What greeted us at the entrance to the royal quarters was this massive stone doors.
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.
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.
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.
Further ahead is the Queen’s bath.Looking rather drab it has a sunken bath with arched corridors and windows.
Royal enclosure may have lost its grandeur but these are places where time stands still.
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.