26. Hanumantha at Hampi, Karnataka, South India

 I was on an architectural tour of the UNESCO world heritage centre of Hampi in Karnataka South India. Hampi ‘s temples are decorated with stories from India’s great epic, the Ramayana in which a lead figure is the glorious half man-half monkey  God Hanuman. Hanuman is revered in all parts of India for his great feats of valour, devotion to Rama and as a God of  healing.

As I rounded a corner I was momentarily taken aback to see a real life Hanuman, affectionately referred to as Hanumantha in Karnataka, leap in front of me   holding his signature mace and sporting a most realistic tail!

Gathering my wits, it transpired that it was a young schoolboy in full costume and make-up, rehearsing for the annual school play. While practising leaps from one stone to the other, there was the added excitement for him of seeing the startled look on the faces of unwary visitors!

It was a moment I had to capture on canvas.

Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers mention the Hampi state was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets.   Vijayanagar architecture with bas and low relief carvings are exquisite with amazing realism and touches of humour worked into the ancient sculptures.


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 12 x 16″  (305 x 410mm) ; framed

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Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

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