Tag Archives: birds

Three grey squirrels squabble in my back garden

IN MY menagerie, here in Oxford, the birds squabble, the mammals squabble – is there any hope of peace in our time or Ahimsa? Δ

The palace of the lotuses is fit for a queen

THE PIC OF TODAY (above) is a detail of the palace of the lotuses in the ancient kingdom of Vijayanagar at Hampi, built by a king for his queen.  Wordpress’ flexibility in changing the “custom header” at the top is not great yet, unless you are a CSSer, but there’s an answer, although obviously it necessitates this separate bog entry.

Here’s the picture of the palace of the lotuses, built in such a way that the breezes keep the queen cool while no doubt the sound of the birds make the bower even more pleasant. Goodness knows what the workers had to do to build such an edifice.
The palace of the lotuses

The king must have been quite rich, and indeed it is said that Vijayanagar in the 15th century was bigger than Rome. So we guess that’s why he also had this stable of his elephants close to one or other of the palaces and 3,500 temples in a 64 acre space. How many priests and artisans must have been employed? Also, was the Shaivite Virupaksha temple left to stand to keep the locals, if not happy, at least with some religious place they could go to? Alas, like every empire, Vijayanagar is a goner.

The King\'s Elephant Stable