The mythology of the ancient kingdom Kishkindha, also known as the monkey kingdom or the kingdom of the Vanaras as recounted in the Ramayana, is said to have existed on the banks of the revered river Thungabhadra, among the remnants of the great Vijayanagar empire. The kingdom of the Vanara King, Sugriva, younger brother of Vali, in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana.
“In the southern part of India, on the banks of the Thungabhadra river lies a golden coloured mountain where Hanuman’s mother did penance for 700 years. This is how Hanuman was born here”, says the temple priest.
The Hanuman birthplace is thought to be the Anjanadri hill in Anegundi. The Anjanaparvata and Anjanadribetta are further names for it. The adoptive sister of Vali and Sugreeva and mother of Hanuman was Anjana. It is reported that Anjana prayed for a child on this hill for a very long time before giving birth to Hanuman. To reach the hilltop with a small Hanuman shrine, one must ascend more than 500 stairs while dodging playing monkeys. Spectacular views of the area’s boulder-covered, millions-of-year-old topography can be admired from the peak.
The mountain near the river known as Rishimukha, where Sugriva lived with Hanuman during
his exile bears the same name.
The Ramayana claims that after Ravan kidnapped Sita, Ram and Lakshman travelled to Kishkindha in a desperate attempt to find his beloved one. Here, they encountered Hanuman, the monkey god and Ram’s most devoted follower. Kishkindha’s rulers at the time, brothers Vali and Sugreeva, were locked in a bloody quarrel, with the former vowing to assassinate the latter. Sugreeva sought sanctuary in the hermitage of Sage Matanga on the Matanga Hill, where today’s visitors ascend to take in the breathtaking views of the Hampi ruins. It is thought that Sugreeva concealed the gems that Sita dropped along the road while she was being dragged away by her captor in the Sugreeva Cave, itself a well-known tourist destination, in the hopes that they could one day return to her.
“Since ancient times, the story has been validated and celebrated through the literary works of Valmiki, Tulsidas and several other poets and writers from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh “
Mehant Vidyadas, Priest.
“The region was completely covered by the dense Dandaka forest, which stretched from the Vindhya Range to the South Indian Peninsula, during the Treta Yug. As a result, this kingdom was regarded as belonging to the Vanaras. According to the Mahabharata epic, The Pandava”
The Sahadeva reportedly visited the kingdom during the Dvapara Yuga to collect tribute for Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya sacrifice. Thousands of devotees from across the world come to pay their respects and seek his blessings at this abode of gods. All recall and revere this story of the true friendship and companionship of Lord Rama and his devotees Hanuman.
Hampi is a major site of history and signifies multiple narratives from The Ramayana. One to breathe in such cultural topography should visit there at least once in their lifetime.