Poems on

The Ruins of Hampi

a poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Where history speaks
Through stones and structures
Architecture and sculpture
Forts, temples, shrines, palaces
Erstwhile Vijayanagar empire and royal lineage
Alien conspiracy to defeat
In the form of invasions and raids
Loot and plunder
Stones littered around and neglected
As for our poor insight of archaeology

The Virupaksha temple for the consort of Pamapadevi
And the Tungabhadra flowing by
Taking to Siva-Parvati story in a local alternating version
The temple elephants with the mahout
Tell of our heyday, historical grandeur
How was it the Sangama period
So many temples with their historicity and in ruins
The clutter of stones saying it?

The Vittala temple dedicated to Vishnu
How to describe it, the architectural ornate style
With intrinsic carvings, sculptures and designs
Which the eyes cannot believe it
Taking as some unseen wonder
Through art-work, craftsmanship, decoration
Carving and chiselling on stone blocs
Hanumanji, Ganesha and others from the pantheon
The lingam and the yoni and the bull
So vocal with Shaivism and Vaishnavism

Hampi, where history speaks it
Speaks it through stone-work and architecture
Architecture and sculpture
Golden art-work and grandeur
A splendour expressed through in viewing
Mythology at work, fabricating stories
Presenting the panorama of theology
Spectrum of thought and idea
Cutting stones and rocks, hills and caves

The Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple, Hampi
Takes out the words from us
And we feel it speechless
In seeing it, a ditto chariot
Just like Konark
How the design, the cascade
How the folding, how the lay out
How the wheels with the hubs
Just like a bullock cart or a coach

The temples of Hampi
How to visit them
Do the parikarma of all that
And how to take the periphery
With such a sight and scenery
And landscape taking to a larger canvas
Of comprehension of gods and goddesses
And the temples dedicated to them
With specific architectural
Connotations and denominations?

The temples are themselves photos
Golden dreams seen
Miniature in stone
And you will tire it not in taking selfies
Of the stone-temples, rock-temples of Hampi
Called Hampe too
By the Tungabhadra river,
The centre of tourist attraction
Where stones speak it
Archaeology and architecture and sculpture

But ask you not about the architects, sculptors and builders
As I know them not
The great construction workers, masons
How were their tools and instruments
Who were they as we know them not even now
When get they our houses built
How their skill and engineering
Where from their idea and imagery
Fancy and imagination
How is it behind their inspiration?

A marvel in stone-work, art and sculpture
Temple-building and construction
Carving out of
It has stood the test of time
As a splendour
With its several chains of temples
Groups or clusters
Taking to as gateway to Temple Paradise
Which but Gateway to Heaven