Q.The contribution of Vijay Nagar Empire is not only limited to unite the South under rather towards flourishing Indian art and architecture. Examine.   (15 marks, 250 words, GS-1, Art & Culture)



The Vijayanagar Empire succeeded the rich art and architecture of the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Hoysalas in the Dravidian style of architecture. The magnificent description of the architecture can be found in the books of several foreign travelers like Nicolo Conti, Abdul Razzaq and Domingo Paes.

The cities were surrounded by boundary walls to secure it from enemies like Vijayanagar had seven layers of fortification. The public and private halls were present, decorated with paintings. The walls and pillars were decorated with sculptures made of wood or stone.

The temple architecture reached its new height under the patronage of Vijayanagar rulers. Important features of the style included monolithic pillars, ornate brackets, decorated exterior walls, etc. Temples like Hazara Rama, Hampi, Vithala, etc. are worth mentioning.

They had sculptures on the walls and pillars, large Raya gopurams, garbhagriha and mahamandapas. The construction of rath temples from a monolithic rock is also an important addition to Indian architecture by Vijayanagara Empire.

The Vijayanagar Empire’s contribution to art is also prominent. During this phase the Carnatic music originated under Purandar Das. Krishnadeva Raya promoted classical dances like Bharatanatyam by providing patronage in royal court. The themes of Ramayana and Mahabharata were painted on the temple walls. This period also provided large number of portrait sculptures like of Krishnadeva Raya at Tirumala.

Hence it is evident that the Vijayanagar Empire contributed immensely towards the development of art and architecture not only in South but for whole India.

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