Review: Kviknes Hotel in Balestrand, Norway—a Grand Tradition of Hospitality

Kviknes Hotel—this tradition of hospitality at Balholm stretches back to 1752. The Kvikne family, who own the hotel, took over in 1877, marking the start of fast-paced development, which continues to this day. The hotel was built in the Swiss chalet style; the original character of the palace has been left unchanged despite several new […]

Temples on the Panaromic Hemakuta Hill, Hampi, Capital of the Vijayanagara Empire

Hemakuta, literally meaning gold hillock, is one of the most charming hillocks in Hampi. It is dotted by over fifty structures of different types—including temples, mandapas, galleries, and gateways of various dimensions. Though Hampi itself is characterized as a garden of boulders, the Hemakuta hill takes a major share in this compliment. Every boulder here […]

History and Architecture of the Virupaksha (Pampapathi) Temple, Hampi, Capital of the Vijayanagara Empire

Sri Virupaksha or Pampapathi was the family deity of the early Vijayanagara kings and this was incorporated even in their sign manual as found in copper plate inscriptions. Situated on the southern bank of Tungabhadra river, the original temple with Virupaksha Sivalinga was perhaps first consecrated in the twelfth century A.D. With the establishment of […]

How England’s “Once Brewed” Hostel Near Hadrian’s Wall Got Its Name

Hadrian’s Wall—Roman Fortification Hadrian’s Wall, near the Scottish border in northern England, was a continuous 20-foot-tall Roman fortification that guarded the northwestern frontier of the province of Britain from barbarian invaders. Hadrian’s Wall extended from coast to coast across the width of northern Britain. The wall was built to control native movements across the frontier […]

The Architectural Masterpiece of Hampi’s Vijaya Vittala Temple and its Spectacular Stone Chariot

Vijaya Vittala Temple is one of the important temples in Hampi. Its construction began during the time of Krishnadevaraya in 1513 CE, and it continued even during the reign of his successor Achyutaraya (1529–42 CE) and perhaps it was not completed as per the grandiose plan of its builder Krishnadevaraya. Facing east, this temple is […]

The Phenomenon That’s Guernica—Picasso’s Fabled Artwork

To tackle appreciating the art of Spain, you can certainly hit the top highlights. That would include the Prado Museum in Madrid, arguably Europe’s greatest painting museum. Also in Madrid is Picasso’s Guernica, a monster painting that not only is a testament against modern warfare but is so much part of the Spanish history with […]

The Unique Temple Architecture of Gaudara Gudi, Aihole

Gaudara Gudi near to the Ladkhan temple at Aihole is another interesting monument of Karnataka architecture. It is not known as to why it is called by that name (Gauda = Village headman). A few years ago, the Archaeological Survey of India conducted excavations here and this has shown that Gaudara Gudi is former than […]

Architectural Highlights of the Lotus Mahal in Hampi, Vijayanagara Empire

Lotus Mahal (or Kamala Mahal) is perhaps the most elegant stucco pavilion at Hampi, capital of the famous Vijayanagara Empire of South India. Additionally, it is an excellent example of a well-balanced mishmash of Indian and Islamic (or Sarcenic) architectural style. Ground Floor of the Lotus Mahal, Hampi The structure of the Lotus Mahal is […]

The Distinctive Chalukyan Architecture Featured in the Ladkhan Temple of Aihole

Ladkhan temple is a significant temple at Aihole because of the method of its construction which marks an important stage in the evolution of the Chalukyan style of architecture. The temple is called Ladkhan Temple because a gentleman named Ladkhan lived in the temple and consequently the local populace began to call it so. If […]

Beauty and Majesty of the Adil Shahi Architecture of the Jumma Masjid in Bijapur

Jumma Masjid at Bijapur has the characteristic of expressing the early characters of the Adil Shahi architecture. In fact, some features of the earlier Bahamani style can also be seen in this monument. Thus it is a good example for the beginning of the Adil Shahi style which culminated in other monuments as it Gol […]