DMPQ-The patrons of art and architecture during Vijayanagar Empire were the inheritors of the rich traditions of the Cholas, Pallavas and the Hoysalas. Elucidate

  • The vast expanse of land in the southern Deccan comprised the kingdom of Vijayanagar from 1336-1650 A.D approximately. The famous kingdom was ruled by a series of able monarchs who were great patrons of art, architecture and letters.
  • Magnificent structures were erected during the heydays of the empire, famous among them like Hampi monuments find a place in UNESCO world heritage list.

Vijayanagar style of architecture drew upon the traditions of various earlier traditions like:

CHOLAS

  1. The Chola style large gopurams can be found in Vijayanagar temples like Virupaksha temple at Hampi.
  2. Large mandapas built at various temples.
  3. Vimana of the Vijayanagar temples are a continuance of the Cholas architectural tradition ex: Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi.
  4. Nandi bull at the entrance of the temple.
  5. Murals were painted on the walls and ceilings of the temple .Ex: Virupaksha temple.

PALLAVAS:

  • The Pallavas were instrumental in the transition from rock-cut architecture to stone temples. This finds reflection in Vijayanagar era temples too.
  • Pallavas constructed pillared halls in their temples; Vijayanagar temples like Aghoreshwara temple in Karnataka also incorporated this style.

HOYSALAS:

  • Hoysalas preferred soapstone as the temple building material; it was also used in Vijayanagar reliefs and sculptures.
  • Hoysala style open mandapas were incorporated in many temples in the Vijayanagar Empire like Vittala temple at Hampi etc

DISTINCT FEATURES OF VIJAYANAGARA STYLE:

  1. Kalyanmandapa- it was meant for ritual purpose, although a unique feature.
  2. PILLARS – they were distinct features as the manner in which they were executed was complex.
  3. Horse motif on pillars.

Thus Vijayanagar empire saw a rich amalgamation of Cholas , Pallavas and Hoysalas architectural traditions that prospered in previous centuries .Despite this influence Vijayanagar temples retained their uniqueness in various ways.

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