The ruins of the Vijayanagar empire are situated in the town of Hampi in Karnataka. Ancient structures, mostly in dilapidated condition, are found spread across many acres of rocky terrain. The temple of Virupaksha is the epicenter of Hampi. Close to the temple is a hillock, known as Hemakuta. Tourists visit this hillock in the evenings to see the sun set over the green fields that surround Hampi. The Tungabadra river flows to the right of Hemakuta, making the view from the hill almost fairytale-like.
Remains of ancient Jain temples dot the Hemakuta hill. For a photographer, this scene is both inviting and challenging. There are so many different elements of interest on Hemakuta that you are mostly left wondering how to weave a visual story from what is around you. The sunset is definitely a golden opportunity (pun unintended) to make your photograph extra special.
The photo here was planned much before we even reached Hampi. I wrote to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for permission to use a tripod in Hampi several weeks before the trip. I had to follow-up a few times, and finally make a personal visit to the ASI office in Kamalapura to obtain the letter permitting us to set up the tripod in the vicinity of the monuments. With so much of effort having gone in, I was under pressure to make a memorable picture that evening on Hemakuta hill. I hadn’t scouted the location beforehand, so I had literally walked into the scene that I was to photograph. This, to a landscape photographer, is equivalent to going on stage without a script. Adding to my woes were tourists who didn’t mind walking right into my frame. I did manage to get a few photographs that I am personally pleased with. This is one of them.