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Great Platform
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Great Platform

Carvings on Great Platform

Royal Hunter on Great Platform
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, added at a different time. Steps led up the platform from the south and west sides, but there is no structure on top, only the recently exposed stone footings of a vanished wooden pavilion.

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.

Relief carvings cover the bottom stage of the platform, possibly dating back to the middle of the 14th century when this part of the site was first laid out. Here are diverse images of royal life: the king sitting on a throne receiving visitors or watching wrestling matches, going out on hunting expeditions; lines of prancing horses, elephants and even camels; dancing girls and foreigners, probably Turkish Muslims, serving as armed guardians, horse-trainers, and dancers and musicians. These images portray the life of the king rather than the processions of the Mahanavami. Even so, the platform has always been associated with this great occasion.

The west face of the platform is cloaked
with a facing of green chloritic schist,
added in the 16th century, probably by Krishnadevaraya to commemorate his victory over the ruler of Orissa in 1517. Among the carvings found here are fragmentary war scenes, with warriors mounted on elephants and horses. Here, too, are seen courtly male figures with their favourite consorts and female attendants, some at play holding squirts for coloured waters, such as those used during the Vasantotsava, or spring festival.

Architecture and sculpture of this monument are discussed in Dallapiccola 2011 ‘Sculptures on the Great Platform at Vijayanagara’, and in Dallapiccola 2012, The Great Platform at Vijayanagara, see Project Publications.


Last updated February 9, 2014 - ©2014 Vijayanagara Research Project