Uddana Veerabhadra temple is an ancient shrine in Hampi that is known for its religious significance. The temple has the largest statue of the demon king Veerabhadra, built during the Vijayanagara period, in Hampi.
The temple is located southeast to the Chandikesvara Temple and midway between the Sacred Centre and the Royal Enclosure. It stands just near the main road to Hampi. In fact the main road just passes between the temple compound and the tall monolithic lamp-post standing in front of it.
The whitewashed temple is not really a tourist attraction, but it is a prominent religious destination in Hampi. Uddana Veerabhadra temple is also known as Mudduviranna temple according to the inscription.
- Timing: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM on all days of the week
- Entry Fee: No entry fee required
- Still Photography: Not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum
- Video Camera: Strictly prohibited inside the sanctum sanctorum
- Visit Duration: About 1 hour
- Parking Fee: Parking is free
- Best time to visit: Throughout the year
History of Uddana Veerabhadra Temple, Hampi
The Uddana Veerabhadra Temple dates back to the era of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was consecrated by Dalavayi Jangamayya in the year 1545 AD. The temple is dedicated to Veerabhadra, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Veerabhadra is a cult deity who represents the ferocious form of Lord Shiva.
The presence of the Uddana Veerabhadra Temple in Hampi points towards the fact that during the Vijayanagara days the people of Hampi used to worship the Gods in their ferocious forms as well. In fact the ruins of Hampi provide plenty of evidences about the existence of this cult.
Veerabhadra is also called Muddu Veeranna in the local dialect. Hence, the temple is also known as Mudduviranna temple.
Legend Related to Uddana Veerabhadra Temple, Hampi
There is an interesting legend associated with the origin of the cult deity Veerabhadra. Legend has it that King Daksha had a beautiful daughter named Sati. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and married him against the wishes of her father.
Daksha did not approve of the marriage. Once Daksha held a special occasion and invited all the Gods and sages to the event except his daughter Sati and her husband Shiva. When Sati arrived at the event without invitation, Daksha insulted Sati and abused Shiva in front of Sati and all other guests. Sati was unable to bear the insults and abuses heaped on her husband. She committed suicide by jumping into the sacrificial fire at the venue.
On hearing the news about Sati’s death Shiva became enraged. He plucked out a lock of his matted hair and threw it on the ground with immense anger. Out of that lock of hair were born the demon god Veerabhadra and Goddess Kali.
Shiva’s anger led to unleashing of terror at Daksha’s palace and ultimately Daksha was beheaded.
Even the Gods of the heaven became afraid of Shiva’s fury and appealed to him for mercy. They requested Shiva to bring back Daksha to life. Shiva relented and replaced Daksha’s head with that of a goat and brought him back to life. After this incident, Daksha turned into a devotee of Shiva.
According to mythology, Veerabhadra is an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself and Kali is his consort. That is why a section of the people worships Veerabhadra as a form of Shiva.
Architecture of Uddana Veerabhadra Temple, Hampi
The Uddana Veerabhadra Temple is built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture. Though it is not as grand as some of the other famous temples of Hampi, it draws a large number of devotees due to its religious importance.
The temple complex comprises of a large garbhagriha, an antarala and a pillared mukhamantapa. The temple has simple doors painted in saffron colour. The main deity of the temple, Veerabhadra, is 16 feet high well sculpted image of Veerabhadra.
There is no other image of Veerabhadra in Hampi built during the Vijayanagara period that is larger than this image. This image of Veerabhadra has four hands. The upper hands bear bow and arrow and the lower hands bear sword and shield. The image depicts the warrior nature of the demon king.
A few unique things about Uddana Veerabhadra Temple, Hampi
There are a few unique facts to note about the Uddana Veerabhadra Temple. They are:
- The temple has a small image of goat headed Daksha placed near the main image of Veerabhadra.
- The temple has the unique Sarvanga Linga installed inside the sanctum sanctorum.
- The priests who perform puja at this temple belong to the Lingayath community, which is a deviation from the tradition of the Brahmin community performing the puja rites everywhere.
How to reach Uddana Veerabhadra Temple
The Uddana Veerabhadra Temple is situated on the main road to Hampi and just half a kilometre from the famous Krishna Temple. The temple is easily accessible to anyone who reaches Hampi.
Hampi, the ancient town, does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is situated at Ballari (Bellary). Visitors who wish to reach Hampi by air route can take a flight to Ballari and then proceed to Hampi by means of local transport. Ballary is at a distance of around 64 km from Hampi.
Hampi does not have a railway station of its own. However, the nearest railway station is located at the nearby city of Hosapete (Hospet). It has the Hospet Junction Railway Station and is situated at a distance of just 10 km from Hampi. To reach Hampi from Hosapete one can avail a bus or opt for other means of local transport.
Hampi has a good road network and is well connected to several places by the road network. There are a number of buses that ply between Hampi and several major towns and cities in Karnataka. Visitors can also hire private cars, cabs or other vehicles from major cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore) to reach Hampi.