Excavation of Hampi Pushkarini
During an excavation in 1984-85, officers of the Archaeological Survey of India laid bare a beautiful tank that was completely under the surface of the soil and was not at all visible from the outer surface. Archaeologists have dated it to 15th century AD.
Structure of Hampi Pushkarini
Hampi Pushkarini, the tank built of stone is a square structure with five steps. The steps become smaller as they go down; thus the topmost step is the longest while the lower most is the smallest. Each side has very attractive pyramidal shaped flight of steps to get into the next lower side. The entire tank has one hundred steps. The base of the tank has stone slabs below that are sand to purify the water. The symmetry of the pyramidal shaped steps at each tier of the tank makes the structure unique and elegant. Hampi Pushkarini had proper arrangements for the flow of fresh water into the tank. It is believed that this tank was used for religious purposes including the teppotsava of the deities.
Features of Hampi Pushkarini
A unique feature of Hampi Pushkarini is the technique of its construction. Each stone used for the construction has numerals, symbols and Kannada letters on it. In five stages there are 36 steps and each step has been assigned a Kannada letter. In addition to these numerals and Kannada letters, some symbols also have been used according to the four directions. The mason marks on the tank and individual blocks indicates the direction of the flow of water. Another interesting feature is the mark of measurement through symbols. Thus, the stepped tank of Hampi Pushkarini is not only beautiful and elegant, but also supplies the technical methodology adopted by the architects during the Vijayanagara Kingdom.
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