The Virupaksha Temple in Hampi is dedicated to lord Shiva. The distance from Bangalore to Hampi is about 350 km. Hampi is a temple town in South India and is acknowledged as one of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. This temple was constructed in Lakkana Dandesha’s assistance who was a commander under King Deva Raya II.
Hampi is on the embankment of River Tungabhadra. The predominant centre of pilgrimage in Hampi is this esteemed temple. It is the holiest and sacred retreat.
The Virupaksha temple has survived through the years and never ceases to prosper. It is still pristine amidst the ruins that surround it. It attracts large groups of people in the month of December. The yearly chariot festival is conducted in the month of February.
History of Virupaksha Temple
The Virupaksha temple’s chronicle is unremitting from around the seventh century. Virupaksha-Pampa retreat was existent since a long time here. There are several inscriptions about Lord Shiva which were engraved in the 9th century.
It started off as a little shrine and later developed into a huge complex during the Vijayanagara rule. There is evidence that indicates additions were made to Virupaksha temple during the later years of the Hoysala and Chalukyan sovereignty.
Native art, craft, and culture flourished during the fourteenth century during the reign of the dynasty. But these beautiful architectures and creations were destroyed when the Vijayanagara rulers were crushed by Muslim intruders.
The devotional group of Pampa and Virupaksha did not come to an end with the devastation of Hampi in 1565. The temple is worshiped even today and has persisted all over the years. There were extensive renovations done in the early 19th century that include the addition of towers and ceiling paintings.
Virupaksha Temple Architecture
The temple has a shrine or the holy place of worship, a hall with a number of pillars and 3 antechambers. There are courtyards, a pillared monastery, few small shrines; and entrance ways surrounding the temple.
Among all the gateways, the eastern gateway is the greatest. It is nine-tiered and 50 meters in length. It is well built and has some previous structures. The framework is of brick and includes a gravel base giving way to the court outside. This court contains various sub-sanctums. The inner eastern gopuram is graced with three storeys while the northern gopuram has five storeys.
The Kanakagiri gopuram towards the north takes the tourists to a little enclosure with supplementary sanctums.
A renowned Vijayanagara King, Krishnadevaraya was a contributor of the temple. It is believed that the main pillared hall which is the most adorned structure of this temple is his addition. There is a stone slab beside the hall which has inscriptions that explain his offerings for the temple.
Surrounding the Virupaksha temple are plenty of dilapidated mandapams. There was an ancient shopping centre interlined with mandapams in front of this temple. The ruins of it stand today.
How to Reach Virupaksha Temple
The closest international airport from Hampi is Bellary, 350 kms away. Tourists can take a cab from Bellary to Hampi
The nearest railway station is Hospet at about 13 km away. Hospet is amply connected to the major cities like Bellary and Bangalore. Tourists usually hire a cab from Hospet to reach Hampi. The distance from Bangalore to Hampi is a distance of 288km.
Tourists can go to Hampi by bus from places like Bellary, Hospet, and Bangalore. Volvo and AC buses are available for the passengers. Travelers can avail cabs as well.