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.
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.
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.
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.