Monday, August 17, 2009

Lotus Mahal, Hampi

In Hampi Lotus Mahal is one of the most famous site. Even though the name suggests it is a pleasure pavilion, it is not so. The pavilion probably served as a meeting place of the emperor and his closest advisers. (Click on the images for bigger view)

Lotus Mahal

It is built in Indo-islamic style. Architecture of Lotus Mahal is a successful fusion of temple-like elements of Vijayanagara styles and sultanate elements. If the curved eaves, pyramidal towers depict temple-like elements then the lobed arches, plaster designs depict sultanate elements. The base of the structure depicts a Hindu foundation of stone just like in the temples.

Lotus Mahal arches

It is symmetrically laid out, with equal projections on four sides. It is a two storied structure. It has lobed arched openings in multiple planes surrounded by elaborate plaster designs.
The upper floors have balconies with arched windows. There are hook like structures on the wall close to the upper windows may be for hanging curtains. The arches of the ground floor are recessed and ornate.The walls are protected from Sun and rain by the curved eaves that run continuously around the building. There are 8 pyramidal towers rise over the central and corner bays of the building. The ninth tower is above the central bay similar to the other eight but higher.

Carvings on the arches

The exquisite carvings of flowers and delicate art work on the pillar arches is mesmerizing, especially with the Makara Torana on top of these arches that can still be seen on some of them.

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