Over the years Vijayanagar (what is now popularly called as Hampi) developed a unique style of architecture, later came to be known as Vijayanagar Architecture. It borrowed boldly from various schools of architecture prevailed at the time and blended them superbly to make its own style of architecture.
- Vijayanagar architectural style was known as a new design form under the already established Dravida style. This was later called as Provida style.
- Its architecture replaced the soft stone with hard stones.
- Architecture included temples, monolithic sculptures, palaces, official buildings, cities, irrigation, step wells, tanks etc.
- It showed the blend of Hindu and Islamic forms of architecture.
- Important features: Followed Deccan idioms, used granite stones, composite pillars, chariots, multiple boundaries around temples, religious structures like Mahanavami Tibba or Kalyana Mandapas or Hazara Ram temple, the ornamentation on temples walls, horse as most important motive, Raya Gopurams.
- Important temples: Vittal temple, Lepakshi temple, Virupaksha temple and Narshimha Temple.
- There was construction of lot of secular architecture at Hampi which was used for residence of monarchs.
- Most important temples of Vijayanagar style are found in Hampi ruins. Vittalaswamy & Hazra Ramaswamy temples are best examples of this style.
- Vittalaswamy Temple: The iconic temple has amazing stone structures such as the incomparable stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars. This predominant monument of Hampi is a major attraction of the ruined town and is a must-see for visitors and tourists.
Fig: Vittala Temple, Hampi