Travellers on a trip to Hampi should also visit Virupaksha Temple that is devoted to Lord Shiva and his companion Goddess Pampa. This temple, which has a nine-tiered, 50 metre high gopuram, is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River at the foot of the Hemakuta Hill. This temple represents the South Indian Dravidian architectural style and is made using brick and mortar. Also known as Pampapati Temple, it has a sanctum, Mukha Mantapa (Ranga Mandapam), three ante chambers and a pillared hall.
Upon visiting the Virupaksha Temple, tourists will learn that it dates back to the 7th century and has carvings made between 9th and 11th centuries. Initially, this temple enshrined only a few idols, developed into a larger complex as time passed on. The Ranga Mandapam was built in 1510 AD by Krishnadevarya reflecting the Vijayanagara style of architecture. Pillars, temple kitchen, lamp posts, towers and other shrines were added afterwards. The prime attractions of the Virupaksha Temple are striking carvings of animals and paintings depicting Hindu myths.