Bhima's Gateway


This is one of the many gateways to the walled city. The gate (a huge arch complex) is interesting with its style of construction and the carvings on it.

This gateway is a classic example of the Vijayanagara military architecture. The gate got its name from the legendary Bhima of the Hindu epic Mahabaratha. A figure of Bhima – the strongest of the five Pandavas brothers – is carved on the gate.

The interesting feature of the gate is its smart design. One cannot cross this archway in a straight line. You enter this gateway complex through its western arch. Straight ahead is a huge tall block of a wall like structure. You turn right, left and then once again left to go around this obstruction to reach the exit at the north.

In other words this works like a blind spot for the invading army. Also it’s difficult for the elephant mounted forces to take such quick maneuvers without facing some surprise attacks.

Also there are carvings of Draupadi (Pandava’s wife) tying her hair. Slaying of Kichaka who tried to molest Draupathi is depicted next to it. All of these scenes are carved as murals on the gate. The lotus bud tipped brackets supporting the lintel is noteworthy.

A significant part of the epic Mahabharata narrates rivalry between the princely cousins Kauravas and the Pandavas and the climax Kurukshetra War where Pandavas win over Kauravas.