Shallow relief carving of an elephant on the Mahanavami Dibba, Vijayanagara
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a shallow relief carving of an elephant on the Mahanavami Dibba at Vijayanagara, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, c.1880. The ruins of Vijayanagara are divided into two main groups, the sacred centre and the royal centre. The Mahanavami Dibba is situated in the Royal centre. It is a multi-storeyed granite platform covered with remarkable reliefs depicting various aspects of contemporary courtly life, such as processions of animals, hunting scenes, warriors involved in martial activities, dancing girls, musicians. The vigorous but quite primitive style of these carvings seem to belong to the 14th century, the earliest period of Vijayanagara. This view shows a detail of the carvings of an elephant. The platform was associated with the Mahanavami festival, the most important annual festival at the capital. The kings sat on the platform and viewed the royal rites, processions and entertainments which were held on this occasion.