The great art and the best architecture of Vijayanagar Empire

Percy Brown, noted art critic has described Vijayanagar structures as the most developed examples of Dravidian style. Hard granite was used for buildings. The Kalyan Mantapa of the Virupaksha (Lord Shiva) temple, Hazara Ramaswamy temple, Vithala temple and structures by using mortar like the Kamalamahal (palace) are notable monuments in the capital city. All old temples in south India were provided with vast Prakaras (compound), Gopuras (entrance towers) the spacious structures like Sabha Mantapa, Kalyana Mantapa Vasantha Mantapa. The Lepakshi temples (in Andhra Pradesh) have fine painting and are described as `the Ajanta’s of the Shaivas’ because of the Shiva themes.

 

The temples at Kalahasti, Tirupati, Srirangam, Chidambaram, Kumbhakonam, Kanchi and many other places have such huge structures added during the days of the empire. The razing of such structures provided work to thousands of people. Huge complex pillars with a variety of design are a specialty of Vijayanagar times. The inner ceiling of the Kalyan Mantapa of the Hampi Virupaksha temple has paintings.           

 

With themes of Shiva’s marriage ceremony or the ten incarnation was (Avatharas) of Vishnu. The stone chariot, the images of Narasimha and the famous Ganapathi (elephand god) images (Sasivekalu and Kadalekalu) are the examples of fine monolithic works of the times. There were dancing girls to render recitals in temples. The Dakshinadi or Carnatik reached the common people due to the efforts of Purandarasa Kanakadasa.