The journey through Hampi was continued to The Noblemen’s Quarters, where several remains of palaces were found. The name had explained it all; the area was an elite area for members of the royal family, high officials, generals etc. These palaces were either square or rectangular. Two palaces deserved a mention for admiration purposes; the one north of the road and another to the west of a granite outcrop.
Moving south of the Noblemen’s Quarters, there was a high-walled enclosure with much Islamic influence. It is generally identified as Dannayaka’s Enclosure or General’s Enclosure. There were not less than five structures built in Islamic style, of which only three stood intact; the Stone Watch Tower, the Octagonal Tower and a Mosque-like structure.
The Dannayaka’s Enclosure was a vast area and it took sometime to admire the integration of Indian and Muslim architectural style and the high walled built of massive blocks of stone.
The rickshaw driver then took me to a vantage point to enjoy the view of the Noblemen’s Quarters and most importantly to spot a rock which had been half-cut using Vijayanagar’s ingenuity and technology. For an empire that was made by nothing but rocks, I could not help but to wonder how they had crafted so big an empire by using just rocks, with no machines and sophiscation tools.
It was explained to me by the rickshaw driver that the rocks were cut using wood and water. A series of holes were made on the surface of the rock, usually in one straight line. Then dry wooden pieces were pegged into the holes with water being poured into the wooden to soak it. Scientifically true, the wood then expanded as a result of absortion of water and the rock would eventually cracked apart. Asked if the same rock cutting activity were still being practised by Hampi people, the rickshaw driver said no one inherited the knowledge.