The Chandramouliswara Temple (also spelled as Chandramouleshwara Temple) in Hampi is an ancient temple that was once an important place of worship. The temple is located on the Rishimukh Island that is situated near the northern bank of River Tungabhadra. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva.
It is one of those temples in Hampi that is not crowded by tourists, as it is situated in a remote location and is not easy to reach. However, visitors who are enthusiastic about exploring Hampi in depth make a trip to this temple.
- Timing: From dawn to dusk on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Photography: Allowed
- Video Camera: Allowed
- Visit Duration: About 30 to 40 min
- Best time to visit: From November to February
History of Chandramouliswara Temple, Hampi
The Chandramouliswara Temple dates back to the 13th century, when the Vijayanagara Empire was at its peak in Hampi. It represents one of the significant temples in Hampi during the Vijayanagara era. It is believed to have been a popular temple in the ancient days where the people of Hampi used to worship Lord Shiva religiously.
Meaning of the name Chandramouliswara
Chandramouliswara is a combination of three words – Chandra (which means moon), mouli (which means crown of hair) and iswara (which means Lord). Thus, Chandramouliswara means the Lord who wears the moon on the crowned hair. It refers to Lord Shiva who has a crescent shaped moon sitting on his hair.
Architecture of Chandramouliswara Temple, Hampi
The Chandramouliswara Temple represents the Vijayanagara style of architecture. The temple architecture contains features that are similar to those found in several other large and small temples of Hampi. Like many other structures in Hampi, the Chandramouliswara Temple was also built with huge blocks of stone.
The temple has large ornamental pillars made from cube of stones. There are big arches and stucco figures. The walls of the temple have been decorated with elaborate carvings. The massive doorways and the carved ceiling are other significant features of the architecture seen in the Chandramouliswara Temple.
Present Condition of Chandramouliswara Temple, Hampi
The Chandramouliswara Temple is among those structures in Hampi that has been ruined due to the forces of either man or nature. The ravages of time, weather and man has caused the loss of beauty of this lovely temple.
The Chandramouliswara Temple is situated on an island. It stands on a sandy terrain, as compared to the hard and rocky terrain of Hampi. The place contains a large amount of lose sand that has been deposited on the island due to the river confluence at this area.
Due to the shifting sand, many parts of the temple and its compound walls have been reduced to a sorry state of crumbling stones. Huge pieces of stone blocks and some collapsed parts of the temple can be seen lying scattered in and around the temple compound.
The ruined temple has being selected as one of the structures where restoration work has to be carried out. The temple has been restored to a certain extent by the Archaeological Survey of India. Though it is still a structure in a semi-ruined state, the temple has regained some of its lost beauty due to the restoration works.
One thing that still appeals to any tourist who visits this temple is its beautiful location and the calm atmosphere surrounding the ancient shrine.
How to reach Chandramouliswara Temple, Hampi
The Chandramouliswara Temple used to be a place that could be easily reached during the ancient days. The ruined ancient bridge of Hampi used to serve as the connecting link between the temple and the southern bank of the River Tungabhadra. But, as the bridge is in complete ruins, the temple has remained as an isolated structure for many centuries now.
However, the temple can be reached by hiring a coracle from near the famous Vittala Temple and riding on the Tungabhadra River. Another way to reach the temple is to cross the river and then to take a narrow village path from the northern bank of the river, as the temple can be reached from Anegundi as well.
Hampi is an ancient ruined town that does not have an airport of its own. Ballari (Bellary) is the closest town that has an airport. Ballari is located at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi. Visitors can take a flight to the airport at Ballari and then proceed to travel towards Hampi. There are several means of local transport to reach Hampi from Ballari.
Hampi does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railway station is situated in the city of Hosapete (Hospet). It is called the Hospet Junction Railway Station. Hosapete is situated at a distance of around 10 km from Hampi. One of the simplest ways to reach Hampi from Hosapete is to take a bus. A few other means of local transport are also there to reach Hampi from Hosapete and visitors can avail them as well.
Hampi has a good road network. As such, it is well-connected to many towns and cities with the help of this network. There are a number of KSRTC buses that travel between Hampi and other towns and cities of Karnataka.