Interior of the Kalyana Mandapa of the Vitthala Temple, Vijayanagara
Photographer: Cole, Henry Hardy
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the Kalyana Mandapa of the Vittala Temple at Vijayanagara, taken by Henry Hardy Cole around 1880. Vijayanagara was founded on the bank of the Tungabhadra River in the fourteenth century and was the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India until the defeat by Muslim armies in 1565. The Vitthala Temple is one of the greatest monuments of Vijayanagara, now known as Hampi, the modern-day state of Karnataka. The temple dates to the sixteenth century. The complex is set inside a rectangular court. The principal feature of the temple is the open mandapa or porch with massive granite piers made of a cluster of colonnettes. The external piers are carved as rearing animals and riders and have elaborate brackets. The two central piers have yalis with elephants snouts projecting outwards. The moulded basement is adorned with friezes of lions, elephants and horses and the access steps are flanked by elephants. Composite brackets support beams with huge spans and the ceilings are decorated with foliage and geometric designs.