Lotus Mahal in Hampi
Located inside the Zenana enclosure, most probably this was a socializing area for the women folks in the royal family. Also known as Chitragani Mahal and Kamal Mahal, this falls under the secular or nonreligious categories of structures in Hampi. It’s peculiar to note that this is one of the beautiful structures that were left undamaged during the siege of the city. However there are some signs of mutilations on a few sculptures placed on the outer surface.
Architecture of Lotus Mahal
Yet another fascinating aspect of this two storied elegant pavilion replete with massive pillars and exquisite stucco moldings, are the traces of pipelines that can be spotted between the arches and sides of the roof, possibly used to cool the Palace and maintain its temperature. The shape of the structure is what brought it the name. The archways and the balcony with the domed construction resemble a half opened lotus bud. Also is the lotus bud shape carved on to the center dome.
This two storied structure has an open base floor the sidewalls are having tall arched windows. The upper floors have balconies with arched windows. Hook like structures are made on to the wall close to the windows to hang curtain. The arches of the ground floor are recessed and ornate. The decorations and architecture is a curious mix of Hindu and Islamic styles. Lotus Mahal’s Islamic style arches and the Hindu style multiplayer roof and base structure are often quoted for the ingenuity of the Vijayanagara artisans.
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