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Ancient Ganesha Temples of Hampi in Karnataka

Written By: Akshatha

Hampi in Karnataka was the richest city during the Vijayanagara Empire. A former capital, Hampi is a famous historical site today. The art and architecture of Hampi depicts the time of a great empire. Vijayanagara was one of the wealthiest empires during 1500 AD. Hampi ( Hampe) is situated on the banks of Tungabhadra river. It was earlier called 'Pampa' or 'Virupakshapura' (Virupaksha, the patron deity of the Vijayanagara rulers).

vittal temple

Mantapas of Vittala Temple
Photo Courtesy: Srikar.agnihotram

Today, the ruins of Hampi is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ASI still conducts excavations to discover more of Vijayanagara empire.

This archaeological site has many attractions and is known for tourism in Karnataka. There are many temples in Hampi: Virupaksha Temple, Sasivekalu (mustard seed) Ganesha temple, Krishna temple, Vittala temple, Kadalekalu ( Bengal Gram) Ganesha temple, etc.

Stone Chariot

Stone Chariot
Photo Courtesy: Rsrikanth05

The Stone Chariot in Hampi is very popular among people. In fact, all the buildings, temples and sculptures are so intricate and rich in art.

Sasivekalu Ganesh

Sasivekalu (Mustard seed) Ganesha temple
Photo Courtesy: Tania Dey

Sasivekalu (Mustard seed) Ganesha

Sasivekalu (Mustard seed) Ganesha is one such famous temple. The name itself is so unique that one will become curious. The giant monolithic statue of Ganesha is located on the Hemakuta Hill.


Sasivekalu Ganesha
Photo Courtesy: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

The Ganesha idol here is big and his tummy is tied by the snake. The name Mustard Seed Ganesha (Sasivekalu) gets because Ganesha idol's tummy looks like a mustard seed. This is one of the famous temples in Hampi. Now, even this temple is in ruins but the statue is still intact with few breakages.

Bengal Gram Ganesh

Kadalekalu (Bengal Gram) Ganesha
Photo Courtesy: Ashim DSilva

Kadalekalu (Bengal gram) Ganesha Temple 

Kadalekalu (Bengal gram) Ganesha temple is just near to Sasivekalu Ganesha. This is also a giant Ganesha statue and its tummy resembling the Bengal gram. The pillared sanctum is built around the statue. This statue is 15 feet tall and is one among the largest sculptures in Hampi.

Stoned Tank

A stepped tank in an underground temple
Photo Courtesy: Dharani.prakash

Lotus Mahal, Elephant stable, Chandramouleshwara temple, aqueducts and canals are some of the places to visit in Hampi. This ancient, religious and historical place in Karnataka portrays the richness of the past. Excavation in Hampi has lead to many discoveries of ancient artefacts, sculptures and buildings. Still, there might be many things hidden beneath the ruins.

Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple
Photo Courtesy: Apadegal

A walk around these archaeological sites of Hampi is enriching for sure.

Read more about: hampi karnataka

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