Virupaksha Temple Hampi is situated on the southern bank of river Tungabhadra, facing east, dedicated to Saiva, assignable from 7th to 15th centuries A.D
Virupaksha Temple Hampi History
The Garbhagriha is square and enshrines a Siva Linga, which is being worshipped since the 7th Century A.D without any break till today. The God Virupaksha was the tutelary deity of the Vijayanagara kings.
The Mukhamantapa or Ranagamantapa was added in 1510 A.D by the king Krishnadevaraya, to commemorate his coronation in 1509 A.D.
The king Krishna Devaraya not only built the Mukhamantapa but also renovated the main entrance gopura, which has nine storeys called Bishtappayya Gopura, measuring 52.6 meters in height, dominates the surroundings.
The left entrance gopura of the inner Prakara is called Kanakagiri Gopura, which was built by the chief of that place, which is near to Anegundi. It is a lofty tower decorated on the exterior by many pilasters and this gopura leads to river Thungabhadra.
The Bhuvaneswari and Pampa Devi temples in the complex were rebuilt either because they were in ruins or the worship had been discontinued and these temples were removed from their original site are rebuilt at an elevated height. The two temples are of the 11th century A.D
Virupaksha Temple Hampi Architecture
The Temple consists of a Garbhagriha, three anti-chambers, sabha mandapa or Navaranga and a Mukhamantapa. The whole temple complex is surrounded by a Prakara with pillared cloisters, entrances and small shrines in addition to pillared Mantapa.
The Garbhagriha is square and enshrines a Siva Linga, which is being worshipped since the 7th Century A.D without any break till today. The God Virupaksha was the tutelary deity of the Vijayanagara kings. The outer walls of the Garbhagriha and anti-chambers are decorated with pilasters, corner pilasters and Kumbha pilasters. The niches are surmounted by vimanas and contain sculptures. The Sikhara over the Garbhagriha is Dravidian type with sala and Kuta, Stupi with Kala at the top
The sabha mandapa or Navaranga is square and stands on four central pillars set on an elevated floor in the centre and corresponding pillars set against the walls. The lower and upper square blocks are depicted with Saivite deities. The outer walls are relieved by Kumbha-Panjaras of ornate type, crowned by Kuta models. The niches have sala-Sikharas and small-sized sculptures.
The figures of the sculptures found on either side of the architectural motifs include Bedara-Kanappa, Naga-Lingam, Kalinga Mardhana, Salva devotees, Siva Parvathi riding on Nandi, Bhairava, Kiratarjuna Linga worshipped by snake and lizard etc.
The Mukhamantapa consists of 38 pillars with an entrance on three sides, with a flight of steps decorated with baluster elephants. The square blocks of the pillars contain reliefs from the epics and other mythologies. The ceiling of the Mukhamantapa is decorated with paintings of Manmantha Vijaya, Triuprantaka, Siva Parvathi marriage scene and Saint Vidyaranya processions etc. In addition, above the beam and below the ceiling are decorated with stucco figures reflecting incidents like Siva-ParvathiKalyanaa, Siva as Kalahari murthi, Anantasayana and Mahisasuramardhini.
The main entrance gopura is decorated with kutas, deities and panjaras in stucco.
How to reach Virupaksha Temple Hampi?
- From Bangalore to Hospet regular KSRTC bus available at early hours, from Hospet, Hampi is 12 km away
- Trains do run from Bangalore to Hospet junction at regular intervals on a daily basis.
- Daily trains are available from Tirupati to Hospet Junction. Travel time is between 8 hours 30 mins – 11 hours 15 mins.