The Achyuta Raya Temple is in Hampi. It was built in 1534 AD. It is one of the major, splendid and awe-inspiring temples of Hampi located between the Matanga hills and Gandhamadana. This magnificent temple depicts Vijayanagara architecture style of temples in its best and most improved form. This was among the last dazzling temples that were constructed in the celebrated city of Hampi prior to the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Quick Facts About Achyuta Raya Temple, Hampi
- Timing: From 5:30 AM – 1:00 PM and from 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Visit Duration: About 2 hours
Unfortunately, this elegant and striking temple is in ruins as a consequence of the attacks by the monarchs of the Bahamani kingdom. It is greatly affected by the forces of nature over several centuries.
The location of the temple is secluded and off the more travelled path, the temple is much less crowded as compared to many other tourist attractions in Hampi. It is good news for the people who like quite tours because this place is off location and its hidden nature makes it less crowded. The best time to visit the temple is from November to February.
The main idol worshiped in the Achyuta Raya Temple is Lord Tiruvengalanatha which is another form of Vishnu.
The towers, pillars, and walls have exquisite carvings and ornamentation. Major parts of the temple are in a damaged condition. Although it is in ruins, the temple does not fail in grandiosity and its magnificence even today.
History of Achyuta Raya Temple, Hampi
The Achyuta Raya temple got built during the rule of Achyuta Deva Raya, who was one of the emperors of the Vijayanagara Empire. He came to power by succeeding his elder brother Krishna Deva Raya in the year 1529.
The stunning and heavenly temple is devoted to Lord Tiruvengalanatha; he is a configuration of Lord Vishnu. Thus, this temple was initially known as Tiruvengalanatha Temple. However, later on, it came to be called after the king in whose reign it was built. Hence, it became widely known as the Achyuta Raya temple.
Architecture of Achyuta Raya Temple
The principal shrine of the temple is located in the centre of a pair of rectangular concentric enclosures. There are pillared verandas on the interior flanks of the two courtyard walls. The outer walkways are in a state of decay, collapse, and disintegration. The temple is distinctly visible from the top of the Matanga Hill. It is at the end of the abandoned Courtesan Street.
On entering the inner court one can spot a chamber that is facing the porch leading to the central hall. There is a small shrine chamber which once sanctified an image of Garuda.
The accessible hall has few extremely lauded sculpted pillars in Hampi. The carvings are done on monolithic blocks of rocks. The statues and sculptures on the pillars reveal themes like lord Vishnu blessing an elephant, lord Krishna practising his flute while the calves are watching this scene with interest and infant Krishna dancing with a snake and holding it by the tail.
There is a Mandapa which is a marriage hall of the Gods and the Goddesses for the yearly nuptials.
How to Reach Achyuta Raya Temple
The temple is situated between the Gandhamadana and Matanga hills. There are two main routes to reach the temple. One is from Kodandarama Temple passing through the Courtesan Street and leading to the principal minarets of the Achyuta Raya Temple.
The other course to the temple is by climbing the stairs near the Nandi or Monolithic Bull situated at the eastern corner of Hampi Bazaar. The second one is the easier and the more convenient one.
Hampi does not have any airport of its own. The nearest one is the Bellary airport. Tourists can take a flight to Bellary and then can use local means of transport like cabs to reach Hampi. The total distance between Bellary and Hampi is 64km.
Hampi does not have any railway station of its own. The one from Hampi is Hospet which is at a distance of about 13 km. Tourists can hire a taxi to Hampi from Hospet. The distance from Bangalore to Hampi is 288kms.
Hampi has a good road network. There are numerous buses that connect Hampi to a number of major and important towns in Karnataka. The tourists also have the option of hiring private cars or cabs. Travellers can reach Hampi by bus. AC and Volvo buses are available.