Virupaksha Temple is located in Hampi 350 km from Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka in southern India. It is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Virupaksha is a form of Shiva and has other temples devoted to him, notably at the Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, another World Heritage Site.
Hampi is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagar, the capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Virupaksha Temple is the main center of devotees at Hampi and has been known as the most sacred sanctuary over the centuries. It is fully intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship.
The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampa who is associated with the Tungabhadra River.
The temple’s history is continuous from about the 7th century. The Virupaksha-Pampa sanctuary existed well before the Vijayanagara capital was located here. Engravings describing Shiva date back to the 10th and 9th centuries. What began as a small temple became a big complex under the Vijayanagara rulers. Proof suggests there were additions made to the temple in the late Chalukyan and Hoysala durations, though many of the temple structures are associated with the Vijayanagar period.
Under the Vijayanagara rulers, in the middle of the 14th century, there started a blooming of native art and culture. When the rulers were defeated by Muslim intruders in the 16th century, many of the wonderful ornamental structures and creations were systematically ruined.
The religious sect of Virupaksha-Pampa did not end with the damage of the city in 1565. Worship there has continued throughout the years. At the beginning of the 19th century, there were significant renovations and additions, which consisted of ceiling paintings and the towers of the north and east gopura
At present, the main temple includes a sanctum, 3 ante chambers, a pillared hall, and an open pillared hall. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller-sized shrines, and other structures surround the temple.
The nine-tiered eastern entrance, which is the biggest at 50 meters, is well-proportioned and includes some earlier structures. It has a brick superstructure and a stone base. It offers access to the external court including lots of sub-shrines.
The smaller-sized eastern entrance causes the inner court with its various smaller-sized shrines.
A narrow channel of the Tungabhadra River flows along the temple’s balcony and after that descends to the temple kitchen and out through the external court.
Krishnadevaraya, among the well-known kings of the Vijayanagara Empire, was a significant patron of this temple. The most elaborate of all structures in the temple, the main pillared hall is thought to be his addition to this temple. Is the entrance tower providing access to the inner courtyard of the temple?
Engravings on a stone plaque installed beside the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 AD.
Lord Shiva( Virupaksha
In the month of February, the annual chariot festival is held here.
The temple continues to prosper and attracts huge crowds for the betrothal and marriage festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa in December.
- Achyuta Raya Temple: Built-in 1534 AD, this temple stands as an exemplary example of the Vijayanagara style of architecture
- Badavilinga Temple: Shiva temple
- Chandikesvara Temple: Lord Vishnu temple.
- Chandramouliswara Temple: Shiva temple
- Ganagitti Temple – a Jain temple.
- Hazara Rama Temple: A Story Carved in Stone.
- Hemakuta group of Temples – A cluster of ancient shrines, many of them devoted to Lord Shiva.
- Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple: A Unique Monument in Stone
- Inscribed Vishnu Temple
- Krishna Temple in Hampi is a notable one with unique architecture. This temple is dedicated to Lord Balakrishna, the form of Lord Krishna when he was an infant.
- Kodanda Rama Temple – The Kodanda Rama temple is situated near the edge of a bazaar called Virupaksha Bazaar. A path leads from the bazaar to the temple.
- Lakshmi Narasimha Statue
How to Reach
- By Air: The nearby Airport is at Bellary which is located 60 km away from Hampi.
- By Train: The nearby Railway Station from Hampi is Hospet and it is located at a distance of 13 km from Hampi.
- By Road: Hampi is well connected by roads and railways and therefore is easily accessible.
|9:00 am to 12:00 pm & 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
|Saturday, Sunday & Holidays
|9:00 am to 8:00 pm