The Myths & Legends of Hampi

According to the local folklore and Hindu mythology, various mythical events are often associated with the city of Hampi. In fact an entire episode of the Ramayana is supposed to have occurred here. So, we decided to explore a few oft-repeated and some relatively unknown ones here.

The Story of Hampi

The name Hampi originated from the word Pampa, the ancient name of river Thungabadhra. The myth is that Pampa is the daughter of Brahma and she was devout worshipper of Lord Shiva. Pampa impressed Shiva by her sincere dedication and Lord Shiva offered her a boon where she opted to marry Shiva. The place thus came to be known as Pampakshetra and Lord Shiva is called as Pampapathi.

The Shower of Gold

Hemakuta Hill
Image Courtesy: ambujtyagi.wordpress.com

During Shiva’s wedding with Pampa, Gods from heaven apparently showered gold on the couple. The place where the gold is showered in Hampi is called Hemakuta, which literally means heap of Gold. You can still see Hemakunta Hill when you go to Hampi.

Kishkinta

Anjaneya Hill
Image Courtesy: trawellguide.com

A popular folklore associates Hampi with the Hindu epic Ramayana. The monkey kingdom Kishkinda is portrayed as the region around Hampi and the Anjaneya Hill across the river Thungabhadra is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman.

The Fight between Vali & Sugreeva

Boulders of Hampi
Image Courtesy: www.travel.paintedstork.om

Hampi, as mentioned earlier is believed to be the erstwhile mythical monkey kingdom. In the intense battle between the two brothers Vali and Sugreeva, they threw boulders at each other and apparently those entire boulders piled up all around Hampi.

The Jealous Sisters

Sister Stones
Image Courtesy: www.hampi.in

This is most widely told folklore in Hampi. The two huge similar looking boulders are called as sister stones. The legend says that once two sisters visited Hampi and had some bad things to say about the city. When the goddess of the city heard this, she cursed them and converted them to stones.

The Meeting Place

Sugreeva's cave - Chintamani temple
Image Courtesy: aalayamkanden.blogspot.com

Chintamani Temple is a cave temple which is just across Hampi River. Continuing the Ramayana legend of Hampi, the temple is surrounded by the natural caves where Rama conducted his meetings with Sugreeva and Hanuma. This also believed to be the place where Rama killed Vaali during his battle with Sugreeva.

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