.... a Continuation post to Sri Chandikeswara Temple
19th June 2017.
The nucleus of the capital city of Vijayanagara is the largest extant enclosures in the ancient city Occupying an area of 50000 sqmeter and protected by the lofty double walls. The enclosure had housed nearly 40 structures.
The enclosure has three entrances of which two are on north and the one on the west. The northern entrance east of the audience hall was the main entrance with a well guarded massive doorways arranged zig-zag on plan. The other northern entrance with flight of steps near mahanavami dibba platform had a doorway with exquisitely carved monolithic temple door flaps. The western entrance leads to a passage that connects the Hazararama Temple on the north.
Entering the entrance of the northern main entrance there is a neatly plastered open courtyard and pillared hall leading to a decorated wall to this south of this hall is the underground secret council chamber.
To the southwest of the secret chamber was the kings residence with as many as nine chambers including a pooja room. To theb west and north west of the residence where many structures. T is interesting to note that a flight of steps used to lead from a chamber to the first floor of the king’s audience hall.
To the east of the palace complex is the sacred area including a large open courtyard with well plastered floor accommodating at the centre of homa kunda and a tank. The structures with decorative plinth on the south of the sacred area where the residence of the queens.
The long rectangular pillared halls in a row arranged in units of two and separated by a wide avenue on the south of the palace complex were probably the residences of the peoples working in the palace complex. Water was brought to this enclosure from an external source through a main aqueduct running in the middle feeding 23 small and big tanks in the enclosure.
The so called public bath located at the south eastern corner is the largest tank in the enclosure. However the most ornamental among the tanks is the stepped tank located north of the public bath. Every ornamental member of this tank bears a mason mark indicating the exact location of the member in the construction. There is another T shaped tank in front of the mahanavami dibba Platform. There is also a well in the same complex.
This Pyramidal three tired stone platform rising to a height of 8 meters is located to the north east of the royal enclosure. It was one of the most important ceremonial structures of the royal use, built in granite and subsequently encased in sculptured schist stone. It is a dated to circa 16th century AD.
The terraced platform is nearly 35 sq meters and has an approach flight of steps on the east, west and south. The southern flight of steps has sculptured balustrade that opens on the west. The western flight steps are located almost in the centre of the platform and the eastern flight of steps have a common chamber, which opens on the east. Each tier of the platform has sculptured mouldings in Vijayanagara Style of architecture. The lower tier has low relief sculptural friezes depicting the socio culture activities of the time.
The extant pillar bases in the centre of the platform indicate the presence of a pavilion. There are references to the use of the platform by the royal family, for important festivals, like mahanavami, by Abdur Razak and Domingo Paes, visitors to this Vijayanagara city in 1520AD. And 1442-1443 AD respectively.
..... to be continued Zanana enclosure & Elephant stable
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---