Oct 21, 2017

Purandara Dasara Mantapa, Hampi

August 14, 2014
This was our second day at Hampi. We had planned to spend half day here exploring the ruins, mostly by foot. We started at Virupaksha temple, walked the market street, visited Rama-Lakshmana and Yantrodharaka Hanuman temples, Varaha temple, Vyasaraja Matha and King's Balance which is near Vittala Temple. It was Pushpa's suggestion we take a different route back towards Varaha temple which passed by Purandaradasara Mantapa. This is the view from the river bank.. Purandaradasara Mantapa and Anjanadri Betta in the back-ground.


The Mantapa is actually in the river bed, similar to Krishnadevaraya's tomb at Anegundi. The mantapa is a simple looking structure, built of heavy granite blocks. It seems the mantapa is situated on a rockbed, no foundation required and also the reason for it surviving so many years. The platform next to the mantapa is a recent addition, every year a 2 or 3 day Carnatic music festival is held in memory of Sri Purandara Dasa. Its nice to see this historically important structure maintained nicely.

We enter the mantapa from the platform side. Purandara Dasa Namah.

The air in here was cool, nice break from the heat. This mantapa is made of 60 pillars, it is approximately 70' long, 40' wide and 10' high. As you see the pillars and beams are quite heavy, the workmanship is excellent.

One of the pillars has an image of  Sri Purandara Dasa facing the river side. Its a neat little sculpture depicting the great musician attired in a Kacche, Peta, Tamburi and Kartal. It is said that Purandara Dasa spent his last years at Hampi, singing at Sri Krishnadeveraya's court. He composed keertans in this mantapa. Our beloved Dasa wanted to compose 5 lakh keertans but he could complete 4.75 before he passed away at 80 years. Legend says that he took birth as Vijayadaasa at Cheekalparvi village near Manvi in Raichur district.

Another view of the interior. Try to imagine Purandara Dasa pacing around slowly engrossed in composing and singing. Probably his attendants and disciples would assist him with daily activities like cooking and cleaning.

Silently Pushpa has slipped out, found a comfortable spot to cool off. Tungabhadra is barely flowing.. usually this time of the year the river should be flowing well, submerging the matapa partly if not completely. The sound of water gurgling through the rocks was music. For poets this is really an inspiring spot!

The water is not too deep, a local man was fishing here, average height, water was chest level. There will be deeper spots, one needs to be careful if unfamiliar with this spot. Tungabhadra's path has lot of bends and narrow spots as it flows by Hampi and Anegundi, the current cant be trusted here.

A tiny stream over a rock follows an ancient path. Gentle waves are created as the stream's width narrows suddenly.

I too found a comfortable spot, raised my trousers and dipped my feet into the cool water. Ah, so refreshing. A moonlit night would be mesmerizing here.

We spent more time on the rocks than in the mantapa :)

We continued our exploration, back towards Achyutraya temple complex.
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