Chakratirtha in Hampi is considered to be one of the holiest places in the ruined city. It is located on the banks of the River Tungabhadra, close to the Kodanda Rama Temple.
Chakratirtha is regarded as the most sacred bathing spot on the River Tungabhadra. The place holds huge attraction for pilgrims and is thronged by a large number of people on auspicious days.
- Timing: Open on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Best time to visit: From November to February
Legend associated with Chakratirtha, Hampi
In the local language Chakratirtha means ‘the sacred water body that swirls.’ There are quite a few legends associated with Chakratirtha. According to one of the legends, Chakratirtha is the spot where Lord Shiva gave Lord Vishnu one of his most powerful weapons, the Chakra.
The Chakra is a rapidly spinning disk-like weapon that is used by Vishnu to destroy the enemies. As per another legend, on some special occasions and auspicious days the swirl in the river forms images of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana.
Religious significance of Chakratirtha, Hampi
The water at Chakratirtha has been regarded as holy since ancient times. Even today a large number of pilgrims take a dip in the bathing spot of Chakratirtha during auspicious days.
After taking a bath in the holy water the pilgrims visit the Kodanda Rama Temple that is situated nearby. There are ancient pavilions built next to the temple that have been used by pilgrims as a place to rest for many centuries.
There is a large flat rock at the riverbank at Chakratirtha that faces the Kodanda Rama temple. This rock has several carvings on it, including Shiva Lingas and foot prints carved in circular patterns. The rock holds a lot of religious significance for the devotees and pilgrims.
Pilgrims are also known to visit the Yantrodhara Anjaneya Temple after taking a dip in the river water at Chakratirtha.
Why does the water swirl at Chakratirtha, Hampi
Chakratirtha is situated at the valley point of two hills – the Rishyamukha Hill on the northern side and the Matunga Hill on the southern side. At this spot, the water gets narrower and its route changes direction along the valley.
As a result, strong current is formed at this part of the river. The swift current is often not noticeable from the surface. The swirl pattern can be easily seen if the river washes down weeds into Chakratirtha from upstream.
The circular formation of the weeds in water reveals the swirl of the water at that place.
Caution to be exercised at Chakratirtha, Hampi
Chakratirtha is not a safe place for swimming due to the river current and the swirl formed by it. Moreover, it is not advisable for tourists or pilgrims to visit Chakratirtha during the peak monsoon season. This is due to the fact that the water level of the Tungabhadra River at Chakratirtha rises during the monsoon and sometimes reaches up to the Kodanda Rama temple courtyard.
However, at other times, tourists can enjoy a Coracle ride to cross the river or float along the bank.
How to reach Chakratirtha, Hampi
Chakratirtha is located just around the corner from the Soolai Bazaar (Hampi Bazaar), an ancient market place in Hampi. Chakratirtha is easily accessible to anyone who reaches Hampi.
Hampi is a ruined city that has no airport of its own. The nearest town that has an airport is Bellary. Visitors who wish to reach Hampi by air can take a flight to Bellary and then avail local means of transport to reach Hampi. Bellary is located at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi.
To reach Hampi by the rail network visitors will have to get down at the nearest railway station to Hampi, located at Hospet. The Hospet Junction Railway Station is situated at a distance of about 12 km from Hampi.
The city of Hampi can be easily reached from Hospet through one of the many buses that travel regularly between the two places. Visitors can also try other means of local transport to reach Hampi from Hospet.
Hampi is well connected by means of the road network. The old town can be easily reached by bus from a number of major towns and cities. Visitors can also hire private cars, cabs or other vehicles from major cities like Bangalore or Mysore to reach Hampi.