General view of the Lotus Mahal, Vijayanagara
Photographer: Rea, Alexander
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Lotus Mahal at Vijayanagara, taken by Alexander Rea in the early 1890s. Vijayanagara, the City of Victory, was the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India from 1336 until the defeat of the dynasty by Muslim armies in 1565. The royal city was built on the bank of the Tungabhadra River surrounded by granite hills. The ruins comprise distinst zones and are divided into two main groups, the sacred centre and the royal centre. The royal centre was the residential area of the royal household and included zones associated with the cerimonial, administrative and military functions of the rulers. The Lotus Mahal is a two storeyed pleasure pavilion situated in the zone of the royal performance. It is built in a mixed style with both Hindu and Muslim architectural features. The two storeys have openings with lobed and recessed arches with decoration in plasterwork, supporting a series of vaults and domes. The stepped pyramidal roof are capped with temple-like finials. The building has a staircase tower in one corner.