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Architectural Achievements during Viajayanagara Empire

Let’s come to the other part the architecture part. The Vijayanagara Empire, I told you, it was founded by different styles like you have the Hoysala style, the Pandya style and the Chola styles. What you call is, the Vijayanagara architecture was developed in its own distinct style. It was actually a mix and match of different styles- Chola, Pandya, Chalukya style and because it was located in a very rocky area, there was heavy usage of granite, in this one. And most of the temples if you can see here, basically they had a Garbhagriha, what you call the sanctum sanctorum and then you had a porch like outside and somewhat larger temples or medium sized temple apart from that they had a chamber called Sukanashi or a corridor which is connecting the Garbhagriha with the outermost mandapa.

Apart from that they also had a Ranga mandapa which was basically a huge hall which was used for dances and meetings. And one feature of these temples was the Raya Gopuram, if you can see here. A very common feature of most of the temples built during the Vijayanagara time was called as the Raya Gopuram. Because they are usually built by the rulers of Vijayanagara, so they used to call them Raya Gopuram. You can notice the Gopuram, they are pretty huge, you can see it from miles around and they are richly decorated. Different statues of gods, goddesses and other men and women. And of course, you had the Pradakshina Patha for the devotees to go around and the pillars are what they call as Yal Is. You can take a look the bottom most part. If you can take a look at the bottom most left corner. Yal Is were basically sort of you know horses, with their legs lifted.

 So, this was another very common feature of the Vijayanagara School of architecture. The other one was the mandapas which you can see to the top left corner, basically built on square plinths with different friezes and entrances on all sides. Another common feature of most of the Vijayanagara temples were the Pushkarnis which are basically tanks, stepped tanks, which are having the water. You know pretty symmetrical formation. So you can see that a very advanced architecture even now if you go to Hampi most of it is in ruins, you can see the sort of brilliance that they had in the architecture. And the palaces which they had in Vijayanagara, they had a very intricate system, they had door passages leading into each other and sort of secret passages way, larger palaces had pretty side extensions and they also had water tanks with highly decorative spouts basically elephants or Yali sculptures and two famous sculptures from the Vijayanagara, one is the huge Ganesha, what is a (indistinctive) Ganesha, which is at Hampi, the other one is the huge Nandi at Lepakshi, one of the very large Nandi. These two are very famous motifs of the Vijayanagara out here.

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