June 13, 2011

Stone Chariot, Hampi

Stone Chariot, an iconic structure of Vijayanagara Empire is located in Vijaya Vittala Temple complex at Hampi, it dates back to 15th century. This in fact is a shrine built in the form of a temple chariot. Temple chariots are often mobile reproductions of a temple the stone chariot here is in turn a static version of the mobile temple chariot. An image of Garuda (The Eagle, vehicle of lord Vishnu according to Hindu mythology) was originally enshrined within its sanctum.

Even though it appears as a monolithic structure, in reality its built with many giant granite blocks. The joints are hidden in the carvings and other decorative features that adorn the chariot. The chariot is built on a rectangular platform and mythical battle scenes are carved all around this platform.  Chariots stone wheels mimics the real life wheels with shaft and breaks and are capable of revolving, this represents the creativity of the 15th century artists of Vijayanagara Empire.
In front of the chariot two elephants are positioned as if they are pulling the chariot. It is said that these elephants where brought from elsewhere and positioned here at a later stage. Originally two horses were carved in that position. The tail and the rear legs of the horses can be still seen just behind these elephant sculptures. A small stone ladder which once gave access to the inner sanctum can be still seen between two elephant structures.

20 comments:

  1. That is so awesome, Sam!! The carvings on this and buildings/temples that you have shared with us never fail to amaze me!! So much time and talent and devotion!! Magnificent capture as always! Hope you have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  2. What a magnificent creation Anthony!
    Fantastic photograph of it.

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  3. nice blog,and nice photo; congratulations

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  4. Just Awesome , this must be among most photographed monument in
    India . :))

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  5. @ Team G Square
    I'm sure it is :)... thanks for stopping by

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  6. What a amazing monument! Very beautiful and interesting. LG Tina

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  7. Absolutely amazing, Samson!

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  8. beautiful capture!!!

    Bhupesh

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  9. Considering the age, it is amazing that it has survives so well with so much detail intact. A great chariot indeed.

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  10. Considering the age, it is amazing that it has survives so well with so much detail intact. A great chariot indeed.

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  11. That is quite an impressive structure - thanks for sharing Anthony.

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  12. What a beautiful building. Very special. Have a nice Sunday

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  13. I have been to Hampi too and its an awesome awesome place. Though I wasn't into photography at that point. Should go again :)

    Pheno, ABCW Team

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  14. oh, my, that is an impressive structure!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  15. Nice post - Indian history is so fascinating. thanks for sharing.

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