Sunday, November 22, 2009

As we move on the road from the KSTDC Hotel, we reach the Bhima’s Gate.

The Bhima’s Gate was probably one of the entrances of the kingdom as the DSC01316area on the other end of the gate is barren with little habitation. This entrance is big with fortified walls of at least 20 feet. The wall or the entrance itself is plain except for two small carvings of a story of Mahabharata due to which this is named so.

Here on the wall, DSC01319 we see two similar carvings where Draupadi is tying her hair while Bhima is killing Kichaka. This sequence tells about the story where Draupadi vows that she will tie her hair only when Kichaka, who tries to molest her is killed. There is an idol of Bhima also in here.

We then move on to the Ganagitti Jain Temple.

This Jain temple complex,dedicated to Kunthunatha, the 17th DSC01324Thirthankara of the Jaina faith, was built by Iruga, Commander-in-chief of Harihara II, and consecrated in 1386 AD..

The huge lamp column at the North facing entrance has an inscription to this effect. It is also referred to as the Kunthunatha Jain temple. It is a typical example of early Vijayanagara architecture and is known for its simplicity of form and design, DSC01331 with influences from the Late Chalukya period.

The temple in elevation has a terraced super structure over the sanctum, and a porch to the North and East.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Jain temples are very simple in their architecture and it goes the same with this one. There two halls before the inner sanctum and we can find the stone pedestal on which the idol once stood. Nearby on on of the platforms, we can find foot marks which signifies the marks of the Thirthankara.

We then move on on the same road after travelling 2 kilometres, there is a sDSC01341ign board to the Vijaya Vittala temple. We take the left road and move ahead to the Talarighatta Gate.

The Talarighatta Gate was one of the main entrance points into the urban centre of the capital from the riverside. The main road to Talarighatta (the coracle ferry point near the suspension bridge, which was stopped in middle as per UNESCO regulations) from Kamalapura pass through this arched structure.

This largely damaged structure still maintains its original intent, a gateway on the main road. A tiny shrine of Hanuman is located just in front of the gate.

It is possibleDSC01342 to reach the top of this gateway. From there the traces of the extended fortifications are visible. Talarighatta means Toll Gate, probably its original intension. In those days, there would be guards that that stand on top and the side pavilions and collect toll from people who wish to enter the area.

We pass through the gate and move towards the Gejjala Mantapa.

The Gejjala Mantapa is a small pavilion but a very beautiful one with its exquisite design. It was used once as a Rangamantapa (dancing hall) for conducting various music and dance festivals. Each of the pillars is excellently carved and shows us the craftsmanship of the age. Even the ceiling is designed with different shapes and bells. DSC01348

We then move on to the Kuduregombe Mantapa.

The Kuduregombe Mantapa is different than any other pavilion that we see in the Hampi area. As mentioned before, the entrance of any temple is guarded by elephants, lions and crocodiles.  This temple is an exception where the entrance is  guarded by horses and riders on top of them. This temple gets the name due to the horses (Kuduregombe means horse riders in Kannada). We exactly do not know to which deity this temple is dedicDSC01349ated to. The sanctum is empty but with a pedestal and the ceiling broken and sunlit during the day. This is a nice place to relax for some time escaping from the scorching heat of the sun. The presence of horses in place of elephants indicates that this temple was probably built by or for the traders of the Vijaya Vitthala Bazaar to worship, especially for those who were probably not allowed in the larger temples due to their caste or occupational restrictions.

We move on to the most beautiful of all the temples and monuments of Hampi, the Vijaya Vitthala temple.


Prashanth Bhat said...

Nice blog hari ! very interesting...

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