Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zenana Enclosure, Hampi

In Hampi, the rectangular fortified enclosure surrounding several monuments is popularly known as the Zenana (harem) Enclosure. But there exists no evidence to justify the name. The wall on either sides 1.e., inner and an outer face of smoothed and fitted stone blocks with an earth and rubble fill between them.

watch tower

The four corners of the fortifications have watch towers. Three of these two storied towers can be still seen in close to the southeast, northeast and northwest corners. Like Lotus Mahal these are built in unison of Indo-Islamic architecture style.

A number of unnamed structures are present inside this enclosure. The major attraction inside the enclosure, the Lotus Mahal located at the southeast corner. Apart from this, as soon as one enters the enclosure, there are remains of water pavilion with a decorated platform in the center of it. Another major attraction is Elephant Stables. As the name suggests this place was used to ‘park’ the royal elephants.



Elephant stables

Elephant Stables is one of the least destroyed structures. This is a long building with a row of 11 domed tall chambers. Some of them are inter-connected. The center one is specially decorated and big when compared to adjacent domes. The entire building is symmetrical with respect to this central hall. The tower of the central hall resembles more like that of temples, where as the five pairs of domes on either side are of Islamic in style. The central dome is slightly destroyed, but others are better preserved and of alternating patterns. There are metal hooks on the inside of the roof. This could have been used for tying the elephants. At the rear of each hall are small manhole type openings for the mahouts to enter the elephant compartments.

48 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You have such a wonderful depth of history in your part of the world. It's great to see how it has survived over the years.

Kirigalpoththa said...

impressive!

Turquoise Diaries said...

Beautiful structure.. I love the architecture of the tower as well as the stables..

Sarah said...

You have some amazing architecture in your country. And I love the idea of elephant stables!

Anya said...

Wow!!
Today you show us very old buildings,
the first shots is Fantastic :)
Great architecture from both builldings :))

pranksygang said...

The watch tower is so majestic!!

Pietro said...

Very interesting post, Rajesh!
Both watching tower and elephant stables are so attractive, and the explanation is very good.

Eric said...

Great architecture, nice skywatch friday post.

Have a nice SWF

Greetings from NL

Vita Stunder said...

Interesting post! :)
Have a great weekend!

Rush said...

if the elephants lived in such beau stables, i can imagine the maharajas palace!!

James said...

You always have the most wonderful posts with great pictures too.

JOE TODD said...

The thought of there being elephant stables never entered my mind

Titania said...

Wonderful interesting architecture and history combined. Everything is exquisite and aesthetic. One should enlarge the photos, especially the delicate stone carvings.

Baron's Life said...

The elephant stables look like a great castle..just love it. Thanks for sharing

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous tour of a truly beautiful and historical site! Terrific photos, as always, Rajesh!

Have a lovely weekend!

Sylvia

3c said...

I've never see photos of elephant stables before.

It must be quite an experience to visit them in 'real life'!

joo said...

Beautiful place. I'm especially fascinated with Elephant stables - never in my life have I seen anything like this!

Tammie Lee said...

These structures are amazing and so unique, harems and elephants!
spirithelpers

Elisabeth's bright side said...

Intresting as usual! Great buildings.

J Bar said...

Interesting place.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

bettyl said...

That's a very interesting set of photos! I love to see such places in foreign lands.

Arija said...

Whether or not there is evidence for the harem enclosure, it makes for romantic musings.

Regina said...

Another great tour and post. the elephant stables quite gorgeous.

sujata said...

the watch tower looks great. The elephant stables is a common thing in most ancient forts and palaces of India, like the horse stables abroad. Beautiful post again.

Protege said...

Elephant stables; now that is an expression unheard of in my neck of the woods.;))
Great pictures as always, I so enjoy "traveling" with you.;))

SandyCarlson said...

To have room for 11 elephants suggests great wealth. Very interesting post.

roughterrain crane said...

When was this enclosure built?

syel said...

thanks for the tour! that was very informative!

Jeevan said...

The detail on Elephant stable is interesting rajesh! amazing...

Carver said...

Fascinating post and great shots. The tower is my favorite but they are all great.

texasnascarcowgirl said...

I love history from other places and to see the pictures to match is even better. Very nice!!

Asta said...

Hello Rajesh,

Beuatiful pictures and wonderful story.
The watchtower is fantastic.-:)

Best regards
Asta

Light and Voices said...

I haven't ever seen a place that houses elephants. Kewel!
jfm

Louise said...

I forget all about the sky when I look at your beautiful buildings!

Gattina said...

Beautiful architecture again ! I love these elephant stables, looks so exotic to me !

Sumandebray said...

This is another interesting post.
The Elephant stables ... another example of Royal Excesses!
But from an Architectural stand point, it looks nice and proportionate.

ayamlin said...

Hello!
Thank you for your comment on my blog.
I haven't gone to India.
but I'm interested in India.
I'll come to your blog again:)

George said...

I am very impressed with the watch tower. Thanks for taking us on a tour of this structure and for explaining the uses of some of the buildings.

chrome3d said...

That was a nice little tour around an elephant garage. Something I have never seen before.

exposemaximum said...

Again you showed some beautiful images of Hampi. Thanks

Partha PM said...

Thanks Rajesh, that was informative.

I think we have to plan Hampi trip when we are in South India next time on a vacation.

Carrizo said...

Wow.

I liked the background story and photos. The photo from elephant stables is great.

Danton said...

Informative. Beautiful architectural carvings.

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful domes and arches in that Indo-Islamic architecture style. Great photos!

Rajesh said...

Your EG, Kirigalpoththa, Anya, Eric, Vita, James: Thanks for the appreciation.

Turquoise, Swetha, Pietro: Thanks. In the glory days it would have been much more awesome.

Sarah, Joe, Baron, 3c, Joo, Tammie, Regina: Thanks. In those days it was one of the wealthiest kingdom.

Sylvia, Elisabeth, J Bar, Bettyl, Syel: Thanks for the appreciation.

Rush: Thanks, sadly the palace has been completely destroyed.

Protege, Sandy, Jeevan, Light, Gattina, Suman, George: Thanks. In those days it was one of the wealthiest kingdom.

Titania. Thanks, I am glad you enlarged and viewed them.

texasnascarcowgirl, Louise, ayamlin, Deepak, Carrizo, Danton: Thanks for the appreciation.

Arija: Thanks, very true.

chrome3d: Thanks. It is common in some of the Indian forts.

Sujata, Carver, Asta, Diane: Thanks. In the glory days it would have been much more awesome.

Roughterrian: it was some time in 1300 to 1500.

Partha: Thanks, a visit to this place is must.

Anna said...

A park for the royal elephants. That is actually something new - thanks for the info. Excellent photos, and again thanks for useful information about India. May be one day I will pack bags and go there. Anna :)

Rajesh said...

Anna: Thanks, some of the Indian forts known to have stables for elephants, horses. You are most welcome to this place.

tapirgal said...

What beautiful architecture. Lovely shots! It's nice to think of elephants living here.