Elephant Stable in Hampi, are eleven massive domed chambers that were used to house the royal elephants of the Vijayanagara Empire. Yes, you heard that right – these elephants lived in style.
The stable is located just outside the Zenana Enclosure, and it’s one of the few structures that managed to survive the Mughal attack on Hampi in 1565 A.D. It’s been standing strong for over 600 years now and continues to draw tourists from all over the world.
So, what makes this stable so impressive? For starters, it’s a beautiful example of Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The building is long and rectangular, with interconnecting arches that lead to the domed chambers. And let’s talk about those domes – they come in all sorts of shapes, from octagonal to circular to ribbed, drum-shaped and fluted. Each dome is symmetrically laid out and decorated with ornate plaster on both the inside and outside.
Now, here’s a fun fact – the central dome is the largest and most decorated among the eleven domes, and it’s designed to represent the architectural style found in the temples of Hampi. The other ten domes, on the other hand, represent the Islamic style of architecture.
Inside the chambers, you’ll find small openings at the rear, which were probably used by the mahouts to enter and exit. And in the central chamber, there’s a metal hook embedded in the ceiling that was likely used to tie the elephants or to set the howdah on their backs.
The plaster has fallen off in some places, and the central dome isn’t as well preserved as the others. Nevertheless, the Elephant Stable still stands as one of the most remarkable structures in Hampi maintained by ASI. Unlike other stuctures left to ruins.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Hampi, don’t forget to visit the Elephant Stable!
It’s open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day of the week, and tickets cost just INR 10 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners. The tickets can be collectively purchased for all monuments in one place.