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Hampi Stone Chariot can’t be touched now and gets protective ring: Explained

A chain barricade has been put up by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to prevent people from touching or climbing the iconic stone chariot in front of the Vijaya Vittala Temple at Hampi. And so now no one can cause any type of damage to it in any way. It is also stated that the most visited monuments in Hampi is the stone chariot and so need extra protection.

This is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi. Under the Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the premier organisation for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.

Therefore, wooden barricades have been placed by the ASI around the famous stone chariot at Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex in Hampi for protection.

As per the official “Many times, tourists quarrel with security personnel over taking photographs by sitting or leaning on heritage structures. The idea is to minimise human intervention and preserve these structures for the future.”

Further, the official added that those who cross the barricades will be fined as per the rules. Ans also told that “The Central ASI had cleared the project to barricade important monuments in Hampi about six months ago. But due to the lockdown, the work began only recently.”

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About Hampi Chariot

The “Stone Chariot” is additionally referred as the flagship tourist attraction of Hampi. Basically, it is not a chariot, as the name suggests, rather a shrine built like a chariot. This is located inside the Vittala Temple complex.

In India, it’s among three famous stone chariots and therefore the other two being in Konark (Odisha) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu). The Hampi Chariot was built in the 16th century by the orders of King Krishnadevaraya and he was a Vijayanagara ruler. from 14 to 17 Century CE, Vijayanagara rulers ruled. It is also a shrine dedicated to Garuda and is the official vehicle of Lord Vishnu.

The design of the Chariot:

The chariot is built on a rectangular platform of a foot approximately high. With mythical battle scenes, all around this base platform is carved. Though the chariot isn’t resting thereon, the four giant wheels attached mimic the real-life ones complete with the axis shafts and even the brakes.

A series of concentric floral motifs decorate the wheels. It appears from the marks on the platform, where the wheels rest, the wheels were liberal or free to move round the axis. In front of the chariot, two elephants are positioned as if they’re pulling the chariot. There was even a dome-like superstructure over the chariot. That too is missing now. However, you’ll see them on the first-ever photographs of Hampi taken in 1856 by Alexander Greenlaw.

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Some facts about Hampi

– It consists of the remnants of the capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire and is located in the Tungabhadra basin in central Karnataka. Harihara and Bukka founded it in 1336.

– Some famous places here are Krishna temple complex, Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples, Achyutaraya temple complex, Vitthala temple complex, Pattabhirama temple complex, Lotus Mahal complex, etc.

– UNESCO in 1986 classified it as a World Heritage Site and also the “World’s Largest Open-air Museum”.

– Here to inform you is that in 1565 CE Batte of Talikota was fought which led to massive destruction of its physical fabric.

Battle of Talikota was the confrontation within the Deccan region of southern India and was fought between the Hindu King of Vijayanagar and therefore the four allied Muslim sultans of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda.

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About Vittala Temple

In the 15th Century it was built during the rule of Devaraya II. He was one of the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire.

It is also known as Vijaya Vittala Temple as it is dedicated to Vittala. It is said that Vittala is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The complex is built in the Dravidian style and is further enhanced by the elaborate carvings.

About the Vijayanagara Empire

Vijayanagara is also known as “city of victory”. It is the name of both a city and an empire. In the fourteenth century in 1336 AD the empire was founded by the Harihara and Bukka and they belong to Snagama dynasty.

The empire was stretched from the river Krishna in the north to the extreme south of the peninsula. The empire of Vijayanagara was ruled by the four important dynasties namely: Sangama, Tuluva, Saluva and Aravidu.

The most famous ruler of Vijayanagar was Krishnadevaraya who ruled from 1509-29 and belongs to the Tuluva dynasty. His rule was characterised by expansion and consolidation.

He is credited to build some fine temples and also added gopurams to several important south Indian temples. A suburban township near Vijayanagar which is known as Nagalapuram was also founded by him after his mother. He had composed a work on statecraft known as Amuktamalyada in Telugu.

In the rest of Southern India, Dravidian architecture survives and it spread through the patronage of the Vijayanagara rulers.

The architecture of Vijayanagara is additionally known for its adoption of elements of Indo Islamic Architecture in secular buildings including the Queen’s Bath and therefore the Elephant Stables and represents a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.

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Some more facts related to Dravidian Architecture are as follows:

– In the country, two broad orders of temples are known as Nagara in the north and Dravida in the South. Also, some scholars have mentioned an independent style named as Vesara style of temples which was created through the selective mixing of the Nagara and the Dravida orders.

Nagara and Dravida orders of Temples: Features

The temple of Dravida is enclosed within a compound wall, unlike the Nagara temple. In its centre, the front wall has an entrance gateway referred to as gopuram.

The main temple tower shape is known as Vimana in Tamil Nadu which is like a stepped pyramid that rises up geometrically rather than the curving Sikhara of North India.

In the South Indian temple, the word ‘shikhara’ is used only for the crowning element which is equivalent to the Amlak and Kalasha of North Indian temples.

Garbhagriha is there at the entrance of the North Indian temples. It is also common to find a large water reservoir, or a temple tank, enclosed within the complex.

Some examples of Dravidian and Nagara style are:

Dravidian Style: Brihadeshwara Temple and Mahabalipuram Temple, Tamil Nadu

Nagara Style: Kandariya Mahadeva Temple (Khajuraho), Madhya Pradesh

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