Friday, December 23, 2011

Vijayanagara Elephant Stables




Vijayanagara, the City of Victory, was the most powerful Hindu kingdom in Southern India from 1336 until the defeat by the Muslim armies in 1565. It was built on the bank of the Tungabhadra River surrounded by granite hills. The ruins of this vast royal city incorporate distinct zones and are divided into two main groups, the sacred centre and the royal centre. The royal centre was the residential area of the royal household and included zones associated with the ceremonial, administrative and military functions of the rulers. The Elephant Stables are situated in the zone of the royal performance and represent one of the most impressive buildings there. The stables are built of solid masonry decorated in stucco. They consist of a group of eleven imposing square chambers roofed with domes and side vaults arranged around the double-storey pavilion in the middle. Many features display the influence of Islamic architecture, such as the curved openings, the recessed arches on the outer elevations and the domes. Opposite the stables there is a large parade ground which was used for troops and animals.

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