I will articulate the beautiful picture of Hampi in terms of nature.
Hampi is heaven if you are a Sunset or a Sunrise lover. Watching Sunrise/Sunset from the middle of the boulders is a unique and outstanding feeling. In this blog, I will highlight a few famous and hidden Sunrise and Sunset points in Hampi.
Matanga hill is the highest hill in Hampi. And this hill is very famous among the tourists. One has to climb through the boulders for about 30-40 minutes. The climb is not difficult though. Anyone with good physical fitness can climb this hill easily. The trail for the climbing starts just beside the Achyutaraya temple. From the top one can see the stunning glimpse of the Achyutaraya temple. Also, This hill will give you a view of the whole Hampi from the top. Matanga Hill is famous for both Sunset and Sunrise.
According to the story of Ramayana, once this hill was the heritage of saint Matanga. The Vanara king Vali killed a buffalo demon called Dhundhavi and thrown his corpse on Matanga hill. Saint Matanga got angry at Vali for this act and cursed him that he could never climb the Matanga hill. And if he ever tries, he will be dead.
Later, Dhundhavi’s son Mayavi fought with Vali to take vengeance. During the battle, Vali chased him to one of the caves. He asked his brother Sugriva to be a guard at the gate of the cave and instructed him to close the door if he doesn’t come out in 15 days. The battle between Vali and Mayavi last for more than a month. Then Sugriva saw red blood coming out of the cave. He closes the door of the cave with a big stone assuming that Vali has been killed. But Vali was alive, it was Mayavi who got killed.
Later Vali returned to the Kishkindha and he got furious at Sungriva for closing the door of the cave. And ran after him to kill him. At that time Sugriva took refuge at Matanga hill as Vali could not climb it because of the curse given by Saint Matanga.
Hemakuta hill is a very famous hill for watching Sunset in Hampi. The climb for this hill is very easy as compare to Matanga hill. The climb starts beside the Sasivekalu Ganesha temple. From there it just takes 10 minutes to reach the top. A Group of temples are situated at the top of Hemakuta Hill. Most of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
According to the mythological story, Lord Shiva did austerity on this hill before marrying the local girl Pampa (Parvati). He was very impressed with the dedication of Pampa and agreed to marry her. On this occasion, Lord Shiva rained the gold on this hill. In the Sanskrit language, Gold means Hema, And since then this hill is known as Hemakuta hill. It is also said that Lord Shiva killed the Kama (the God of Love) on this hill because he tried to distract Lord Shiva from his austerity.
Malyavanta hill is very famous for Malyavanta Raghunath Temple. It is said that before marching towards Lanka to do battle with the demon Ravana, Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshmana stayed on this hill during the Chaturmas. Chaturmas is a holy period of four months in Hindu culture.
Very few tourists know about this hill for Sunrise and Sunset. Just beside the Malyavanta Raghunath Temple, a small trail goes towards the Malyavanta Hill. It is about 10-15 minutes of climb. Seeing the Sun rising from the middle of the boulders is one of the unique and beautiful experience one can have from this hill.
This hill is located at the northern side of Hampi across the Tungabhadra river. This hill is also known as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman who is known as the Monkey God. Hanuman is also called Anjaneya because of his mother’s name i.e. Anjani. Hence this hill is known as Anjaneya Hill.
There are around 550 solid staircases to reach the top which will take nearly 45 minutes. There is a temple of Lord Hanuman at the top of the hill. From the top one can see the marvellous view of northern parts of Hampi i.e. Anegundi, Tungabhadra river, Pampa Sarovar. This hill is very famous for Sunset. Sunrise can only be witnessed during those days when sunrise timing is after 6 AM, as the temple opens at 6 AM.
So these all are the places where you can watch beautiful Sunrise and Sunset in Hampi. Along with its historical background, Hampi does have an alluring natural beauty as well. I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog. In my next blog, I will show you some glimpse of North Hampi which is also known as Hippie Island.
Stay tuned 🙂