Hampi-The Royal Enclosure

What greeted us at the entrance  to the royal quarters was this  massive stone doors.  PB110231

The guide informed us that elephants were used to  open the doors .I could not help thinking  how the  marauding  troops managed to  bring it down.What I saw inside was even more distressing.A vast expanse of ruins  but whatelse can you expect from the areas ravaged most.

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There are still some impressive structures .Mahanavami dibba stands tall and imposing.This is a  central platform from where the kings used to watch   festivities,royal processions and military parades.

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This is part of the 600 year  old aqueducts  and in 1985 the Archeological survey of India excavated a stepped tank.Impressive finding and remarkably well preserved.

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STEP WELL

Further ahead is the Queen’s bath.Looking rather drab  it has a sunken bath with arched corridors and windows.

QUEEN'S BATH

QUEEN’S BATH

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Royal enclosure     may have lost its grandeur  but these are places where time stands still.

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Hampi-a lost kingdom

Hampi is a UNESCO heritage site of hundreds of monuments,temples and pavilions situated 353 km from Bangalore.This was the capital of  Vijayanagar empire  that ruled most of South India between  the 14th and 16th centuries.King Krishnadevaraya was the most popular ruler  and he brought about a lot of  reforms and  was a patron of arts and literature.In 1565,it was invaded and looted by the Deccan Muslim Confederacy and  what we see now are  only the ruins of this  great kingdom.

Our first stop was the Zanana enclosure.This was  reserved for the royal ladies and has  three huge watch towers.A characteristic feature  of the structures is the distinct Indo Islamic style of architecture.

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WATCH TOWER

WATCH TOWER

This is the Lotus Mahal.Note the arches   and the domes.We could only admire it from outside as entry is  prohibited inside.Wonder how long it took to make such exquisite  carvings.

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Located near the Zanana enclosure is another impressive structure.This is the  royal elephant stable.This is remarkably well preserved and has  11 domed chambers.Each one can accommodate two elephants  and these are interconnected.

ELEPHANT STABLE

ELEPHANT STABLE

Guards Quarters is next to the elephant stable.This is  another fine example of  indo islamic architecture.Inside the archeology department has displayed the statues and artifacts recovered from the ruins.

GUARDS QUARTERS

GUARDS QUARTERS

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