Beautiful Vittala Temple, Humpi, Karnataka, a ''Unesco'' recognized heritage site

Stone chariot and broken tower, Vittala temple, Humpi, KA

Hampi,  the town famous for the of ruins of Vijayanagara Empire, is one of India’s most known archaeological destinations.  Located in a sort of  secluded area, with royal residences, temples, towers, roads, and statues, all spread over a massive area, the visitor will never return disappointed.  Hence, tourists  all around the world come to this place in large number throughout the year to marvel at  the beauty of man's dreams frozen in stones centuries ago.

The Vittala Temple or Vijaya Vitala temple, a popular destination for tourists  is on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River  near Humpi town, Karnataka;  a UNESCO recognized heritage site, it is  about 9 km from the town.  Considered as one of the largest and the most famous monument in the state, it was  built around 15th century AD during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 - 1446 AD). This temple is famous for the typical Vijayanagara architecture of exceptional grandeur and beauty and the main attractions are the stone chariot (ratha) and the musical stone pillars.
Stone chariot inside the Vittala Temple, HampiiStock
Sri Krishnadevaraya was  responsible for several additions to this temple  dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here, the God is depicted in the form of Vittala. Unmatched craftsmanship and amazing stone work that characterize this temple, it was built in  Dravidian style and stands in a large rectangular enclosure. The three lofty Vijayanagara towers on the east, north and south are now in ruins and the entire complex houses several temples, enclosures, pavilions and halls.

The famous stone chariot/ratha is  front of the temple  and is believed to be  one of the three famous stone chariots in India, the other two being in Konark, Odisha and Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu.  The chariot is made of one huge granite rock on a rectangular platform, It is said Garuda, the mount of God Vishnu. was enshrined here.  All around the base of the chariot  are the  stone-carved images, depicting scenes from the battle fields. The perfectly shaped stone wheels are quite impressive  and have a  series of concentric floral motifs that enhance the appearance of the wheels. It is said the stone wheels could be rotated but, deliberately the ASI cemented the wheels to avoid damages to them by the over- anxious visitors. To pull the chariot, two elephants are positioned in front of it.
MMantap with musical pillars. Vijaya Vittal temple, HumpiTripAdvisor
The temple complex  has four large mandapas /halls and three of them are in good shape. Of them, the central western hall is collapsed due to  raids from the  Deccani Sultanates that finally led to the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565 AD. The main mandapa is of particular interest to the tourists because it has  56 musical pillars,  of which 40 of them form  an aisle while the remaining 16 form a rectangular court in the center. These musical pillars are also known as  Sarigama  pillars, indicating the musical notes produced  by them. The musical notes can be produced by gently tapping  on the pillars.
damaged tower, Vittla temple, Humpi,
Western tower damaged uring Deccani sultanate raid.
The ceiling of the pavilion or mandap is supported by a series of main as well as minor pillars. It is the  main pillars that are designed  to produce musical notes. It is worth mentioning that every main pillar is surrounded by several minor pillars that produce  different sounds of the instrument.
Stone wheel, Vittala temple, Humpi, KA
The shrine dedicated to the Goddess is well decorated and the 100 pillar hall/ mantap - Kalyana Mahal is an interesting one, surrounded by the pillared corridor all around the enclosure wall.