One of the most magnificent piece of architecture in Hampi, the Vitthala Temple is amazing in beauty & structural architecture. It is one of the rare and best preserved temples in Hampi, dedicated to an avatar of Vishnu. Built around 1513 to 1564 by King Krishna Deva Raya.
Each of the 56 pillars in the temple with four surrounding colonnettes & little lions that form the base of the compound support was carved from a monolith. The pillars with the colonnettes sound a different musical note when tapped. The British thought (& so did we at first) that the colonnettes were hollow. So they cut through a few of them only to find them to be solid.
I had taken the shot from a corner, and sacrificed the view of the entire temple to highlight the columns & the slanted sunlight falling on them. The view is unusual and I have framed it tight. In the WS, I’ve posted a not-so-good photograph of the interiors, just to show the columns & how repeated tappings by hand had blackened portions of them.
Both images are scans from print & run Neat Image to reduce visible noise.
I found this article on this temple by Jan Haag fascinating & beautifully written…hence I’ reproducing it.
“Beyond the Stone Chariot, stands the Vittala Temple, like a three dimensional mandala, like a vision, an illusion or a mirage in the dust and haze of India.
I had never before seen filigree in stone. The temple, for the most part, was a vast wall-less building, crowded with clusters of columns, maybe three, maybe five to a cluster. Each cluster was crowned with a capital of intricate stone work so delicate that I, who have tatted lace with silk thread, thought my work quite crude by comparison. Carved into and around the columns were gods and goddesses, demons, elephants, horses, beasts both mythical and real, peacocks, parrots and plants which flowered with eternal blossoms. The ceiling was coffered and criss-crossed with yet more stone carved lace. The stone itself was a soft gold color, perhaps flecked with mica, as it shimmered in the sun. I stood in a gossamer golden temple made of stone, awestruck.
Someone near me said, though not to me, "Slap the stone." And they did. The columns began to sing. It appeared the columns were tuned like organ pipes. Music could be played upon them. I slapped with the light upward motion I had just seen. A deep rich tone rang in the columned court, evoking even with my light touch, harmonics from its neighbors. Was it middle C? I do not know. I hit again, another column, a higher tone. In and out among the multifaceted columns, I wandered round and round, testing their pitches, dazzled by their beauty. What wizard musician had designed them? Who had gone and left them standing there, dust blown in the blazing sun, beside the river of huge black stones? “
Critiques | Translate
dsidwell (9783) 2006-06-22 0:40
Hello Angshuman, I like this image. your point of view works well to highlight the three dimensionality of this remarkable building.
Gerrit (52283) 2006-06-22 2:48
impressive temple. Good POV, overview and details. Ther is a lot of magenta in the colours. Maybe you could demish it in the grey tones.
But fine work,
thanks and regards, Gerrit
sabyasachi1212 (19779) 2006-06-22 3:46
Excellent image of one of the finest pieces of architecture in India. You have good details here. The light snd shadow works for you. Great note as usual.
vinicio (23423) 2006-06-22 3:46
The idea that each column have a different tone is fascinating for me Angshu, thanks, and compliments, your image is good but your work with the scanner is great.
riclopes (35577) 2006-06-22 4:02
What a headache that the scans can make to us. This seems to be an amazing place and deserved better quality images to show to us. I can see that you are struggling with improvment of it. I like the two ones in WS, both color and b/w version, which have an impressionist painting look that attracts me and also give us an idea of the space. In this one, I think I would have crop a bit more of the top and may be a bit at left, make the frame even more tighter. The light inside, on the pillars seems to be wonderful and the outside pillars seem to have amazing details. Excellent note as usual.
rosaline (0) 2006-06-22 4:34
A good capture of this marvel of architecture. Nice capture of the columns and a good pov. Great note as well.
feather (51130) 2006-06-22 4:58
The interior pillars have caught lovely light. You're quite right to bring this amazing place to our attention. It must have been designed by a genius to make the musical notes. The carving is magnificent; we can see that but it would be wondeful to hear the music :-)
Henryk_Bilor (20801) 2006-06-22 5:30
Hoho, great idea of this playing columns. Good capture and the note.
pierrefonds (71725) 2006-06-22 8:18
A good POV of the Vitthala Temple, the photo is sharp and clear. It has a good perspective and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.
clic (18552) 2006-06-22 12:51
Thanks for showing such delicately chiseled features and for the most interesting note about the "sound system" !
You're quite an ancient architecture lover and it's for our benefit!
(I'll be off-screen until june 27th)
josepmarin (58359) 2006-06-22 13:24
A beautiful temple in this composition. The scanned one is good and it has given good results you, the photo is well illuminated, it has natural colors, and good definition.
The perspective of the columns is excellent, and the frame, as you say in your good note, sacrifices something the general image of the temple to show the details that you want to show to us. And you have obtained it.
emjleclercq (15780) 2006-06-22 18:41
rich and interesting article you found to illustrate you temple's view. Very nice perpective on the rows of columns and fine details on the front one. I like very much the redish colors of the inside, a little less the greyer tone of the foreground.
All the best,
markstaples (15670) 2006-06-23 4:08
You've done well with this considering this is a scan of a print taken way back in 2002. Your POV is good and the image clear. Nice work.
sergio1 (12152) 2006-06-23 5:09
How are you???
Today is friday !!!!!
Very nice temple and details. I like the prespective and textures.
I like it.
Have a nice weekend
jhm (160975) 2006-06-23 6:16
Many thanks fou yout very interesting note, I learn again!
The low sun care for a extra colour interior, it's magenta, maybe not reality, fantastic this music temple with all the great and small statues, but I like your lovely series!
Have a nice weekend,
pablominto (53746) 2006-06-23 12:47
Architectural details are simply stunning!
Good point of view, my friend... giving a pleasant angle on the structure!
Well framed image, and a nice job!
berek (50508) 2006-06-24 0:47
Vitthala temple is so interesting my friend. I like this historical architecture. tfs. have a nice weekend.
Meaning Sense :-)
MIG13 (0) 2006-06-24 22:13
Hi, Angshuman! This temple reminds me of Athens' Parthenon... very nice and impressive! I like the details your pic shows and the rich note! Thanks for sharing! Greetings from Brazil! Miguel.
postvikram (1199) 2006-06-26 5:23
good shot indeed. Very explanatory note too. I see the purple colors bleeding at corners.. But the fact that these are prints scanned explains them.
Very good one indeed - Vikram
hello_ishan (1571) 2006-06-28 1:16
Good capture of pillars, good POV, excellent note. Well done.
ramesh_lalwani (3211) 2006-06-28 19:50
Interior columns look great with golden light.Why did you not take full view on Temle?
pranab (5354) 2006-06-30 1:24
great work with light and the pov is excellent. i like teh way you show the light through the pillars of the temple. color could have been better but who am i to say this. nice composition.
maloutim (9751) 2012-03-20 0:50
Having just come back from India where I visited Hampi, I an very interested to read your post about Vittala temple. Unfortunately, we didn't know anything about this musical quality, when we were there. We were just awed by the marvellous, intricate sculptures of the columns.
Anyway, that means we'll just HAVE to go back !
Your image is good for a scan, and I like the colours that make the temple look more like an organ !
Thanks for sharing.
- Copyright: Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) (56760)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2002-08-19
- Categories: Architecture, Ruins
- Camera: Nikon F601, Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: UNESCO sites in Karnataka, India
- Date Submitted: 2006-06-21 23:36