Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Places in news: Temple architecture of Hampi

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Vijayanagara architecture

Mains level : Vijayanagara architecture

Tourists can no longer get too close to the iconic stone chariot in front of the Vijaya Vittala Temple due to a protective ring by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q.Building ‘Kalyaana Mandapas’ was a notable feature in the temple construction in the kingdom of

(a) Chalukya

(b) Chandela

(c) Rashtrakuta

(d) Vijayanagara

The Vijayanagara Capital: Hampi

  • Hampi or Hampe, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka.
  • Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century.
  • The old city of Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets.
  • By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.
  • The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of sultanates; its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins.

Major attractions

  • The Krishna temple complex, Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples, Achyutaraya temple complex, Vitthala temple complex, Pattabhirama temple complex, Lotus Mahal complex, can be highlighted.
  • Suburban townships (puras) surrounded the large temple complexes contains subsidiary shrines, bazaars, residential areas and tanks applying the unique hydraulic technologies.
  • The Vitthla temple is the most exquisitely ornate structure on the site and represents the culmination of Vijayanagara temple architecture.
  • It is a fully developed temple with associated buildings like Kalyana Mandapa and Utsava Mandapa within a cloistered enclosure pierced with three entrance Gopurams.
  • In addition to the typical spaces present in contemporary temples, it boasts of a Garuda shrine fashioned as a granite ratha and a grand bazaar street.

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