What are the architectural traditions that inspired the architects of Vijayanagara? How did they transform these traditions?
The rulers of Vijayanagara were patrons of art and architecture and under their patronage, architecture flourished in the kingdom. The architects were innovative and various new features in the temple architecture of the region.
• Central shrines have always had towers to signal the presence of the temple from a great distance. But the royal gateways or Raya Gopurams were immense structures often dwarfed the towers of the central shrines. This was done to show off imperial authority.
• Another architectural feature were the mandapas or pavilions. some temples were built much earlier like the Virupaksha Temple. Krishnadeva Raya had a massive hall adorned with delicately carved pillars built in front of it to commemorate his accession to the throne.
• Chariot streets also started becoming a part of temple architecture around this time. These streets extended from the royal gateways to the central shrine in a straight line and was paved with stones. Pillared pavilions ran parallel to it and were utilized by merchants to set up their shops.