Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hampi: Garuda's Chariot

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.


km said...

At least the ASI had the sense to not install some modern, fabricated crap (like I saw in Somnathpura...)

Szerelem said...

tell more - I don't recall anything that obnoxious at Somnathpura...

km said...

Well, those fine, upright Surveyors saw cracks on the walls of the lovely temple. So they contracted out the job of filling those cracks with - get this - concrete.

The ugliness of gray concrete, just lazily slapped in between the temple's beautiful stones, is too much to bear.

(This won't be news to anyone who read about their work on the Angkor Wat site....)

Explore planet said...

Wow..Excellent pics..Are these shot from your cam??

Hampi Tourism Website