Facade of west end of shrine of Vitthala Temple, Vijayanagara
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the west-end of the shrine of the Vitthala Temple at Vijayanagara, taken by Henry Hardy Cole in the 1880s. The complex of the Vitthala Temple, set inside a rectangular court, is one of the greatest monuments of the Vijayanagara period and dates to the sixteenth century. The principal shrine is assignable to the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries and is of Sangama or Tuluva dynasties. The sanctuary has a surrounding passageway and an adjoining mandapa. It has a low elevation and the walls are decorated with pilasters. The brick tower has a hemispherical roof. In front of the sanctuary there is an enclosed mandapa with carved columns. The principal feature of the temple is the open mandapa with massive granite piers fashioned in clusters of colonnettes and as rearing animals and riders with composite brackets. The moulded basement is adorned with friezes of lions, elephants and horses and the access steps are flanked by elephants. The temple is approached through three elaborately carved multi-storey gopuras.