Sculptured pillars in the interior of the Vitthala Temple, Vijayanagara 1387
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the pillars inside the Vitthala Temple, at Vijayanagara, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by an unknown photographer around 1880. Vijayanagara was founded on the bank of the Tungabhadra River in the 14th century and was the capital of the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India until the defeat by the Muslim armies in 1565. The Vitthala Temple is one of the greatest monuments of the Vijayanagara period and dates to the 16th 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 resting on seated lions. The external piers are carved as rearing animals and riders and have elaborate brackets. The ceilings are decorated with geometric and lotus designs.