Royal CenterLotus Mahal
The one structure that needs a special mention inside the Zenana Enclosure is the Lotus Mahal. Or rather this is the highlight in Zenana Enclosure.
The style of it is a pleasant departure from the typical architecture you see in Hampi. The exact function of this is not surely known. Located inside the Zenana enclosure, most probably this was a socializing area for the women folks in the royal family.
Also known as Chitrangani Mahal and Kamal Mahal, this falls under the secular or nonreligious categories of structures in Hampi. It’s peculiar to note that this is one of the beautiful structures that were left undamaged during the siege of the city. However there are some signs of mutilations on a few sculptures placed on the outer surface.
Unlike the other major structures in Hampi, this is made out of lime mortar and brick made composition.
The shape of the structure is what brought it the name. The archways and the balcony with the domed construction resemble a half opened lotus bud. Also is the lotus bud shape carved on to the center dome.
Basically this is a two storied structure with an open base floor the sidewalls are having tall arched windows. The upper floors have balconies with arched windows. Hook like structures are made on to the wall close to the windows to hang curtain. The arches of the ground floor are recessed and ornate. The decorations and architecture is a curious mix of Hindu and Islamic styles. Lotus Mahal's Islamic style arches and the Hindu style multiplayer roof and base structure are often quoted for the ingenuity of the Vijayanagara artisans.
The night illumination is a spectacular sight. Undoubtedly this is a very photogenic and one of the most photographed buildings at Hampi. There is a large lawn made around the Lotus Mahal.
If you are tempted, a catnap on the lawn under the tree shade is allowed!