DMPQ-The patrons of art and architecture during Vijayanagar Empire were the inheritors of the rich traditions of the Cholas, Pallavas and the Hoysalas. Elucidate

  • The vast expanse of land in the southern Deccan comprised the kingdom of Vijayanagar from 1336-1650 A.D approximately. The famous kingdom was ruled by a series of able monarchs who were great patrons of art, architecture and letters.
  • Magnificent structures were erected during the heydays of the empire, famous among them like Hampi monuments find a place in UNESCO world heritage list.

Vijayanagar style of architecture drew upon the traditions of various earlier traditions like:


  1. The Chola style large gopurams can be found in Vijayanagar temples like Virupaksha temple at Hampi.
  2. Large mandapas built at various temples.
  3. Vimana of the Vijayanagar temples are a continuance of the Cholas architectural tradition ex: Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi.
  4. Nandi bull at the entrance of the temple.
  5. Murals were painted on the walls and ceilings of the temple .Ex: Virupaksha temple.


  • The Pallavas were instrumental in the transition from rock-cut architecture to stone temples. This finds reflection in Vijayanagar era temples too.
  • Pallavas constructed pillared halls in their temples; Vijayanagar temples like Aghoreshwara temple in Karnataka also incorporated this style.


  • Hoysalas preferred soapstone as the temple building material; it was also used in Vijayanagar reliefs and sculptures.
  • Hoysala style open mandapas were incorporated in many temples in the Vijayanagar Empire like Vittala temple at Hampi etc


  1. Kalyanmandapa- it was meant for ritual purpose, although a unique feature.
  2. PILLARS – they were distinct features as the manner in which they were executed was complex.
  3. Horse motif on pillars.

Thus Vijayanagar empire saw a rich amalgamation of Cholas , Pallavas and Hoysalas architectural traditions that prospered in previous centuries .Despite this influence Vijayanagar temples retained their uniqueness in various ways.

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