Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Before we move to the Royal Enclosure, we take a detour towards the Zanana Enclosure.

On theDSC01098 way to the Zanana Enclosure, there is the office of the Archaeological Survey of India and a small open air museum of the various artefacts that are found in the region. The most notable pieces in this museum are the turret of the Chalukyan era and Lord Vishnu as Sesha Sayana.

Now we move on to our destination, the Zanana Enclosure.

The Tenali Rama pavilion: Just outside the Zanana enclosure, on a rocky area nearby, is a pillared hall named after one of the most notable courtiers of Sri Krishnadevaraya. Tenali Ramakrishna is known for his humour and notoriety. He is said to be blessed  by Goddess Gayatri after which he not only became knowledgeable and wise but also joined the “Ashtadiggajas” (Eight Wise Men) of the DSC01103court of Krishnadevaraya.

The Zanana Enclosure is a structural complex with tall enclosure walls on four sides with entrances at northeast and north. The structures in this enclosure are in Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The structures are judicially spaced exemplifying manifestations of Vijayanagara secular architecture.

The Treasury Building: This rectangular building identified as the treasury stands at the north of the enclosure and is made of brick and has nice deDSC01060sign on its top. Currently, it is modified as a small museum and holds beautiful sculptures and some very old inscriptions on stone slabs. It also contains utensils, water flasks, ports and coins of the Vijayanagar era found in the area. It also contains pictures of the monuments of Hampi taken by well known historians and officials of the East India Company. 

The Queen’s Palace: This ornate terraced building stands in the middle of the Zanana enclosure and would have been magnificent in those days. All that remains today is the basement which is very strong in construction survived the wear and tear of centuries.

The flDSC01104oor of the palace stands at a height of almost 10 feet marking its importance among other buildings in the vicinity. There are two levels of basement before the floor of the palace. The panels on the basement are carved with nice designs and are still intact. Although cracks have formed in the stone basement, it is still very hard. There is a small staircase to the floor and is guarded by two stone elephants. Understandably, this palace bore the brunt of the invaders and its glory lost.

To the east of the palace, there is a Jal Mahal, probably one of the buildings meant for the queen. It was also taken down and the basement is the one remaining. There is also a tank which was probably used for storage for the inhabitants. As there are no steps to the bottom of the tank, this would not have been an bath.

To the east of the Jal Mahal, is one of the most beautiful monuments of Hampi, the Lotus Mahal.


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