The Gejjala Mantapa is an ancient structure in Hampi with a highly impressive architecture. It is located at a short distance from the famous Vittala Temple and stands near the Chariot Street. The Gejjala Mantapa is believed to have been used for religious functions during the days of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Gejjala Mantapa is one of the most ornately decorated structures found in the ruins of Hampi. The small but attractive structure draws the attention of tourists throughout the year.
- Timing: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Video Camera: Allowed
- Visit Duration: About 30 min
- Best time to visit: From November to February
History of Gejjala Mantapa, Hampi
The Gejjala Mantapa was constructed by one of the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. As such, the origin of the mantapa dates back to more than 500 years ago, when the Vijayanagara Kingdom flourished in South India.
The Gejjala Mantapa is a unique structure. There is no written document or inscription to suggest the exact purpose of the ornate structure. However, its proximity to the Vittala Temple and its beautifully carved pillars suggest that the structure may have been used to keep the statues and idols of Gods during the annual temple festival of Vijayanagara that was prevalent in that era.
Some people believe that the structure was used as a dancing hall in the ancient times. According to them, the Gejjala Mantapa was a platform where various music and dance festivals were conducted in the ancient times.
Architecture of Gejjala Mantapa, Hampi
The Gejjala Mantapa is a rectangular structure with an exceptional architecture. The intricate pattern of carvings that exist on the structure displays the beauty of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. The whole structure has been built from huge stones, as is the characteristic of almost every structure found in Hampi.
The structure has an elevated platform that is surrounded by an open pillared pavilion on all sides. The beautifully carved domed roof of Gejjala Mantapa features the typical Vijayanagara style brick work.
However, the main attraction of the structure is the two rows of pillars standing in concentric pattern around the elevated platform. Each pillar is a square shaped carved structure that is an architectural delight in itself.
The pillars are the backbone of the superstructure and provide the monument with a touch of classic beauty. Even the ceiling of the structure displays an elaborate look due to the beautiful carved designs present there.
Present Condition of Gejjala Mantapa, Hampi
The Gejjala Mantapa is located against the backdrop of coconut and banana trees. It offers an exceptional look to the surroundings of the structure.
The ornate structure has stood the test of time and weather for more than 500 years and is still in a good condition. It is one of the few lucky structures that have escaped destruction at the hands of the Mughal attackers who had completely ruined the Vijayanagara Empire.
Standing on a patch of greenery, this monument is a wonderful example of the craftsmanship of the artisans of that era.
How to reach Gejjala Mantapa
Gejjala Mantapa is an easily accessible monument in Hampi. Though it is situated in an isolated part of Hampi, the beauty of the structure makes the effort to reach the place worthwhile. It can be reached either on a bicycle or in a vehicle.
Hampi is a popular tourist spot, but has no airport of its own. Ballari (Bellary) is the closest town that has an airport. Ballary is situated at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi. Visitors can reach Ballari by taking a flight and then travel to Hampi by means of local transport.
Hampi is a place with no railway station. The nearest railway station can be found in the town of Hosapete (Hospet). It has the Hospet Junction Railway Station. Hosapete is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Hampi. A simple and easy way to reach Hampi from Hosapete is to take a bus. There are other means of local transport also to reach Hampi from Hosapete.
Hampi has a good road network. It is connected to many towns and cities of Karnataka by this network. There are a lot of buses that carry passengers to and fro between Hampi and several towns and cities in Karnataka.
Visitors have the option to take a bus or to hire private cars, cabs or other vehicles from big cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore) to travel to Hampi.