Today is Mahanavami or the ninth day of Navaratri. We were remembering our visit to Hampi and the "Mahanavami Dibba" two years back.
"Dibba" in Kannada means "High Ground". This is the tallest structure and hence the first thing you see in the Royal enclosure. It looks like a ordinary elevated stage from distance. Go near and you will be surprised at the amount of detail that has gone on to its walls. A high stage built in the royal enclosure, this was used by the king to inspect the royal processions during Navaratri, which was celebrated as "Nada Habba" or "State Festival" by Vijayanagar Kings. We remember climbing up the stairs, which is is highly decorated on either sides with carvings of elephants, horses and other things. Once you reach the top, you have panoramic view of the royal enclosure. The most interesting part of the "Dibba" are the side walls which are nothing but lovely bas relief with sculptures showing the day today life in the kingdom. One can also see the envoys of China, Portugal and Arabia in these reliefs.
The festival of Navaratri was celebrated with pomp and splendour during the reign of great king Krishnadevaraya. It is believed that the king built this stage or Dibba for inspecting the royal procession during Navaratri and other festive occasions. These processions were the forerunners to present day Mysore Dasara procession.
On the ninth day of Navaratri, here is wishing you all best wishes on the occasion. Next time when you roam in the ruins of Hampi, don't forget to see "Mahanavami Dibba"!
For more posts on Dasara and Navaratri you may look at the following posts in this blog