Hampi is a village in the south of India, located within the ruins of the ancient Vijayanagara, the proud capital of the empire of the same name. From the holy city a remarkable group of buildings managed to survive and are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among temples, palaces, a baoli and other monuments, there is a unique set of buildings, that, perhaps, best portrays the splendor of Vijayanagara: the royal stables. And what makes them so unique? The fact that they are elephant stables.
The set is a wonderful example of Indo-Islamic architecture, made from brick and mortar. It consists of a building with eleven stables of great height, covered individually by domes of various shapes, and by a lateral building where the workers' lodgings are located. Together they form a 'L', part of a parade for cerimonial parades. During its peak, the Vijayanagara Empire had over 10 000 elephants, however, only 10 of them were chosen for royal service and kept in these stables. They were the best of the best among these fabulous animals.
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