Vithala Temple, Hampi
In all Hindu temples, the vahanas are always present outside the shrine of the main deity. There is never a Shiva sans Nandi the Bull and Garuda is always around with Vishnu. The Vithala temple is unique because here Garuda has a chariot - usually the half eagle, half man has to be content seated on a pole. The chariot is a wonderfully carved structure and - though surrounded by gorgeous mandapas and often blending in with them in perspective - the focal point of the temple's entrance courtyard. Though originally drawn by horses, it is now elephants who shoulder the load. The horses were destroyed centuries back but the ASI thought a chariot without animals to pull it was hardly a chariot at all and thus these elephants were brought from some other part of the deserted site and installed here. They make for nice photos, too.