Portrait sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya found at Kancheepuram temple

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Portrait sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya found at Kancheepuram temple

T.S. Subramanian

It shows him standing with folded hands, a sword tucked behind his left hand



CHENNAI: With the interest in the reign of Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadeva Raya reviving in the context of 2009 being the 500th year of his coronation, a small, beautiful portrait sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529) has come to light in the Varadaraja Swamy temple at Kancheepuram.

This exquisite metal sculpture, a few inches tall, is found on a step leading to the goddess Perundevi shrine.

It was noticed by R. Nagaswamy, former Director of the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department. Next to Krishnadeva Raya is a metal portrait of one of his two queens. There is also a bigger portrait of a ‘Dwarapala.’

The Krishnadeva Raya portrait shows him standing with folded hands, a sword tucked behind his left hand; he has a dagger too. He is wearing a tall, conical crown studded with diamonds and rubies. “These beautiful sculptures are a witness to the achievements in metal art during Krishnadeva Raya’s time,” Dr. Nagaswamy said.

Photos: V. Ganesan


(Above) The portraits in metal of Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadeva Raya, his wife and a ‘Dwarapala’ on the steps leading to the Perundevi shrine at the Varadaraja Swamy temple at Kancheepuram. Krishnadeva Raya is seen with folded hands. The other picture shows inscriptions written in Telugu and Tamil at the entrance of the main tower of the Ekambaranathar temple at Kancheepuram which mention that the tower was built by the emperor.

In his book The History of South India, From Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar, K.A. Nilakanta Sastri says: “Pre-eminent as a warrior, Krishnadeva Raya was equally great as a statesman, administrator and patron of arts. The grandeur of his court excited the warm admiration of many foreign visitors, and their description of the great wealth of Vijayanagar, its festivals, its military strength and its heroic king make eloquent reading.”

Dr. Nagaswamy calls Krishnadeva Raya “an extraordinary ruler” who united almost the entire south India by bringing Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and part of Kerala, and Orissa under his control. A scholar, poet, great builder and connoisseur of music and dance, he built the lofty ‘gopuras’ (towers) in the temples of Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Kalahasti and Hampi; he lavished gifts on the Venkateswara temple at Tirumala. “He made an outstanding contribution to the economic, cultural, artistic and literary development of the four southern States. So they should celebrate his 500th year of coronation appropriately,” he says.

There are several inscriptions of Krishnadeva Raya in Telugu and Tamil in the Varadaraja Swamy temple. One of them — on the outer wall of the Perundevi shrine — talks about how he gilded with gold the ‘punyakoti vimana’ of the Varadaraja Swamy shrine and the ‘kalyanakoti vimana’ of the Perundevi shrine, and how one of his gurus, Immadi Tata Ayagar supervised the work.

Another ‘sila libi’ (stone inscription) in the temple gives the date, the day, the year (‘sakha’) and even the ‘lagnam’ when the gilding of the main vimana was completed. Dr. Nagaswamy reckons that it is “one of the finest and authentic inscriptions of Krishnadeva Raya. For based on such records, we can reconstruct the temple’s history.”

Krishnadeva Raya built the loftiest ‘raja gopura’ at the Tiruvannamalai temple, and the majestic southern tower of the Ekambaranathar temple at Kancheepuram. The Ekambaranathar temple tower has inscriptions, saying he built the tower. One of them, in Telugu and Tamil, says: “Sri Krishnadeva Maharaya built this tower as an act of dhammam.”

The Hindu : Front Page : Portrait sculpture of Krishnadeva Raya found at Kancheepuram temple
 

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Vijayanagara Empire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vijayanagara Empire

The Vijayanagara Empire (Kannada: ವಿಜಯನಗರ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯ, Telugu: విజయనగర సామ్రాజ్యము, Tamil: விஜயநகர சாமராஜியம்) referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was a South Indian empire based in the Deccan Plateau. Established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I, it lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose impressive ruins surround modern Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in modern Karnataka, India. The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernao Nuniz[1] and Niccolò Da Conti and the literature in local vernaculars provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire's power and wealth.

The empire's legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known being the group at Hampi. The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. The mingling of all faiths and vernaculars inspired architectural innovation of Hindu temple construction, first in the Deccan and later in the Dravidian idioms using the local granite. Secular royal structures show the influence of the Northern Deccan Sultanate architecture. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies like water management systems for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in the languages of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.
The empire reached its peak during the rule of Krishnadevaraya when Vijayanagara armies were consistently victorious.[26] The empire annexed areas formerly under the Sultanates in the northern Deccan and the territories in the eastern Deccan, including Kalinga, while simultaneously maintaining control over all its subordinates in the south.[27] Many important monuments were either completed or commissioned during the time of Krishnadevaraya.[28]

Extent of Vijayanagara Empire, 1446, 1520 CE


Royal Insignia: The Boar, Sun, Moon and the Dagger


Ugra Narasimha (avatar of Vishnu) at Hampi


Poetic inscription in Kannada by Vijayanagara poet Manjaraja (1398 CE)
 

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Hampi, as it is popularly known today was the medieval capital of the Hindu empire Vijayanagara (the City of Victory). Hampi in the Karnataka state of India is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Hampi is charismatic even in its ruined state. It attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique.
more at-

HAMPI in India : Every detail you need on Hampi
 

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Krishnadevaraya - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Krishnadevaraya
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sri Krishna Deva Raya (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Telugu: శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయ) also known as Krishna Raya (1509-1529 CE), was the famed Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire. Presiding over the empire at its zenith, he is regarded as an icon by many Indians, particularly by Kannadigas and Telugus.Emperor Krishna Deva Raya earned the titles Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana (ಕನ್ನಡರಾಜ್ಯರಮಾರಮಣ), Mooru Rayara Ganda (ಮೂರುರಾಯರಗಂಡ (meaning King of three kings) and Andhra Bhoja (ఆంధ్రభోజ).
 

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