Jun 16, 2018

Guards Quarters, Hampi

August 13, 2017

Guards' Quarters building is located right next to elephant stables, the two lengthy buildings are perpendicular to each other in plan. Guards quarter building was strategically located to provide security for Zenana enclosure inside which the treasury was present. It's a single storey structure built on a 10' high platform measuring 146' x 63'. Its front features columns and arches. Inside it has a courtyard and an aisle, no rooms or chambers.

At the eastern corner of the building's outer wall is a small sculpture, not very clear. There are two characters sitting on their rear ends with their backs touching. They seem to be elephants. No idea what they signify

Just like elephant stables, this structure was projecting beams.. no idea what the purpose is. Notice the crests and ridges inside the arches. Seems like an experimental design.

Today the guards quarters is a museum, It has a small collection of sculptures probably found in and around Hampi. At the entrance is this 3½ foot tall elephant, though damaged one can imagine its original beauty. Its features are quite realistic, seems like a bull. I\m not sure if the sculpture was completed or incomplete.

In this view, it has a natural look of a running elephant. A well fed and worked out beast. Must have been made in memory of one of the royal elephants.

The elephant's left side is plain rock.. this is why I think if ts incomplete.

Lets enter the building. The entrance is flanked by two long open halls. This seems to be guards' rest place. Probably guards had to be on duty for days or weeks and off duty guards rested here.

These halls have a good view of elephant stables and Zenana enclosure.

This is the inner portion.. a rectangular open hall around the courtyard. The building entrance connects directly to the courtyard. Its possible horses were brought in here.

Opposite end of the building. In present day this is a museum, the artifacts are kept in the open hall.

Here are few items.. girl in a fashionable skirt and jewelry. Standing Hanuman offering his Namaskar. And a serpent woman, Naga Kanya.

Then we have black stone sculptures of chubby Ganesha and a small hero-stone. Visitors were curious to feel Ganesha's tummy :) wish the care-takers bathed the Ganesha daily and offered it a flower, it would look so much better. Coming to the hero-stone, its depicts two well built warriors.. is it Hakka and Bukka, the founders of Vijayanagara empire.

Then we have another black stone Ranganatha reclining on serpent bed and his consort pressing his feet. Even this idol would so much better had it been free of dust. The lower image depicts deer hunting scene. A hunter is about to shoot a deer and a helper is carrying couple of deer on a shaft.

Apart from these, there are oe or two idols of Hanuman.

From here tourists generally move on towards the archaeological museum going past Rnaga temple.
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Jun 9, 2018

King's Secret Chamber, Hampi

Aug 13, 2017
At the royal enclosure are lot of individual items.. the major ones being Mahanavami Dibba, Stepped well, and Sri Krishnadevaraya audience hall. Also, there one item which cannot be seen until you go near it.. the underground meeting room. This is supposed to be a secret underground chamber used by the king to meet his ministers and spies. The chamber is approximately 30' x 20' and 12' deep. It has two entrances with narrow passages. Here we go..

This is the L-shaped passage which is quite dark. If not for the present day open top, it would be darker. The walls and pillars are quite plain, built to purpose, aesthetics is not a priority here.

Passage of the other entrance.

As you see material is not uniform, its a mix of stones of various shades and textures.

The actual chamber's roof is missing and a wall has been erected for tourists' safety.

From ground level we get a better view of the chamber.

The L-shaped passage opening into the chamber.

Probably this was part of another building, like a cellar. There has to be something on the top to camouflage the chamber so the building on the top would be the cover.

Seriously, Hampi is something one really seed to see and to see it completely one might have to make several trips or camp here for weeks. Also, I think the best way to explore Hampi would be by foot and bicycle.
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