Sunday, January 3, 2010

The King’s Balance is exactly a balance that the kings of Vijayanagara used to weigh themselves with grains and distribute thDSC00753em among the poor and needy during festivals and important days. This is totally intact and we can even see the rings on top of the balance to which the plates that used to hold the king and the items were hung. 

As we move on from the King’s Balance, we see there are a series of temples in here and most of them are in ruins, some partially destroyed. It is not better to venture inside these temples for the fear of miscreants and weak constructions. Many of the temples are under renovation. The temples are a mixture of Vaishnava and Saiva DSC00747 sects. As we move on we see a two storied gateway just like the one we had seen on the Hemakuta hillock. Here there is a vast open area and the way is rugged with rocks. There are many small unidentified temples and Mantapas on this way. We also see a stone lamppost just in the middle of this vast open area. It is sad to see all the temples in ruins and once again we need to appreciate the work of the Archaeological Survey of India for its commendable job renovating these monuments. We move on this road further to reach the Varaha Temple.

Popularly known as the Varaha temple because of the Varaha Royal emblemDSC00766 at the eastern entrance, this is a unique Saiva temple, built inside a well laid rectangular Prakara. The entire temple is constructed over a Jagati with a sanctum, vestibule and an open Mukhamantapa. The wall portion of the sanctum and vestibule are treated with Devakoshtas. The entrance of the vestibule is treated with Gajalakshmi at lintel and four armed Saiva Dwarapalas at the door frame. Inside the vestibule is placed a couchant bull. The pillars of this temple are treated with sculptures of Karthikeya, Yashoda Krishna, Ganesha, Makara, Hamsamithuna, peacock, Sivalinga, Nandi and various geometrical designs like Padma, Sarpabandha, creepers etc. The raised Jagati also acts as a Pradakshinapatha around sanctum and vestibule. It looks like a simple temple today as the sculptures are worn out and not clearly visible.

We then move on to an important monument in Hampi, the Achyutharaya temple complex.


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