The Main Well is a structure of Indo Islamic style and it is said that in this place was main well l for drawing of water. Apart from this structure there is nothing else in this place and even the main well is not visible. One of the items that attracted my attention was the carving out of banana leaf shape and round plate shapes on stones. I was told that the troops would be served food on these stones and when done water would flow in the open duct washing away the leftover food. An ingenious way of serving and post serving clean up with perfect environmental balance and environmental degradation. How thoughtful!
Mahanavami Dibba: Pictures 6 to 17.
This unique monument stands in the largest of the walled enclosure within the Royal Centre, at one of the highest spots within this zone. The platform rises in three ascending diminishing stages, each a solid square. Steps led up the platform but there is no structure on top. Perhaps there might have been a ornate superstructure as this is platform from where the King used to view the ceremonies.
The platform is often identified with the House of Victory mentioned by the foreign visitors, from where the king witnessed the celebrations of the Mahanavami festival. According to these accounts, the king ascended to a temporary shrine to a goddess (Durga) was erected on top where the king sought blessings for his regalia, weapons and troops.
Domingo Paes, a Portuguese traveler in Vijaynagara between 1520 and 1522, records that it was erected to mark Krishnadeva Raya’s victorious military campaign in Orissa. Originally, there would have been a gorgeously decorated, pillared hall or a many-storied pavilion on this platform. It was here that the king celebrated the nine days of the Mahanavami festival, which marks the victory of Durga over Mahishasura: the conquest of knowledge over the confusion of ignorance. This was the occasion when kings used to review their armies and check their preparedness for battle.
It is a marvelous depiction of the festivities and of the life of the time. One can also see many details of the then local costumes and musical instruments. Unlike the art of ancient times, the focus here is on life in the world here and now. The carvings are full of vigour and expression and with extraordinary details.
Pictures 18 to 21: Stepped Water Tank
The chain of aqueducts was used to bring water from the Kamalapura Tank and feed the tanks and wells in the enclosure. One of the main branches of this aqueduct supplied water to the geometrically thrilling Stepped Tank within this area. In fact the very discovery of the Stepped Tank was due to this branch of aqueduct leading to particularly nowhere. The archeologists dug the ground at its end point and the tank emerged. Radically different from the rest of tank constructions in Hampi. The Stepped Tank is made of made of finely finished black schist stone blocks. It seems the tank was made elsewhere and later brought and assembled at its current location. Practically every stone is earmarked for this purpose and some bears even ‘sketches’ by its architects. The purpose of this tank is not very sure; mostly it was used by the royals.