The Vittala Temple or Vijaya Vittala Temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated in Hampi, Karnataka. It is an ancient monument that is well-known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structures in Hampi. The temple is located in the north eastern part of Hampi, near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The iconic temple has amazing stone structures such as the incomparable stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars.
The Vittala Temple is also known as Shri Vijaya Vitthala Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vitthala, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. An idol of Vitthala-Vishnu was enshrined in the temple. Legend has it that the temple was built as an abode for Lord Vishnu in his Vitthala form. However, the Lord had found the temple to be too grand for his use and had returned to live in his own humble home.
The renowned Vittala Temple dates back to the 15th century. It was built during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 – 1446 A.D.), one of the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. Several portions of the temple were expanded and enhanced during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 A.D.), the most famous ruler of the Vijayanagara dynasty. He played a significant role in giving the monument its present look.
The Vittala Temple is presumed to be the grandest of all temples and monuments in Hampi. The temple exemplifies the immense creativity and architectural excellence possessed by the sculptors and artisans of the Vijayanagara era.
The Vittala temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. It has traits and features that are characteristic of typical south Indian temple architecture. It’s elaborate and artistic carvings and magnificent architecture is unmatched by any other structure found in Hampi.
It is believed that the main shrine of the temple originally had one enclosed Mantapa. An open Mantapa was added to it in the year 1554 A.D.
The temple complex is a sprawling area that is surrounded by high compound walls and three towering gateways. The temple complex has many halls, shrines and pavilions located inside it. Each of these structures is made of stone and each structure is a beauty in itself.
Notable among these structures are the shrine of the Goddess (also known as Devi shrine), Maha Mantapa or main hall (also known as Sabha Mantapa or congregation hall), Ranga Mantapa, Kalyana Mantapa (marriage hall), Utsava Mantapa (festival hall), and the famous Stone Chariot.
- Maha Mantapa
- Stone Chariot:
- The Musical Pillars of the Ranga Mantapa
Interesting Facts about the Musical Pillars:
The cluster of musical pillars inside the Vittala Temple complex was carved out of huge single pieces of resonant stone.
The emission of musical notes from stone pillars was a mystery that fascinated many people down the centuries.
Even the British rulers of India were wonderstruck and wanted to discover the secret behind the musical pillars. To satisfy their curiosity and to unravel the mystery behind the amazing pillars they cut two of the musical pillars of Vittala Temple to check whether anything existed inside the stone pillars that resulted in the emission of musical notes. However, they found nothing inside the pillars.
The two pillars cut by the British rulers still exist inside the temple complex and can be seen by visitors even today.
The temple remains open every day from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM.
Time between November and February is perfect and ideal for visits to this temple.
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Virupaksha Temple
- Achyutaraya Temple
- Badavi Linga
- Chandramauleshwara Temple
- Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy Temple
- Hemakuta Group of Temples
- Underground Shiva Temple
City : Hampi
Dist. : Bellary
State : Karnataka
Country : India
PIN : 583239
How to Reach:
Hampi cannot be reached directly by flight as the ruined town has no airport of its own. Ballari (Bellary) is the closest town to have an airport. Ballary is situated at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi. Visitors can reach Ballari by taking a flight and then proceed to Hampi by means of local transport.
Hampi does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station can be found in the city of Hosapete (Hospet). The Hospet Junction Railway Station is connected to several other towns and cities of Karnataka by means of regular trains. Hosapete is situated at a distance of around 10 km from Hampi.
Hampi has a good road network and is connected to many towns and cities in Karnataka by this network. There are a lot of government and private buses that travel between Hampi and several towns and cities in the state.
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