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Kishkinda – The Mystical Monkey Kingdom In Hampi

Kishkinda, a very popular mythical story that associates the landscape in Hampi with the Hindu epic Ramayana and somewhere in Mahabharatha as well. The monkey kingdom, Kishkinda, is portrayed as the region around Hampi.

Kishkinda, according to the mystical history says that it used to be the kingdom of the Vanara King Sugriva. Anjaneya Hill, located across the river Tungabhadra, is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, The monkey king.

Monkeys can abundantly be found in this place

History Associated With Kishkinda

According to Hindu mythology, In Ramayana when Ravana abducts Sita, Lord Rama and Lakshmana, reach Hampi in search of his lost wife. Hanuman, the general of the monkey king Sugreeva mistook them for spies from the rebel kin of Sugreeva. On hearing their story Hanuman brings them to Sugreeva. He eventually takes them to a cave and shows them a set of jewels.

Rama recognizes them as that of his wife Sita. Sugreeva explains to them that Sita dropped them at this site called ‘Kishkinda’ when the demon king Ravana (of Lanka) abducted her on his flying chariot.

Kishkinda
Carvings of the scenes of Ramayana on the walls of various temples at Hampi

Later Rama kills Vali, the rebellious brother of Sugreeva, and installs Sugreeva as the undisputed king of the monkey kingdom.

Hanuman offers help to fly to Lanka. He returns with the news that Sita was indeed in the custody of Ravana. Hanuman offers Rama with the help of his monkey army to make a bridge across and attack Lanka. Rain plays the spoilsport and the plan gets postponed till the rains are over. Rama and Lakshmana take refuge during the rainy season at a nearby Malyavanta Hill. The epic goes on till saving Sita from Lanka and further.

Mythical Significance Of Kishkinda

The place is treated sacred since it has borne the footprint of Rama, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Hanuman, who is a loyal follower of Rama is notable for his devotion and valor.

Probably Hampi has many more icons of Hanuman than any other gods. Rishimukha Hills where Hanuman met Rama & Lakshmana is a hermitage. The cave where Sugreeva supposedly hides the fallen jewels is on the way to the Vitthala temple via the riverside ruins.

Matanga Hill, name after the sage Matunga ( who cursed Vali with death on stepping to this spot) is the highest spot in Hampi. The hilltop temple dedicated to Rama on the Malyavanta Raghunatha hilltop is an important pilgrimage and tourist location. A heap of ash hill at a village near the Vittala temple is believed to be that of pyre of Vali.

Temples are generously carved with mythical themes. Maybe because it was the monkey’s kingdom, the images of monkeys are splendidly carved on the walls and pillars of the temples of Hampi.

Kishkinda
The stone carvings where Lord Rama meets Hanuman

Things Tourists Need To Know

  • As a tourist to this place, all these places are located in a circuit that forms a typical itinerary.
  • Does not carry heavy weightage in terms of Architecture or Hampi’s History. Just has relevance with Myths relating to epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
  • Photography is allowed.
  • Open to visit any day in the week.
  • One can include this place in their itinerary while visiting Anjanadri Hills.

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