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View from Anjaneya Hill, Hampi

in India
on: 10 November 2012

Anjaneya Hill marks the spot where the locals believe that Hanuman was born. Steps snaking up the hill were filled with pilgrims; some chanting repeatedly as they hiked up the stairs. The view is quite breathtaking, to say the least.

Once at the top, one can take in the 360 degrees view. The arid landscape strewn with giant boulders interspersed with green paddy fields stretched as far as the eyes can see. The other-worldly landscape actually provided the ancient Vijayanagara empire with the rocks needed to build the capital in Hampi. Ancient palatial ruins and temples still dot the UNESCO-listed area.

The Vittala Temple in Hampi was famous for its musical pillars in its heyday. The slender monolithic granite pillars were constructed to sound the different notes of the scale when struck. Today, the pillars are guarded from whimsical beatings of visitors to protect it from further damage. These pillars pictured here were from another pavilion opened to visitors.

Hampi is a UNESCO site where the ruins of the ancient Vijayanagara empire still stands. Some has been extensively restored for posterity and viewing by visitors. The area covers some 26 square kilometers across the arid boulder-strewn landscape.

The giant steps and terraces of paddy fields in Jatiluwih across the rolling landscape makes for a jaw-dropping sight. In the island of Bali, paddy is cultivated almost everywhere. What makes Jatiluwih to stand out is the amazing terrain that seem to ripple across a massive area and each ripple is staggered into steps of paddy fields.

Furthermore, the paddy variety planted here is of the fragrant red type that grows to more than one and a half meters tall. Whereas the hybrid paddy planted elsewhere gives 3 yields per year, the red rice takes almost year to produce its yield which is famed for its high content of nutrients.

"The red rice grows in a closed environment. A self sustaining microcosm covering 303 hectares where the cycle of life is allowed to continue without the blundering interference of man ... Frogs, birds, snakes and eels are welcome elements of the red rice ecology and protected under the Jatiluwih people's cultural laws," according to Agus Ketut Nuarta Jaya, head of security and cultural law in Gunung Sari at Jatiluwih.

For further reading on Jatiluwih, please refer to this article

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