“One of you walk outside the room, and you will find the image inside the room, but upside down” said a boy in local language, when we were on a visit to Hampi more than 50 years ago.
This was at Virupaksha Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, at the historical rich, Hampi in Bellary District, Karnataka state. In this complex, there is an isolated room which had two doors. One of the two doors had a hole of about 2 inches in diameter. The opening is clear and had no glass or any other material. I could pass my fingers through and through.
The room is small and can accommodate only 2 persons. I stood inside the room with one of my friends. The room doors were closed. Some light was passing into the room through the small hole.
The other people from our group walked outside the room, at a distance of about 3-4 feet from the door. Their moving images could be seen inside the room on the wall opposite the doors. But it looked like the people walking outside were doing so on their head.
Another observation. This temple, like any other Hindu temple has a gopur (tower) and kalash (pinacle) at the entrance. This is a round pinnacle on the tower built at the entrance or over the central sanctum of a temple. There is a large room at the back end of the temple. The eastern wall of this room has a opening of about 6×6 inches. The image of the temple’s Kalash passed through this opening and reflected on the west side wall of the room. However, here again, the image is upside down.
Image picked from Google
I could clearly see that there was no material, whether glass, plastic or any thing else between the kalash and its image. Yet, the image appears upside down.
This place was constructed at the time King Krishna Deva Raya ruled the Vijay Nagar empire around 1400 AD. I checked with the priests and other staff of the temple, they didn’t know the reason behind this phenomenon. For a few it was the miracle of God and for a few it was an engineering wonder of the architects who constructed the temple.
Rationalists, however, find the phenomenon quite normal and that it is just the pinhole camera effect.
For me it was something abnormal then, nothing less than a miracle, till I discovered the explanation at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_camera
Do visit Hampi and discover this mystery! Rather the Pinhole Camera effect!
Written : Badri Baldawa
Edited : Meeta Kabra