Vijayanagara Architecture

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The Vijayanagara Empire was a major patron of art and architecture in South India. The Vijayanagara style inherited aspects from various regional traditions, including the Chola, Pandya, and Chalukya-Hoysala styles, as well as some Islamic influences in secular structures.

Hazararama Temple

​Vijayanagara rulers constructed impressive fortresses, palaces, and temples. A characteristic feature of their temple architecture is the temple complex, consisting of concentric rectangular enclosure walls with gopurams (towered gateways) at the centre of each side. The construction of multiple mandapas, including the Kalyana Mandapa for ceremonial purposes, is another notable feature. Many temples also included a Devi Shrine for the consort of the main deity.​

The Vijayanagara style showcases a unique decorative scheme, with friezes used horizontally on plinth mouldings, caves, and pillars and vertically on composite pillars, wall plasters, and doorways. While some structures were built without mortar, this is not a defining characteristic of the entire style. Vijayanagara had numerous temples, and among the most magnificent complexes are those at Hampi (the capital), Kanchipuram, Thiruvannamalai, and Vellore. The Virupaksha Temple, Hazara Rama Temple, and Vittala Temple in Hampi are prime examples of Vijayanagara architecture. This period also saw the construction of secular structures like the Lotus Mahal and elephant stables, which exhibit Islamic influences in their design.

 

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