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Kalyana Mandapam (Inside The Fort)

Vijayanagar temples became very elaborate both in structure and organisation. In this period, South Indian art attained rich expression. Even the old temples were amplified by the addition of pillared halls, pavilions and other subordinate structures. The most characteristic addition is the Kalayana Mandapam, generally put on the left in the courtyard of the temple as we enter it from the east. The temple at Vellore is also adorned with the Kalayana Mandapam.

It is a grand piece of stone architecture in Vellore which is considered to be the most beautiful structure or its kind in South India.


Some noticeable figures of soldiers in leather jerkins fastened with buttons and loops armed with swords represents Vijayanagar infantry. The mandapa is perhaps the richest and most beautiful structure of its kind and one of the best specimens of Dravidian style of architecture. The cornice running round the roof is the most magnificent of its kind. All the five pillars and four joining panels are carved out of a single stone. It is quite marvelous how the work could have been executed without fracture. Each pillar has upon its faces, figures from one to two feet in height, well proportioned and magnificently chiseled.

The ornamental roof represents the circles of parrots hanging, heads downwards, holding in their beaks and claws the open petals of lotus flowers. Each one is carved from one large stone, indeed a marvel of Indian art. Several figures of animals, such as simhas or lions, elephants, roaring up and in various postures in several tiers one over the other are also available.

The very ornate pillared pavilion with a raised central platform is for the reception of the deity and his consort at the annual celebration of their marriage and it is also unique in character engraved with sculptures. The inner pillars are of different designs and highly artistic. It is a blend of Dravidan architecture and Chalukyan style of architecture.