Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stone Chariot, Hampi

At Hampi, the stone chariot located in the Vittala Temple Complex is a shrine built in the form of temple chariot. An image of Garuda was originally enshrined within its sanctum. Garuda, according to the Hindu mythology, is the vehicle of lord Vishnu. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)

The chariot built with many giant granite blocks. The joints of the blocks are smartly hidden in the carvings that adorn the Stone Chariot and due to this it appears as a monolithic structure. It is built on a feet high rectangular platform. All around this base platform is carved with mythical battle scenes. The four giant stone wheels attached to the chariot look complete with the axis shafts. On the wheels are concentric floral motifs.

In front of the chariot two elephants are positioned as if they are pulling the chariot. These elephants where later additions to the chariot and they actually replaced two horses that were carved in that position. The tails and the rear legs of the horses can be still seen just behind these elephant sculptures. A broken stone ladder once gave access to the sanctum is kept between the elephants.

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