Sunday, November 22, 2009

There are three sites to visit in Kamalapur and all three are important. Kamalapur is a small village with insufficient facilities for food. So it is better eat in Hampi and then move over there. The first place that one can visit is the Kamalapura Museum. This is one big museum where there are lots of thiDSC01237ngs to see. This is the only place where one can see a life like image of Sri Krishnadevaraya.

One needs to allocate at least a hour and a half for the museum. As we enter the museum, there is a lawn on the right and left sides and the building is in the front. Sculptures found in the area are arranged in the lawn on the left. In the middle of the lawn, there is a small pavilion (sculptures arranged to form a pavilion) in which there is a small statue of Lord Ganesha.  There are many beautiful sculptures in the lawn. You can see some of them in the pictures below.

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The one that you see here is a plate on which food was served. In those days, there were no separate utensils of serving food. One of the portions of the floor was made like a container to serve food. The various items would be placed on each of the smaller enclosures. There is a place in Hampi that i could not find, called “Bhojanasala” where there are a numerous of these plates are carved on rock and that place was used to serve food for public. There are DSC01258various sculptures that are broken in pieces and are found lying around.

Domingo Paes, who visited the kingdom during the reign of Sri Krishnaderaya has written in his narrative a lot about the kingdom, the culture, the festivals and of course the king himself. The following is an excerpt from his notes which describes Krishnadevaraya as seen by Domingo Paes himself.

“The King is of medium height, and of fair complexion and good figure, rather fat than thin; he has on his face signs of small-pox. He is most feared and perfect king that could possibly be cheerful of disposition and very merry; he is one that seeks to honour foreigners, and receives them kindly asking them all about their affairs whatever their condition may be. He is a great ruler and a man of justice, but subject to sudden fits of DSC01272rage, and this is his title - Crisnarao (Krishnaraya) Macacao (probably Maharaj), King of Kings, Lord of the greater Lords of India, Lord of three seas and of the land…”

Inside  the museum one can find very beautiful sculptures, weapons, coins and utensils of the era. There are photographs of the important places in Hampi taken before and after excavation. We should really appreciate the work of the ArcheDSC01273ological Survey of India (ASI) for giving us this priceless heritage. There is also a board which shows us the transformation of Kannada and Telugu languages over the years.

Probably the most interesting section is right in the middle of the museum where there is a miniature depiction of the whole Hampi area. Every hill, temple and pavilion is marked on it.  The museum is a must visit to any one who visits Hampi.

As we move on, one need to travel at least 2 kilometres to reach the next destination, the Pattabhirama Temple.

This temple, situated in the Varadarajammanapattana a suburb of the aDSC01280ncient city of Vijayanagara is supposed to have built by Timmaraja in 1540 AD. during the rule of Achyutharaya. The temple complex has a large courtyard enclosed by a high Prakara. The main temple has a Garbhagriha, an Antarala, Ardhamantapa and an Mahamantapa. The large and square Mahamantapa has tall and slender pillars of different types. 

The Kalyanamantapa situated to the southeast in the complex is similar to the Mahamantapa.

The DevDSC01284i shrine facing east is a Dvitala vimana surmounted by Shala shikara. The Mahadwara of this temple is a good example for the late Vijayanagara style of architecture. The Mahadwara has an imposing pyramidal brick. and lime plaster Gopura with ascending but diminishing, storeys.

Not many visitors throng this place as this area is quite far from the main Hampi area. The temple looks very silent and good during evenings where once can relax inside it. DSC01306 There is a pillared pavilion that runs all around the temple walls making it look even beautiful. The notable feature is the Kalyanamantapa where the entrance is guarded by elephants and crocodiles. The outside of the temple complex is covered with a beautiful lawn which is well maintained by the ASI. There is also the temple tank on one side where the main festivals of the temple are held every year.

The third important monument in Kamalapur is the Domed Gateway, but despite searching for an hour in bamboo plantations and reserve forests, i could not find it.

We now return back all the way to Hampi near to the KSTDC Hotel from where we started to Kamalapur and move towards other monuments…


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