Ancient World’s Biggest Metropolis

Hampi, located in Karnataka, India, is a historic and culturally rich city. UNESCO has designated Hampi as a World legacy Site, making it a popular place for tourists who want to fully experience India’s rich cultural legacy. Hampi was formerly the capital of the formidable Vijayanagar Empire. Hampi had enjoyed great prosperity and was regarded as the world’s biggest metropolis .Hampi had special trading markets for diamonds, pearls, silks, and brocades. It also had lavish palaces, magnificent temples, royal quarters, embassies for foreign emissaries, massive fortifications, large pools, baths, water management systems, aqueducts, pavilions, stables, riverside features, pillared halls, Mandapas, memorial structures, gateways, and defense checkpoints.Attracting traders and tourists from all over the world, Hampi was a hub of trade, commerce, and culture at this period.


Lotus Mahal is within Zenana Enclosure, a quiet region set aside for the royal ladies of the Vijayanagar Empire, at 500 meters from Hazara Rama Temple. This is also called Kamal Mahal and Chitragani Mahal. It fits into the Hampi classification system’s nonreligious or secular category. The lovely building and architecture were not harmed in the annexation of this city. On the few statues that have been placed outside, there are still a few marks of mutilation. The Lotus Mahal was constructed using bricks and a lime mortar mixture. It is an amalgam of the popular Indo- Islamic architectural styles from the Vijayanagar Empire. Hindu and Islamic architectural styles are mixed in the building to produce a distinctive look. The more elaborate carvings and embellishments were done in stone, but the framework is composed of brick and stone.

A remarkable contrast in texture, color, and visual interest is produced by the employment of both materials. It comprises a two-story building with an open base level. There are sidewalks with big windows with arches. The upper floors with arched windows have balconies. On the walls nearer to windows, there is also a structure meant to resemble a hook that is used to hang curtains. The arches on the ground floor are elaborate and recessed. Four smaller dome-shaped pavilions are located on each corner of the Lotus Mahal, which features a central pavilion. The building’s name is derived from the lotus blossom finial that sits atop the central dome. In Hinduism, the lotus bud is a representation of holiness and divinity. The structure’s walls are covered in elaborate carvings with a variety of designs and themes, such as lotus blossoms, elephants, and horsemen. Its distinctive fusion of architectural elements is furthered by the exquisite Islamic-style carvings on the arches and pillars. A breathtaking spectacle may be seen when the Lotus Mahal is illuminated at night. There is a myth that the palace used air conditioning to regulate the temperature during the summer. The construction of the pipeline above and between the arches is evidence of this. Additionally, there is a lawn surrounding the Lotus Mahal where you can relax outside.

One of Lotus Mahal’s most distinctive characteristics is its embellishments,which includes beautiful stucco work and sculptures on the walls and pillars of the pavilion. Here are some specifics on its ornamentation:

Carvings: The elaborate designs of lotus flowers, vines, leaves, and other natural components may be seen in the carvings on the walls and pillars of Lotus Mahal, which are mostly floral and geometric in style. Along with representations of mythical creatures like valis and makaras, the sculptures also feature gods, goddesses, courtiers, musicians, and dancers. These carvings are done in a high relief manner, giving the surface a three-dimensional appearance that adds depth and texture.

The stucco work on the walls of Lotus Mahal is equally intricate and features a variety of themes and designs that were created using a plaster of Paris medium. The stucco work features representations of gods and goddesses in addition to musicians and dancers from courtly life.

With an emphasis on detail and realism, the figures are depicted in a variety of poses and attitudes. The pavilion’s surfaces are decorated with elaborate patterns and artwork made of stucco, including arabesque and medallions

Color: Vibrant shades of red, green, and blue have been used to the carvings and stucco work to further highlight the splendor of the Lotus Mahal. The use of color adds richness and depth to the ornamentation, creating a visual feast for the eyes.

Symbolism: The ornamentation on Lotus Mahal is symbolic rather than merely decorative, reflecting the Vijayanagara Empire’s religious and cultural values. For instance, the representations of gods and goddesses are meant to evoke their protection and blessings, while the floral themes signify the cycle of life and rebirth. The utilization of legendary creatures like yalis and makaras, which are said to have benevolent qualities and can ward off evil spirits, is also noteworthy.

The pavilion’s distinctive fusion of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, its intricate ornamentation, and its innovative acoustic design make it a true masterpiece of medieval India. The Lotus Mahal is a remarkable architectural wonder that is a testament to the creativity, skill, and cultural richness of the Vijayanagar Empire. Its beauty and wonder continue to awe and impress visitors to this day.


Formidable – inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable Recessed – built in a space in a wall

Benevolent – marked by or disposed to doing good

Stucco – a fine plaster used in decoration and ornamentation Mutilation – damage to something.

Arabesque – form of artistic decoration

Medallions – an oval or circular painting, panel, or design used to decorate a building or textile. Embellishment – a decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive.



Karnataka is a land of enchantment and wonder, where ancient traditions coexist in perfect harmony with modern advances. This beautiful state, nestled in the heart of South India, is known for its picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse cuisine. It is a paradise for environment enthusiasts, with everything from the Western Ghats’ verdant woods to the Arabian Sea’s immaculate beaches. Majestic elephants, uncommon birds, and unusual plants are among the state’s divrse flora and fauna. Ancient temples, palaces, and ruins dot the landscape in Karnataka, a state that is likewise rich in history and mythology. A testimony to the state’s rich architectural heritage are the ruins of Hampi, which formerly served as the Vijayanagara Empire’s bustling capital.

The Chalukya dynasty ruled from the sixth to the twelfth centuries CE, and throughout that time, the Deccan region of southern India was dominated by the Chalukya architectural style. Its design is renowned for its rich, detailed decorative elements that were done with great accuracy and craftsmanship. The Nanneshwara Temple, located in Lakkundi, Karnataka, India, is a remarkable example of the Chalukya style of construction. The temple is renowned for its fine sculptures and carvings, particularly its towers. The 11th century marks the beginning of the Nanneshwara Temple’s long and illustrious history. The Chalukya dynasty was at its height of power during this time, and the area was a center of religious and cultural activities. The temple was constructed to serve as a place of prayer and to display the Chalukya dynasty’s aesthetic and architectural accomplishments.

Nanneshwara Temple Exterior

There is a primary shrine for Lord Shiva in the temple complex, as well as smaller shrines for Ganapati, Parvati, and Vishnu. A Shiva Linga, thought to be a self-manifested lingam (svayambhu), is displayed in the main shrine and is regarded as being very lucky. The temple complex is encircled by a tall compound wall and is situated on a lofty platform. Its primary sanctuary, known as the Garbhagriha, is made up of a vestibule, known as the Antarala, and a mandapa, or pillared hall. The temple also features a sizable courtyard, or prakara, that is home to a number of additional minor shrines and buildings. The mandapa is a sizable, multi-pillared hall with finely detailed ceiling and pillar carvings. Other buildings on the prakara include a sizable tank called a kalyani, a kitchen called a bhojanashala, and a little museum.The architecture of the entire temple complex is symmetrical and geometric. The main entrance, the Garbhagriha, the mandapa, and the back of the complex, where the kalyani is located, make up the temple complex’s core axis. Each of the concentric rectangular enclosures that enclose the entire complex has its own entranceThe temple is renowned for its fine sculptures and carvings, particularly its pillars. Below is a thorough analysis of the Nanneshwara Temple’s pillars:

Nanneshwara Temple Pillar

Material: The temple’s pillars are constructed of grey soapstone, a material that was frequently employed in Chalukya construction. Because soapstone is soft and simple to cut, artists were able to produce elaborate patterns and sculptures.

Pillars: The pillars at the Nanneshwara Temple are constructed in the lathe-turned manner, which was a typical element of Chalukya construction. The cylindrical pillars are decorated with exquisite carvings and patterns.There are sixteen pillars in the temple, which support the mandapa’s roof (pillared hall). The pillars are positioned in a rectangular arrangement and are uniformly spaced apart.

Base: The pillars’ bases are plain and unadorned, with the exception of a minimal ornamental band at the bottom. The unadorned base draws attention to the ornate carvings and decorations on the pillars’ shafts. The most decorative element of the building is the pillars’ shafts. Its surface is decorated in elaborate carvings and patterns that represent episodes from Hindu mythology, including the union of Shiva and Parvati, the battle of Kurukshetra, and the exploits of Lord Krishna. The sculptures are extremely intricate and exhibit remarkable skill and workmanship.

Capital: The pillars’ capitals are shaped like lotus flowers. In Hinduism, the lotus is a revered emblem that is frequently included into temple design. The beautifully carved lotus capital on the pillars of the Nanneshwara Temple has many layers of petals. The temple is also known or its intricate carvings and sculptures, especially its towers. Here is a detailed study of the towers of the Nanneshwara Temple:

Shikhara: A distinctive aspect of Chalukya architecture, the shikhara is the tower of the Nanneshwara Temple. The tallest component of the temple is the shikhara, which is situated above the shrine. The Nagara-style shikhara features a square base that evolves into an octagonal shape before reaching a dome-shaped top.

Base: The shikhara’s base is embellished with exquisite carvings and patterns that representepisodes from Hindu mythology.

Mastaka: The upper portion of the shikhara is known as the mastaka, and the lower portion is known as the kuta. The kuta is decorated with tiny towers known as urushringas.

Symbolism: The shikhara of the Nanneshwara Temple is highly symbolic and represents the abode of Lord Shiva. The shikhara is believed to be the dwelling place of the deity and is considered to be a sacred space. The shikhara also symbolizes the Chalukya dynasty’s power and authority.

Nanneshwara Temple Interior

The carvings in Nanneshwara Temple are evidence of South India’s rich culture, religion, and art. These elaborate carvings offer a priceless window into the values, customs, and technical prowess of the people who constructed the temple all those years ago. A trip to the Nanneshwara Temple is a must-do experience for everyone who enjoys history, art, or religion. The finest examples of South Indian heritage and workmanship can be found in this genuine cultural gem. Plan your trip to this historic temple today to experience the magic and majesty of its cultural treasures for yourself!


Picturesque – visually attractive, especially in a quaint or charming way. Verdant – green with grass or other rich vegetation

Bustling – moving about in an energetic and busy manner

Kalyani – underground water buildings with stairs usually from three to nine stories Intricate – very complicated or detailed