Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hampi, beauty admist ruins ~ Part VII

The last remaining ruin is the Zenana Enclosure which houses the famous Lotus Mahal, the Queens Palace and the vast Elephant's stable. The Zenana Enclosure is open from 8:30 am and you have to buy entry tickets priced very modestly at 10 INR. With this same ticket one can see the Vittala Temple on the same day.

Basement of Queen's Palace and Watch Tower at the distance

Watch Tower
  Just after the entry of the Zenana Enclosure lies a huge elevated basement on the left which once had the Queen's Palace. The Queen's Palace has been totally brought down by invaders and now only the basement remains.

  A little further on the right of the actual path lies one of the most loved and photographed structures of Hampi, the Lotus Mahal. It is a very beautiful two storied structure. The archways and the windows have the typical lotus petal shape quite unique to the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. This structure was most probably build for the royal ladies to enjoy the beautiful view of the Zenana Enclosure from the top. There is a well maintained garden surrounding Lotus Mahal.

Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal and Watch Tower

Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal

  A little further are watch towers, where castrated male soldiers were deployed to guard the royal women.

Watch Tower

Watch Tower
  On the other side of the Zenana Enclosure is the Elephant Stable. Its such huge and so elegant. Its a stable yet it looks like a palace! There are 11 stables and they are all symmetric on either sides of the middle one which is somewhat bigger and a little different. The entire structure is interconnected and the stables also have the typical dome structures on top and petal like gates, very much the Indo Islamic architecture pattern. Because of the Elephant's stable, many noted historians argue that this entire Zenana Enclosure was not at all a building for the royal women but was a discussion place for the royal ministers and army heads and the Lotus Mahal was in fact  the structure where these meetings used to take place.


Elephant Stable

Small doorways inside the stable

Watch Tower near the Stable

Elephant Stable

Ankur taking photograph
An elaborate structure next to the elephant stable
  A lot of parrots have made the Zenana Enclosure walls their nest. They make such a lovely sight screeching, flying and digging the royal walls.

  Just outside the Zenana Enclosure is a feeble sign board which shows Ranga Temple. Since we were not much aware of it, we did not go there, but later we came to know that the temple has the largest Hanuman sculpture in Hampi. Anyway sometimes its better to leave a few things so that you can again come back for those. Ranga Temple is one such for us.

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