The Virupaksha temple is one of the most important structures located at Hampi. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampa who is associated with the Tungabhadra River. There is also a powerful Virupakshini amma temple (mother goddess) in a village called Nalagamapalle, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, approximately 100 km from Tirupati.
The ruins of Hampi have been accorded the status of the UNESCO World Heritage site and are under the protection and maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The temple has surprisingly survived destruction in the hands of the invaders since the battle of Talikota in the 16th century when many of the monuments were systematically destroyed or defaced by the invading armies. Today, this temple is a functional temple where prayers are offered on a daily basis.
This temple has ancient inscriptions which date back to 9th and 10th centuries. Originally it was a small shrine, and the sanctuary of Virupaksha–Pampa existed prior to the commencement of the Vijayanagara Empire. However, the Vijayanagara rulers were responsible for building this small shrine into a large temple complex. Evidence indicates there were additions made to the temple in the late Chalukyan and Hoysala periods, though most of the temple buildings are attributed to the Vijayanagar period.
The religious sect of Virupaksha-Pampa did not end with the destruction of the city in 1565. Worship there has persisted throughout the years. At the beginning of the 19th century there were major renovations and additions, which included ceiling paintings and the towers of the north and east gopuram.
The main temple consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines and other structures surround the temple.
The nine-tiered eastern gateway, which is the largest at 50 meters, is well-proportioned and incorporates some earlier structures. It has a brick superstructure and a stone base. It gives access to the outer court containing many sub-shrines.
The smaller eastern gateway leads to the inner court with its numerous smaller shrines.
A narrow channel of the Tungabhadra River flows along the temple's terrace and then descends to the temple-kitchen and out through the outer court.
Krishnadevaraya, one of the famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire was a major patron of this temple. The most ornate of all structures in the temple, the central pillared hall is believed to be his addition to this temple. So the gateway tower is giving access to the inner courtyard of the temple. Inscriptions on a stone plaque installed next to the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 AD.
Devotees throng to this temple in December every year to attend the betrothal and marriage ceremonies of Pampa and Virupaksha. Another festival which is held in February is the annual chariot fete.
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Nearby Places to Visit:
· Vijaya Vittala 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 : 583215
How to Reach:
Bellary is the nearest airport at a distance of 75 km.
Nearest railhead is at Hospet, 12 km from Hampi.
There are regular buses from other major cities of the country to Hampi.
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