Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.
– Frank Gehry
Architecture has always made me realise that a structure can define beautiful meanings, especially the one’s built centuries ago. You wonder how they could have possibly built something so tall, so beautiful, with such intricate design, the ability to think beyond an average mind and produce such magnificent wonders of the world. Hampi in Karnataka is one beautiful heritage site, where you would need more than a week to explore all the ruins and the amazing pieces of architecture.
The battles were won and lost, many lost their lives in the battle for power, many more wanted all the richness for themselves but most importantly, many structures were destroyed just to prove how one is more powerful than the other. Was it all worth it for the power that lasted for only a few hundred years? For all the gold that probably does not exist anymore? For one’s pride and ego that does not matter anymore, was it all worth it? No, it wasn’t.
Our text books will praise the empire ruling the lands of Vijayanagar, the kings will forever be spoken off, the paintings and scriptures will speak of its former glory, and when you visit Hampi, you will be standing in nothing but ruins. A ruin land that makes you cry, makes you imagine what this would have looked like back then, a dream that would never come true, because now, there is just a small piece left behind for us to ponder upon.
We try to restore what humans or the nature has destroyed but one can never restore it to its original state, for the time has come for us to go and check in on our social media platforms, tell the world that we are amongst these ruins, take numerous photos and selfies with the most random of structures not knowing anything about them but just because they look beautiful, we are the species who built it, and yet, we are the ones to have destroyed it. Such savage beasts, such hatred, such lust for power and glory, we are indeed the true destroyers of this planet.
As I walk on the pathways, inside the compound of the Virupaksha Temple, seeking the blessings of the God, looking at the idols, the carvings, the pond, the sculptures, the different mythological stories explained on the walls, I was lost for words, for I did not know what to say, what to process, rather I was silent all along, admiring the beauty that laid in front of my eyes and was in awe of the temple and its surroundings.
The Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the oldest functioning temples in India. Hampi is a UNESCO world Heritage Site and people are working hard to restore this beautiful land back to its greatness and maybe, just maybe, we may see more than just ruins in the future but we shall never see the true love that was once built and later lost in vain.