10 September 2009

The Birth of a Divine Monkey

On the other side of the river Tungabadra is the village of Anegudi and a few scattered temples and sacred sites all of which claim lineage to the Ramyana in some way or the other.
Here I was, on top of the Anganeya Hill.. the place of birth of Lord Hanuman himself. My mother and I were the only devotees who were present. And we found the priest gazing out at the vast landscape around him; perhaps in anticipation of some divine revelation..
It took me a moment to realise that the blue painted walls were in fact part of a stone cave adjascent to the Anjaneya temple. The Baba has been sitting there, chanting lessons from Ramayana for years now. He welcomed us as though we were his family, and gestured towards the carpet on the floor to sit and meditate with him. Is it possible to be in the Kingdom of Kishkinda and not find its subjects lurking on top of trees around you?? They were everywhere.. playful and sometimes notorious. They would very readily snatch any plastic bag that you might have with you. But couldnt care less about my ugly black camera :) We had to climb 580 steps to reach on top of the hill. We met this little boy on the way. While I was struggling with whatever broken Hindi i know, he cut me short in perfectly framed English sentences and told me that I should not leave without having breakfast at the temple. We did take breaks in between and found some enormous boulders and 'secret' caves on the way.
As I mentioned above, there are sadhus who lived in the caves near the temple.
Their lives seem to be uncomplicated.. simple. The low hum of their prayers resonating against the stone walls of the cave.. The priest lived inside the temple. Completely at home with the poster gods and an almost broken down radio for company. We could have stayed on there for hours together gazing at the hills, listening to the low rumble of the clouds of the above. But our auto driver was waiting at the foot of the hill and we were soon rattling off to our next destination.


  1. I love the lowering skies. There's a huge Hanuman temple in Sri Lanka which I passed on my way to Nuwara Elia some while ago; probably the spot where Hanuman set fire to the island with his burning tail if I remember the story correctly. You and your mother seem to have been blessed with tourist-free days; you must have chosen your visiting times well.

  2. The trip was almost impulsive actually... And when it came to climbing that hill, we didnt have much choice than to go there early in the morning.. before the sun hit us hard. It would have been quite a task to climb 600 steps at noon!

  3. I liked them all, but love the first photograph with the priest gazing out to the endless landscape.. what a striking composition !
    I should say that you are projecting Hampi in a different perspective altogether.. Kishkinda, Hanuman..didn't know this place has an association with Ramayana.
    and of course about river Pampa too..

  4. @ Uday

    Well, I didnt know these stories either. But the locals/ guides around Hampi has a flair for story telling i must say... :)

  5. So I should thank the local pirate Mr. Johny Depp too.. :)

  6. All that blue adds such a mystical look to those sadhu pictures. Beautiful!

    And i somehow never heard about this place before...need to do some googling now that you have piqued the curiosity!

  7. @ Uday

    It was Swami (about whom I will be blogging soon) who filled me in with all these stories.

    @ Amreekandesi

    You should visit this place if you can. It's one of the most peaceful spaces I've ever been to..

  8. The first picture, with the panorama, is amazing.

  9. Great photographs! And it took me some time to register the third photograph. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Those sadhus live in the caves and read Ramayan whole day? WOW! Amazing pictures and I am just fascinated by the aura each picture gives.

  11. @Solilo
    Yup. The sadhus, the priest.. the young brahmin boy.. all live on top of that hill. The boys run the errands for the sadhus.. like they run down the hill to get the vegetables, milk etc etc.. The priest himself told me that he clambers down the hill only once a month.. They are peaceful and content.. living on top of the hill..

    @Vinayak et all
    Thanks!! Its always great to hear that my readers enjoy my posts. I feel rewarded for the work that i put into creating them..

  12. I really like the photographer´s work, i think is very exciting and entertainment most of all because they usually know too much people and know how to do their better job with every person.
    I liked this blog, is very interesting and wonderful.It catched my attention since the first time that i saw it.I feel happy when i reache what i am looking for,like when i buy viagra the result is really great.