Hampi is a world in itself; every piece of structure holds mythology which is entwined with history. You can go on exploring and it never ends! Each stone, each pillar and each structure has something to convey in Hampi. We can only wonder how such a city was built and the time it took them to create such masterpieces. In this article, we are exploring one such architectural marvel which is known as the Underground Shiva Temple in Hampi.
Where is it Located?
The Underground Shiva Temple is near to Noblemen's Quarters and very near to Hampi Main Bus Stand (main road). You can see this temple en-route to Hazara Rama Temple.
Interesting Facts About the Underground Shiva Temple
- As the name suggests, this temple is constructed below the ground level. Hence, it is famous as Underground Shiva Temple.
- Here Lord Shiva is called as Prasanna Virupaksha. Therefore, it is also known as Prasanna Virupaksha Temple in Hampi.
- It is not just an underground temple but it lies under water! Yes, the inner portions of the shrine is always filled with water. According to one theory, it is the water of Tungabhadra river that flows inside through a canal.
- Since it is near to Noblemen's quarters, the temple is believed to be a private shrine for the members of Vijayanagar Royal family only.
- Once upon a time the inner sanctum is said to have a linga. Today, the inner sanctum is empty and is always submerged in water.
- Visitors can only explore inside during the summer months. No one can go inside during the monsoon months from August to October as the water level will be high. However, the inner sanctum remains submerged throughout the year. These are some of the most interesting facts about the Underground Shiva Temple.
Architecture of the Underground Shiva Temple
Prasanna Virupaksha Temple has a simple and elegant design. It has the main hall (Maha Mantapa), Ardha Mantapa (courtyard), Garbhagriha (inner sanctum) along with antharala (a small hall leading to inner sanctum).
Not many carvings can be seen on the pillars or inside the temple. However, it is believed that the shrine was used for private ceremonies.
Prasanna Virupaksha Temple does not have a Gopura but consists of a flat roof. Visitors have to climb down the stairs to reach the temple from the entrance.
The temple is surrounded by a lush green lawn and visitors can relax and enjoy their time at this place.
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How To Reach Prasanna Virupaksha Temple
The shrine is very near to the Hampi main road and you can easily find this temple on the way to Hazara Rama Temple.
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The Underground Shiva Temple is definitely one of the unique tourist attractions in Hampi. Please don't miss out on the beautiful architectural wonder.