Pillars That Sing? Yes, These 56 Pillars Of Hampi’s Temple Have Been Singing For Over 500 Years

by Tejashee Kashyap
Pillars That Sing? Yes, These 56 Pillars Of Hampi’s Temple Have Been Singing For Over 500 Years

The musical pillars of Hampi’s Vittala Temple are a marvel of craftsmanship and engineering. The temple, located in the Hampi in Karnataka, is renowned for its magnificent architecture and rich cultural heritage. Tourists have been travelling to the UNESCO World Heritage Site for years to hear the over 500-year-old temple’s mesmerising music.

What Makes These Temple Pillars Sing?

What makes these pillars truly unique is their ability to produce musical notes when struck gently. Each pillar emits a distinct sound resembling various musical instruments such as the flute, tabla, mridangam, and veena.

It is said that there were originally 56 such pillars, each producing a different musical note. Unfortunately, due to wear and tear over the years and a significant increase in tourists touching and tapping the pillars, only a few of them are allowed to be played today to preserve their delicate nature.

The craftsmanship and engineering behind the musical pillars are awe-inspiring. These pillars are made of solid granite, which is a hard and dense material.  The pillars are hollow from the inside, with slender columns supporting the main structure. When the pillars are struck gently, the vibrations travel through the smaller columns and resonate within the hollow core, resulting in musical sounds.

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About The Vittala Temple

The temple complex is one of the prime attractions in Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its archaeological ruins and ancient monuments. Built during the 15th and 16th centuries under the Vijayanagara Empire, the Vittala Temple is considered a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture.

The temple is known for its exceptional craftsmanship, intricate carvings, and elaborate stone chariot. The main sanctum of the temple houses the deity of Lord Vittala. The temple premises also include various other shrines dedicated to other gods and goddesses.

The temple also features impressive pillared halls with intricately carved columns, and exquisite sculptures depicting mythological scenes that showcase the artistic skills of the craftsmen of that era. The temple’s outer walls are adorned with beautiful carvings depicting various deities, celestial beings, and scenes from Hindu epics.

However, these unique pillars are a testament to the artistic and scientific knowledge of the Vijayanagara Empire and their preservation is of utmost importance.

Have you visited the Vittala Temple yet?

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons