Dec 23, 2017

Mantapa on Hemakuta hill

February 1996
This picture was shot during my first visit to Hampi. My friend Gulveer and I had ridden a Hero Honda Splendor from Bangalore. We had spent a day walking and riding around the ruins. Those day we shot with a aim-n-shoot Yashica, my father had presented it to me. I mostly used Konica rolls and still remember how we rationed the shots. This Mantapa is one of the few shots that remained in my collection. I've applied oil-painting effect to the original in my favorite image editor.

21½ years later..

August 14, 2017
Stone's throw from Sasivekalu Ganesha is this south-facing gateway in the fort wall on Hemakuta hill. People coming from southern side, get a darshan of Ganesha before entering the fort. The structure is simple but builders have designed it carefully. Notice the projecting member to let out rain water from the roof.

Sculptures on the wall ..a well built man blowing a sea-shell. On the gateway wall are two bearded men dancing happily.

The other side of the wall and gateway.

From the  gateway.. the ever beautiful two-storey Mantapa.

This spot is considered as the sunset point now.  Probably people back then also watched the sun disappear into the horizon. Anyway, this picture was shot early morning.

The Mantapa has a door-frame, formal way of greeting visitors? The square at the top of the frame is blank ..normally one would see Gajalaxmi there. Also, the frame is bare, no decorative floral carvings.

Enjoying the peaceful moment.

The open shelter.

Lets move on.

How did people climb on to the first floor? My guess- there's a hole in the upper level floor which connects the two levels. There might have been a step ladder placed which is missing now. This reminds me of stone ladders at Aihole and Pattadakal. However, I'm yet to see a stone ladders at any of the Vijayanagara temples.

A small plateau with a temple and stambha. Its a lovely sight.

The same temple as seen from the Mantapa. This temple seems incomplete. The bare Garbhagudi seems like Chalukyan design ..remember seeing similar structures at Itagi and Aihole. If this was built during Vijayanagara times, then the construction technique remained same through the centuries. Which means Chalukyas had mastered the art of building.

Another smaller temple next to the Mantapa.

Close by is this rock sculpture of Anjaneya, Rama, Laxmana and Sita.

Untouched rocks. Looks like they did not qualify for temple construction. Notice the erosion marks on the faces.

On the slopes of Hemakuta hill are close to 30 temples. We checked a handful before moving downhill towards Virupaksha temple.


Unknown said...

Something strange here!! Structure seems to be asymmetrical and might have rebuilt.
In one of the photographs two joining walls seems to be not related to each other, no smooth transition.

mustangally said...

Your blog makes me long for India. I still dream about it often. Greetings to you and Pushpa!