- Vijayanagara architecture
The Vijayanagara Architecture ( _kn. ವಿಜಯನಗರ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ) of the period (
1336- 1565CE) was a notable building idiom evolved by the imperial Vijayanagar Empirethat ruled the whole of South Indiafrom their regal capital at Vijayanagaraon the banks of the Tungabhadra Riverin Karnataka, India. The empire built a number of temples, monuments, palaces and other structures over South India, with the largest concentration located in its capital. The monuments in and around Hampi, in the Vijayanagaraprincipality, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In addition to building new temples, the empire also added new structures and made modifications to hundreds of existing temples across South India. Some structures at Vijayanagara are from the pre-Vijayanagara period. The Mahakuta hill temples are from the
Western Chalukyaera. The region around Hampi had been a popular place of worship for centuries before the Vijayanagara period with earliest records dating from 689CE when it was known as Pampa Tirtha after the local river GoddessPampa.
There are hundreds of extant monuments in the core area of the capital city. Of these fifty six are protected by
UNESCO, six hundred and fifty-four monuments are protected by the government of Karnataka and another three hundred monuments await protection.An article in Sunday Express [http://www.globalheritagefund.org/news/conservation_news/hampi_disappearing.asp] ]
Vijayanagara architecture can be broadly classified into religious, courtly and civic architecture, as can the associated sculptures and paintings."Hampi - A Travel Guide", pp 36, Department of Tourism, India] The Vijayanagara style is a combination of the
Chalukya, Hoysala, Pandyaand Cholastyles which evolved earlier in the centuries when these empires ruled and is characterised by a return to the simplistic and serene art of the past.Art critic, Percy Brown calls Vijayanagara architecture a blossoming of Dravidian style, "A Concise History of Karnataka", pp 182, Dr. S.U. Kamath, "History of Karnataka", Arthikaje]
For the approximately 400 years during the rule of the
Western Chalukyaand the Hoysalasempires, the most popular material for temple construction was chloritic schistor soapstone. This was also true for sculpture as soapstone is soft and easily carved. During the Vijayanagar period the local hard granitewas preferred in the Badami Chalukyastyle, although soapstone was used for a few reliefsand sculptures.Their style was characterised by a return to the simplistic and serene art of the Badami Chalukyasays Dr. S.U. Kamath about the sculptures in Vijayanagar style, "A Concise History of Karnataka", pp 184, Dr. S.U. Kamath] While the use of granite reduced the densityof sculptured works, granite was a more durable material for the temple structure. Because granite is prone to flaking, few pieces of individual sculptures reached the high levels of quality seen in previous centuries. In order to cover the unevenness of the stone used in sculptures, artists employed plasterto give the rough surface a smooth finish and then painted it with lively colours."Hampi - A Travel Guide", pp 42-43, Department of Tourism, India]
Vijayanagara temples are usually surrounded by a strong enclosure. Small shrines consist simply of a "
garbhagriha" (sanctum) and a porch. Medium sized temples have a "garbhagriha", "shukanasi" (antechamber), a "navaranga" ("antrala") connecting the sanctum and outer " mandapa" (hall), and a "rangamantapa" (enclosed pillared hall). Large temples have tall Raya gopurambuilt with wood, brick and stucco in Cholastyle. The term "Raya" is added to indicate a " gopura" built by Vijayanagar Rayas. The top of the "gopuram" has a "shalashikhara" resembling a barrel made to rest on its side. Large life sized figures of men, woman, Gods and Goddesses adorn the "gopuram". This "Tamil dravida" influenced style became popular during the rule of king Krishnadevarayaand is seen in South Indian temples constructed over the next 200 years."New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 9] Examples of "Rayagopuram" are the Chennakesava Templein Belur, and the temples at Srisailamand Srirangam. In addition to these structures, medium sized temples also have a closed circumambulatory (" Pradakshinapatha") passage around the sanctum, an open "mahamantapa" (large hall), a "kalyanamantapa" (ceremonial hall) and a temple tankto serve the needs of annual celebrations.The elaboration of ceremonial observances produced a corresponding elaboration in the temple system, says art critic Percy Brown, "A Concise History of Karnataka", pp 183, Dr. S.U. Kamath]
Temple pillars often have engravings of charging horses or hippogryphs ("Yali") — horses standing on hind legs with their fore legs lifted and riders on their backs. The horses on some pillars stand seven to eight feet tall. On the other side of the pillar are usually carvings from
Hindumythology.The attached colonnettes and sculptured animals are a significant artistic innovation of the reign of king Krishnadevaraya, "New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 8] Pillars that do not have such hippogryphs are generally rectangular with mythology themed decoration on all sides. Some pillars have a cluster of smaller pillars around a central pillar shaft. The bottom supports of these pillars have engravings of Godsand Goddesses. Carvings of Hippogryphs clearly show the adroitness of the artists who created them. "A Concise History of Karnataka", pp 183, Dr. S.U. Kamath]
The "Mantapas" are built on square or polygonal plinths with carved
friezesthat are four to five feet high and have ornate stepped entrances on all four sides with miniature elephants or with "Yali" balustrades (parapets).An imaginary beast acting as parapet. These beautifully sculptured supports were used in entrances to temples and as flanks to steps and stairs in royal palace structures, "New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 53] The "Mantapas" are supported by ornate pillars.A regular feature saya Prof. K.A.N. Sastri about the importance of pillars in the Vijayanagara style in "A Concise History of Karnataka", pp 183, Dr. S.U. Kamath] The thousand pillared style with large halls supported by numerous pillars was popular. The 1000 pillared Jain basadiat Mudabidri is an example. Larger temples have a separate shrine for the female deity. Some examples of this are the Hazara Rama , Balakrishna and Vitthala temples at Hampi.
Some shrines in the Vitthalapura area inside Vijayanagara were consecrated specifically for Tamil
Alwarsaints and for the great Vaishnavasaint, Ramanujacharya. Architecturally they are different in that each shrine has an image depicting the saint for whose worship the temple was built. Each shrine has its own enclosure, and a separate kitchen and pilgrim feeding hall."New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 35-36] The water storage tank inside the royal center, the stepped tank called "Pushkarni", is a recent archaeological discovery. The stepped tank is fashioned with finished chlorite schist slabs arranged in a symmetrical formation with steps and landings descending to the water on all four sides. This is clearly a Western Chalukya- Hoysalastyle tank and is seen in many parts of present day Karnataka.According to Dominic J Davidson-Jenkins in "New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 89] The inscriptions on the slabs indicate the material was brought from outside the Vijayanagara area.
Much of what is known today of Vijayanagara palaces is drawn from archaeological excavations at Hampi as no royal palace structures have survived.According to Channabasappa S. Patil, "New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", pp 51, edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell] Most palaces stand within their own compound defined by high tapering walls made of stone or layered earth. Palaces are approached through a sequence of courts with passageways and doorways requiring multiple changes in direction. All palaces face east or north. The larger palaces have side extensions giving the complex a symmetrical shape. Palaces were built on raised platforms made of
granite. The platforms have multiple tiers of mouldings with well decorated friezes. A rectangular decorated panel of stone is called a frieze, " A complete guide to Hoysala Temples", pp 93 Gerard Foekema.] The decorations can be floral, "Kirtimukha" shapes (demon faces), geese, elephants and occasionally human figures. Pillars, beams and rafters inside the palace were made of wood as evidenced by ash discovered in excavations. The roof was made of brick or lime concrete, while copper and ivory were used for finials. Palaces commonly consisted of multiple levels with each flight of stairs decorated by balustrades on either side, with either "yali" (imaginary beast) or elephant sculptures. The entrance steps into palaces and temple "mantapas" were similarly decorated. Water tanks inside the palace complex have decorative water spouts such as the carved torso of the "Nandi" with a gaping mouth to allow water flow into the tank.According to Channabasappa S. Patil, "New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara", pp 57, edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell] Other structures commonly found inside a palace complex are wells and shrines.
The courtly architecture generally show secular styles with Islamic influences. Examples are the Lotus Mahal palace, Elephant stables, and watch towers.New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara, edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, pp 10.] Courtly buildings and domed structures were built with mortar mixed with stone rubble."Hampi - A Travel Guide", pp 36, Department of Tourism, India]
The impact of this style of architecture was seen well into the 17th century when the various successive Nayaka kingdoms continued to encourage pillars with Hippogryphs and granite became the main building material.
Famous Temples outside Vijayanagara
While the empire is well known for its monuments in the regal capital, Vijayanagara, it also built many temples in other areas of South India. Well known among these in
Karnatakaare Chaturmukha Basadi and Parshwanatheshwara Basadi ( 15th century) in Gerusoppa, Parshwanatheshwara Basadi, Santappanaik Tirumala Temple, Virupaksha Narayan Temple ( 1565), Bala Kini Raghunath Temple ( 1550) and Khetapai Narayan Temple at Bhatkal, Aryadurga Temple ( 1505) at Ankola, Partakali Jivottam Mutt ( 1560) at Gokarna, Mahalasa Narayan Temple ( 1565) at Kumta, Mahaganapati Mahamaya Temple ( 1560) at Shirali, Iswar Temple at Baindur, Balaram Temple at Malpe, Indrani Temple at Manipal, Vidyashankara Temple ( 1357) at Sringeri, Bhoganandiswara Temple and Yoganandiswara Temple at Nandi Hills, Kanakachalapathi Temple in Koppal district, Someswara Temple at Kolar, Ganesha Temple at Kurudumale, Tyaramalleshwara Temple ( 1466) at Hiriyur, Nandi Templeat Bangaloreand others.
Andhra Pradeshthe empire built the Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam, Upper Narasimha Temple and Lower Narasimha Temple at Ahobilam, Veera Bhadra Temple at Lepakshiand Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati and others. In Tamil Naduthe empire built the Vijayaraghava Permal temple modelled after the famous temples at Tirupati with statues of Krishnadevaraya in Thayar Sanithi pillars facing each other.
Mandapa- pillared hall
* Mahamantapa - Open pillared hall
* Rangamantapa - Closed pillared hall
* Kalyanamantapa - Hall meant for celebrations
Garbhagriha- Sanctum where the idol of God is placed
* Navaranga or Antrala - passage the connects different Sanctums
* Shukanasi" - Antechamber
* Dr. Suryanath U. Kamat, A Concise history of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC, Bangalore, 2001 (Reprinted 2002) OCLC: 7796041
* Hampi, A Travel Guide, Department of Tourism, India, Good Earth publication, New Delhi 2003 ISBN 81-877801-7-7
* New Light on Hampi, Recent research in Vijayanagara, edited by John M. Fritz and George Michell, MARG, 2001, ISBN 81-85026-53-X
* [http://www.ourkarnataka.com/history.htm History of Karnataka, Arthikaje]
* [http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/kar/temples.htm Temples of Karnataka, Dr. Jyotsna Kamat]
* [http://www.indoarch.org/ Architecture of Indian Subcontinent, Takeyo Kameya]
* [http://www.templenet.com/enckarna3.html TempleNet:Temples of India]
* [http://www.hampi.in www.Hampi.in: A website with photographs, descriptions and the site maps of the Hampi ruins.]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Architecture of India — [ Mohenjo daro in modern day Pakistan.] The architecture of India is rooted in its history, culture and religion.Raj Jadhav, pages 7 13 in Modern Traditions: Contemporary Architecture in India ] Indian architecture progressed with time and… … Wikipedia
Vijayanagara — Infobox Indian Jurisdiction native name = Vijayanagara | type = city | latd = 15.19 | longd = 76.28 locator position = right | state name = Karnataka district = Bellary District leader title = leader name = altitude = 568 population as of = 2001… … Wikipedia
Vijayanagara Empire Literature — The rule of Vijayanagara Empire was a golden age of literature in South India, in general. The rulers patronised Kannada, Telugu and Sanskrit and Tamil scholars who wrote in the Jain, Virashaiva and Vaishnava traditions. The period produced… … Wikipedia
Architecture of Denmark — Renaissance styled Frederiksborg Palace completed by Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger in 1620 … Wikipedia
Architecture of Chennai — The Ripon Building, Chennai, an example of the Indo Saracenic architectural style found in the city. Chennai architecture is a confluence of many architectural styles. From ancient Dravidian temples built by the Pallavas, to the Indo Saracenic… … Wikipedia
Dravidian architecture — The Annamalaiyar Temple in Thiruvannaamalai Dravidian architecture was a style of architecture that emerged thousands of years ago in Southern part of the Indian subcontinent or South India. They consist primarily of pyramid shaped temples called … Wikipedia
Western Chalukya architecture — ( kn. ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಚಾಲುಕ್ಯ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ), also known as Kalyani Chalukya or Later Chalukya architecture, is the distinctive style of ornamented architecture that evolved during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire in the Tungabhadra region of central … Wikipedia
Hoysala architecture — ( kn. ಹೊಯ್ಸಳ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ) is the building style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire, in the region known today as the Indian state of Karnataka, between the 11th and 14th centuries. Hoysala influence was at its peak in the 13th century … Wikipedia
History of architecture — The History of architecture traces the changes in the history of architecture through various countries and dates.Prehistoric architectureNeolithic architecture is the architecture of the Neolithic period. In Southwest Asia, Neolithic cultures… … Wikipedia
Outline of architecture — See also: Index of architecture articles Steven Holl s design for Simmons Hall of MIT won the Harleston Parker Medal in 2004 … Wikipedia