Madhura Vijaya: Hampi

Gaṅgādevī draws a vivid and fantastic picture of Vijayā, King Kampa’s capital city.  What her description of the city lacks in specific historical and geographical detail is more than made up for by the visual images she conjures up.  Travellers to Hampi – the UNESCO heritage site where the city once stood – will not find it hard to imagine such scenes as these among the far-flung ruins of the city.

सन्ध्यासु यत्र निर्यान्ति जालेभ्यो धूपराजयः ।

अन्तःप्रदीपिकालोकचकितध्वान्तसन्निभाः ॥

Every evening,

trails of incense smoke would race

out of the city’s windows,

as though they were gangs of darkness

frightened into flight at the sight

of the oil lamps standing guard within.

 

1.59 Gaṅgādevī’s Madhurā Vijaya

2 thoughts on “Madhura Vijaya: Hampi

  1. My God!! What lovely evocation! The evening scene jumps out of the sparse words used; like a chinese painting of the last bird out of the frame.So picturesque.

    • We’re so glad you liked it. As well as several other vivid images of the evening in this description of Vijaya there is also a wonderful chapter on the onset of night in which the poetess really lets her imagination loose. We’ll be featuring one or two from there later on in this series.

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