Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple, a giant monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha, is one of the popular attractions in Hampi. The statue is 2.4 metres (8 feet) tall. The shrine is located on the southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill in Hampi, not far from the huge Kadalekalu Ganesha temple.
Quick Facts about Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hampi
- Timing: Open on all days of the week from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Entrance Fee: No entry fee needed
- Photography: Allowed
- Visit Duration: 30 minutes
- Best time to visit: From October to February
Legend behind the unique statue of Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hampi
According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is a deity who loves food very much. It is said that once Ganesha had eaten so much food that his tummy was on the verge of bursting out.
Finding no other option to save his tummy, Ganesha caught hold of a snake and tied it around his tummy as a belt to prevent it from bursting. The statue of Sasivekalu Ganesha has a snake tied around the tummy in reference to this mythological incident.
Origin of the name ‘Sasivekalu Ganesha’
- The stomach or pot belly of the deity resembles the shape of a mustard seed.
- Mustard seed is known as Sasivekalu in the local language of the land.
- Thus, the statue has been named as Sasivekalu Ganesha.
History of Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hampi
The history of the statue of Sasivekalu Ganesha dates back to the 16th century. According to an inscription found near the statue, the pavilion that houses the statue was built in 1506 AD. It was constructed by a merchant from Chandragiri (a place in present day Andhra Pradesh) in memory of the then king of Vijayanagara, Narasimha II (1491 – 1505 AD).
The statue is in a sitting position (half-lotus posture) and has four arms. The upper right hand of the statue has a goad while the lower right hand holds the broken tusk. The upper left hand of the statue holds a noose. The lower left hand of the statue has a sweet. There is a large open mantapa or pavilion surrounding the statue. The mantapa has rough plain pillars on it.
How to reach Sasivekalu Ganesha, Hampi
Sasivekalu Ganesha is one of the most frequented sites in Hampi. The location of the temple can be easily accessed by visitors from all parts of the ruined town. The temple stands at a walkable distance from the Hampi bus-stand.
Hampi being a small town has no airport of its own. Visitors can reach Hampi by air by taking a flight to the nearest airport that stands at Bellary. The Bellary airport stands at a distance of about 64 km from Hampi. The airports at Belgaum (190 km) and Bangalore (353 km) can also be accessed to reach Hampi by air. There are other means of transport to reach Hampi from the airports.
Hampi does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is located at the town of Hospet. One can reach Hampi from Hospet by bus as there are frequent buses plying between the two towns. There are also other local means of transport that connect Hospet to Hampi.
Hampi is well connected by road network. The ruined town can be accessed from several other towns and cities by road. There are a number of buses that connect Hampi to the nearby places. Private cars and vehicles can also be hired from Bangalore or Mysore to reach Hampi.