Temples in Hampi



The temples in Hampi have been long known for their aesthetics and world class architecture. Having stood the test of time, the temples of Hampi attract pilgrims and tourists alike round the year. The uniqueness of every temple and their breath-taking architecture are sure to leave everyone spellbound. The temples of Hampi are the major highlight for tourists visiting this quaint village.

Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha temple, the most famous and important temple of Hampi, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated very close to the Tungabhadra River. The local bus also stops close by. It is one of India’s oldest functioning temples, since the 7th century AD, the time when it was constructed. The street is congested and therefore, most of the vehicles are restricted in the bazaar except for two wheelers. Much smaller in size at the time, it only had a few shrines that had the gods and goddesses. Gradually as time passed, under the interest shown by many Hindu kings, the temple became bigger with the addition of other shrines, lamp posts, towers, pillars and also a temple kitchen.

The temple walls have carvings that are different in genre from each one. Each carving sequence has a historical or mythological story behind it. Some of them are carved just for the simple reason that they are auspicious.

It may take an hour or so to go around exploring the temple. Usual temple rituals can be observed in the morning and in the evening. Inside there is a shrine for the Virupaksha and a shrine for the sage Vidyaranya.

Timings: Opens before sun rise and closes at night and is closed for the noon.

Vithala Temple Complex

A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers. The one thing that immediately catches attention is the stone chariot which has assumed iconic heights over the years for Karnataka tourism. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures that speak volumes about the glorious past of Hampi. Another feature that is worth mentioning here is the musical pillars that emanates the seven notes when tapped.

Hazara Rama Temple

A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite to the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

The Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi attracts tourists specifically due to its monolithic structure and the sheer enormity of its size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7 meters. Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake shielding Narasimha, arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front, is an architectural masterpiece in itself. However, several features of the monolithic structure are missing and the most prominent among these damaged and missing structures is the seated figurine of Narasimha's consort Lakshmi on his left lap. By entering inside the enclosure, one can see the land of Lakshmi on Narasimha's back with her fingers, nails and rings, all beautifully sculptured.

Elephant Stables

A large dome shaped building was used as Elepahant Stables to house the ceremonial elephants of the royal household. The architectural style of the building has a strong Indo-Islamic influence that gets reflected in its domes and arched gateways. The building consists of eleven chambers amongst which ten of these are crowned with domes. These chambers were used as elephant stables. The metal hooks that were probably used to chain the elephants are still visible in the ceiling of some of the rooms. Special manholes were constructed for the mahouts to facilitate their easy entrance to the elephant compartments.




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