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Hampi Visit - VI. Finale: I. Allegro (in pictures)
We halted first at the Kadlekalu Temple - the larger of the two Ganesha temples (the second one being Sasivekalu). The temple portico was supported by several beautifully carved stone pillars.

FirstImpression

The sanctum houses a large – and now severely damaged – monolithic idol of the deity. The callousness, with which Ganesha’s trunk and belly had been destroyed, left on me an impression that still haunts me

KadlekaluGanesha

Also visible from here was the stunning light-yellow gopurum of the Virupaksha temple which looked somewhat out of place among the rusty/grey stone ruins

VirupakshaLongShot

Prayers and other religious ceremonies are conducted here to date. We descended down the Kadlekalu temple and soon found ourselves at the portal of the Virupaksha temple. A closer inspection of the gopuram revealed that it was every bit from the same kernel (and time period) as the rest of the structures – the light yellow color was but result of zealous application of whitewash.

VirupakshaGopuramI

VirupakshaGopuramII

Another monkey was perched atop one such wall and was enjoying a coconut that it had probably pilfered from the temple. It drew considerable attention from tourists around me which it handled with candor of a newsreader reading his thousandth news bulletin.

Monkey

From there we moved to another imposing monolith – that of Narsimha, the lion-faced reincarnation of Vishnu, seated cross-legged on his serpent Adisesha. The statue has been restored extensively. A belt of stone that joins the two knees of the statue was apparently added recently for the statue’s structural stability. The painted iron gate tacked to the enclosure around the statue is unmistakably a 20th century addition.

Narsimha

Our next stop was the zenana enclosures that are said to have housed the women of royal lineage. There were tall watchtowers in the compound with somewhat elaborate balconies that probably allowed the women a glimpse of the outside world.

WatchTower

In one corner of the zenana was the intricate two story open pink structure called the Lotus Mahal. There were elaborately carved portals on each side of the structure that had something very Saracenic about them. It is not known what Lotus Mahal was used for – though for some unfounded reasons I could visualize a classical dance performance in the Mahal’s verandah on a late summer evening centuries ago. I fancy sitting here alone with a book on a rainy monsoon day.

LotusMahal
posted: 3.4.05

4 Comments

Ok I hate you! ;-) (Just burning with envy right now...)

Great pic Deepak...am drooling and wondering when the stars will align and my plan to visit Hampi shall materialise...it's seeming like a 5 year plan now :-S

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 3.4.05  



Why does it have to be so complicated!? Just come to Bangalore and take a KSTDC weekend tour. Do what I did, act now, plan later :-)

By Blogger Deepak, at 3.4.05  



Watt u find missing 8 or around narsimha idol, wanna full detail and description

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 14.4.05  



Hi [Anonymous], I didn't find anything missing. If I am to go by pictures of years ago, the statue has been greatly restored.

You can check one yourself here; a cursory comparison with the picture that I've taken should make the alterations quite evident.

By Blogger Deepak, at 18.4.05  


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