After seeking blessings from the Sasivekalu Ganapati and Kadalekaalu Ganapati, the next attraction at Hampi would be the Hemakuta hills. A beautiful site which attracts a lot of tourists for its amazing sunrise and sunset. It would not be an exaggeration if we call it a Photographers paradise.
Scenic view of Hemakuta - PC : Brunda Nagaraj
Facts about Hemakuta Temples
It is said that the ruins at this place is pretty older than the Vijayanagara kingdom.
The cluster of temples found here are sometimes confused to be the Jain temples as well.
Legend of Hemakuta
It is believed that once Lord Shiva sat on this hill and was in a meditative state until he was disturbed by the God of Love (Kama).
Legend also says that Hemakuta was the place where Manmatha (God of Love) was killed by Lord Shiva.
This place is also said to have been rained with gold and hence the name Hemakuta - Hema in Sanskrit language means Gold.
Design and Architecture
Steps carved out in the rocks lead to a an amazing entrace of Hemakuta where you get to see a cluster of temples spread across the rocky surface with some amazing pavilions and pillars. Most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and you may also get to see the carvings of Shiva Linga on the rocks as well; as you go a little further from the entrance you would also notice an amazing carving of Lord Rama and his family on the rocks. A temple dedicated to Lord Virupaksha is seen with a pond in the front and it is believed that this was the original Virupaksha temple.
Things to do in Hemakuta
- Do not forget to spend sometime at the entrance of the place; let the cool breeze rejuvenate every cell of your body before you head to explore the place.
- If you are planning your visit during summer; do wait at the the pond to see herd of monkeys diving into the pond to beat the heat and playing with each other.
- If you are there during evenings, do wait to catch the beautiful sunset.
How to Reach Hemakuta
- It is at a walkable distance and from Hampi main bus stand; you can either choose to walk or cycle to this place. Auto rickshaws are also available.
- You may choose to take the path that connects Hemakuta from Hampi Bazaar or through the temples of Sasivekaalu and Kadalekalu Ganapati.
Please wear comfortable footwear as the rocks are slippery at some places and during summers the rocks heat up really bad leaving blisters on feet.
Photography is allowed and there is no entrance fee.
Timings : 7 am to 7 pm and time required to cover the place : 60 - 90 minutes.
Do carry water bottles and there are no toilet facilities in the premises.