Dadu Aur Madak

Hampi Royal Center

Before heading to the Royal Center we strolled through banana plantations near the river. Here a man tends plantings fed by an irrigation system that has been in place for hundreds of years.

The Royal Center has a far different feel than much of the outlying courts and pavilions. The most conspicuous thing is that it is beautifully manicured, and it is relatively clear of all of the boulders that are found everywhere else. The boulders are obviously cleared for the massive walls that surround much of the center. The structures here show a departure from the architecture found in the Sacred Center. You will note the portion of wall in the background.

Above left you can see the scale as well as the mortarless fit of the some of the walled enclosure. At right is a portion of the royal elephant stables. Karen is in both photos to show scale. Getting a picture of Karen alone was especially difficult at the Royal Center. It is a popular place for school tours, and with the holidays approaching there were dozens of them. Each group would race away from their chaperones to introduce themselves and to shake our hands while chaperones would frantically shout and blow whistles trying to get them to return. Below are just a few of the hundreds of tiny hands that rushed to greet Karen. With me they were more inclined to try and jump up and put there hands or faces directly in front of the lens. The warmth, openness, and curiosity of the school children is still the absolute best things about India, everywhere we go it is the same. They always want to know your name, and for you to know theirs.

Above left is a view of an aqueduct system that runs for more than two kilometers, and is still operable. The photo at right shows that it is made from hollowed out solid slabs of stone. Hampi was such a major trade center in its day that this system is thought to have been influenced by similar systems in Rome. Below is The Queens Bath, just one of many things that the aqueduct served. The bath was obviously large enough for quite an entourage.