The history that we come from is rich, and often has a sense of mystique around it. This is especially so when places like Hampi fall into the list. The city in ruins, and UNESCO World Heritage site, Hampi is home to hundreds of monuments in ruins. From beautiful pillars to the pristine river and the majestic hills around, Hampi has a sense of magic that surrounds it.

In his coffee table book, Bharath Ramamrutham brings together tens of pictures of Hampi. The audience had a glimpse of the pictures that went into the making of the book, and each of it is one that certainly tickles the wanderlust in each of them. The raw, almost unbelievable views from atop the hills, the architecture, the abandoned and perfect irrigation systems, the sky’s generous touch to the spectacular city below, all of it has been skillfully captured by Bharath Ramamrutham. While the pictures rolled by, and the audience marvelled at the colours and yearned to be transported, Bharath’s reading from the book equally captivated them all. It was the perfect background to the awe of viewing the pictures.

Bharath, in conversation with Shama Pawar, one who has been dedicated to the conservation and development of Hampi while residing in the little historical site for 20 plus years now, toured through the initiatives in Hampi that keep the hub alive. Shama’s Kishkinda Trust helps the local community in Hampi in its socio-economic sphere. The community and its involvement in guarding the space have become a reality through various programs run by the trust.

This thriving historical site was captured by Bharath, and the book aptly named Hampi: Of Gods and Kings to bring in the vibe of magic and royalty into it. No visitor comes back without a longing to go back again, and Bharath views the site as a sacred one. The book has no pictures of people, an unconscious decision, he says. The place was to be captured for its natural beauty, its landscapes, and warranted no distractions!

While many books are today available on Hampi, with academicians and photographers in tow, these books become far more educational than artistic in nature, he says. The book celebrates the place itself, and as is. For those of us longing, and wanting to travel to Hampi, this book might just be that extra reason we seek.

About the Author: A believer in the subtlety of magic in everyday living, and Shobhana seeks the same from the books she reads, and the poetry she writes. Immerses herself in music, literature, art, and looking out the window with some coffee. She curates her poetry, and occasional verses in her blog Thinking; inking. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.