Guided by Danu Gandharv, Shri Ram and Lakshman undertook a journey searching the whereabouts about the Vanar warrior Sugriv, which in fact was a truning point of the Shri Ram’s quest for Mata Sita. The place Kishkinda where he met them was a hilly and forest area with a vast landscape which is a treat even in today’s times and every rock and boulder vibrate with the stories of Shri Ram and the Vanaras. Presently, this place is popular as the World Heritage site Hampi, and attracts many national and international tourists every year. There are many places which mark the important incidents of Ramayan in this legendary place. There are several inscriptions too which authenticate the fact that Hampi was previously Kishkinda.
A lake called Pampa Sarovar while reaching Hampi, has an ancient reference which can be traced back to the story of Bhagwathi Parvati worshipping Bhagwan Shiva on the banks of Pampa. The folklores here associate it with Mother Shabari’s ashram, where Shri Ram met her and got information about Sugriv’s whereabouts. Today, there is a temple located on the banks of the lake dedicated to Mata Shabari.
The Anjanadri Hill is said to be the birth place of Hanuman and a temple is dedicated to him on the hill. A little ahead from this place is a small village Venkatapur, wherein Hanuman first met Lord Ram and Lakshman in disguise seeking their identity. This place is also believed to be the place where Vali and Sugriv fought their battle and Lord Ram killed Vali.
The Rishyamuk hill, where Sugriv was in hiding is located ahead of Pampa Sarovar. Sugriv was hiding here as Vali, his brother had thrown him out of the kingdom. Besides Rishyamuk hill is the Matang Hill. Vali never stepped on this hill, because of the curse given to him by Sage Matang, when he hurled the corpse of the demon Dundubhi onto the hill. The sage was furious and cursed Vali that he would die if he stepped onto the Matang hill. Hence, Sugriv and his ministers were living in this area as they knew Vali would not come there.
Later, Shri Ram killed Vali and crowned Sugriv as the king of Kishkinda. There is a temple of Lord Ram called as Kodandaram temple where Sugriv was crowned king. A little away from the temple, there is a huge mound of ashes, believed to be the ashes of Bali. This place is called the Bali Kaashta.
Close to the Kodandaram temple, there is cave called Sugriv cave, where the ornaments of Sita were safeguarded by Sugriv. These ornaments were thrown by Sita for the vanaras to help Shri Ram in tracing her when she was being kidnapped by the demon Ravan. Though it looks very small from outside, it spreads into a huge cave inside.
There is the Malyavantha Raghunath Hill (formerly known as Prasravana Giri), where Lord Ram and Lakshmana spent their time waiting for the rainy season to pass on, so that they can move forward in their quest to locate Sita. A temple on the top of the hill is present today dedicated to both the brothers.
Hampi is a place where Ramayan is as vibrantly seen as it happened during the time of Shri Ram. The essence of Ramayan is in every rock and corner and every footstep we take reminds us of the journey of Shri Ram and the Vanaras undertook in the mission of upholding Dharma.