The Dasara Dibba is one of the most impressive structures in Hampi. It is a beautiful stone platform that is located within the Royal Enclosure of Hampi. It was built during the period of the Vijayanagara Empire in the typical Vijayanagara style of architecture.
It is also known as the Mahanavami Dibba. The imposing platform attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year.
- Timing: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Visit Duration: Around 45 minutes
- Best time to visit: From November to February
History of Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba, Hampi
The Dasara Dibba was constructed by King Krishnadevaraya to commemorate his victory over Udaygiri (situated in present-day Orissa). It is believed that the original structure of the Dasara Dibba has undergone some changes under the successive rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire.
According to archaeologists, some of the stone additions in the front portion of the platform are different from the rest of the structure and may not have been a part of the original structure.
Significance of Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba, Hampi
Dasara Dibba is an impressively carved platform that was used by the kings of the Vijayanagara Empire. The grand platform was used as a stage by the kings to watch the celebration of the nine-day long splendid Mahanavami festival, also known as the Dasara festival. Due to this reason the platform came to be known as Mahanavami Dibba.
The ornamental platform is a high structure on which the king used to sit and watch the army march-past, the war games and the royal procession that were held during the festival. Dasara was the annual state festival and it was celebrated in style by the Vijayanagara kings.
There are detailed accounts of the spectacular manner in which the occasion of Dasara was celebrated during the rule of the Vijayanagara kings. As such, the Dasara Dibba occupied prime importance during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Architecture of Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba, Hampi
The Dasara Dibba attracts attention as one of the tallest structures in the Royal Enclosure of Hampi. The stone platform has a height of about 12 metres. It is one of the first things that visitors notice as soon as they enter the Royal Enclosure.
The Dasara Dibba looks like an ordinary elevated platform from a distance. However, as soon as one approaches it, the beauty of the carved structure comes into view. The huge structure is a square platform with three tiers or layers.
The platform has two stairways to reach the top – one situated at the front and the other at the back of the structure. The front stairway is attractively decorated with ornate carvings of elephants, horses, soldiers and stately processions. There is nothing much to see at the platform’s surface at the top, but it provides a splendid view of the surrounding areas. The stairway at the back is a plain one.
All the three tiers of the platform are richly decorated with beautiful engravings. The carvings at the lower portion of the Dasara Dibba are the most fascinating ones. The sides of the platform are embellished with elaborate carvings of merchants, royal processions, musicians, elephants, scenes from day-to-day life, hunting scenes, etc.
The carvings correctly capture the mood of the rich and pompous annual festivities celebrated during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Present Condition of Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba, Hampi
The Dasara Dibba is in a ruined condition today. Some of the carvings on the sides of the platform are damaged. On the platform’s surface there are traces of wooden pavilions that had once existed there, but are no longer there. However, the platform still manages to attract tourists in large numbers due to its splendid carvings.
How to reach Dasara Dibba or Mahanavami Dibba
Hampi is a famous tourist destination. There are several ways to reach Hampi from various parts of Karnataka and beyond. It is quite easy for a visitor to reach the Dasara Dibba once he or she reaches Hampi.
Hampi is a ruined village that stands devoid of any airport. The closest town that has an airport is Ballari (Bellary). Ballary is located at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi. Visitors can reach Ballari by flight and then travel to Hampi by means of local transport.
Hampi does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railway station is situated in the city of Hosapete (Hospet). The Hospet Junction Railway Station at Hosapete stands at a distance of around 10 km from Hampi.
A very simple way to reach Hampi from Hosapete is to board a bus that plies between the two places. A few means of local transport also exists and visitors can avail them to reach Hampi from Hosapete.
Hampi is a place with a good road network. It is well-connected to many towns and cities with the help of this network. Several KSRTC buses operate between Hampi and other towns and cities in Karnataka. Visitors can reach Hampi either by taking a bus or by hiring private cars, cabs or other vehicles from the major cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore).