EXQUISITE CONSTRUCTION - DECAYING RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES !
Group photo - our 1st day @ Hampi -
RH of the 'Torana' of Vitthala temple.
During a recent 'visit' to my HDD, I thought of doing a series exclusively on the architecture and details of the 'Toranas' of Hampi's famous temples - not a very widely discussed subject yet. In our HDD, we have many photos from which the figures on the facades of these 'Toranas' can be extracted for display and discussion .But, comparatively less for a discussion on the architectural aspects of these 'Toranas'.
Inside face of 3-storeyed 'Torana' of Malyavanta Raghunatha temple. Main entrance to temple compound from eastern side,
glowing in the light of setting sun.
At Hampi, 'Toranas' are built according to 'Gopuram' style - tall pyramidal several story-ed structure with rectangular base. The top has a barrel vault with decoration. The structure is often taller than the temple - thus it comes to the notice of pilgrims from a distance. Is the height meant to be a lightning arrester too ?
A typical barrel vault on 'Torana's' top.
Krishna temple, North gate.
Lofty - 52m tall - 9-storyed East Gopuram/'Torana' ,
Virupaksha temple, Hampi.
Krishna temple was built by King Krishnadeva Raya in 1513 AD as a shrine to an idol of Balagopala (child Krsna) he brought from Udayagiri. Very likely, it was a monument to commemorate his successful Orissa campaign. It has three 'Toranas' - East, North & South. Inside face of the East gate has a scene of an army leaving for battle which is believed to be associated with King Krishnadeva Raya's Orissa campaign. Among the other two, south 'Torana' is left with few details. North 'Torana', though not in good shape, offer clear details when viewed from within the temple compound.
Entrance to Krishna temple, Hampi. The stone structure and parts of only 2 storeys are standing. Right-hand wall is gone.A small portion of left-hand wall stands.
Far right - we can see the barrel vault of north-side 'Torana'.
All these 'Toranas' are built with stone till the roof-height of the gates' openings - and the decorative portions are built with brick & stucco . I give here detailed views of the artwork on East and North 'Toranas' of Krishna temple.
View of the East-side 'Torana' from the court-yard of
View of the North-side 'Torana' from the court-yard of
(Note - Half of the 3rd storey is gone !)
View of the South-side 'Torana' from out-side of
(Note - Top 2 storeys are gone !)