Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, this temple is a major attraction at Hampi. As you enter the city, the magnificent tower of the temple would capture your heart for sure; this is a must visit site for everyone who are planning their trip to Hampi.
Virupaksha temple tower - PC : Brunda Nagaraj
- The oldest temple of Hampi stands tall with prayers being done uninterruptedly ever since it was built in the 7th century.
- Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest temples of India.
- This temple has been constructed by various rulers of the Vijayanagara empire.
- Prayers in this temple to the Lord are offered at all three times.
- There are four entrances to the temple however, devotees have access only to three.
It is believed that when Sati jumped into the sacred fire during the Daksha yajna ritual, Lord Shiva was at the peak of rage and as he danced carrying the burnt body of his beloved wife Sati, it fell on earth at fifty one different places and Hampi was one of the prominent places which later became a holy place.
It is also said that the local girl Pampavati (incarnation of Sati) did a penance to get married to Lord Shiva in this holy land, hence Lord Shiva in this temple is also known as Pampapati.
View of the temple tower - PC : Brunda Nagaraj
Design and architecture
- Experiencing the place first hand is highly recommended to appreciate the skills of the artists and sculptors however; I cannot resist myself from mentioning a couple or more to you all to explore during your visit.
- Three-headed bull; as you enter the temple premises, to the left you would find a sculpture of a three-headed bull and this is a must-watch at the temple.
- At the back of the temple, you would find a place where the main tower is found in an inverted form. This is the pinhole camera technology which is used and is a proof of how skillful the craftsman of the Vijayanagara empire were.
- As you enter the courtyard, you get to see the thousand pillar hall and there are a lot of beautiful carvings within the temple. A narrow passage from the thousand pillared hall leads us to kitchen complex.
- As you go out of the temple; very close to the lake you would find a small temple which has the idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman being together which is very rare to be found.
- Temples of Goddess Pampavati, Bhuvaneshwari, Lord Hanuman, Navagraha and Dhanvantri are found inside the temple premises.
- The temple also has a board which displays the history of different rulers of Vijayanagara empire.
Entrance fee: Applicable - 5 INR/-
Timings: 9 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm
Time required to cover: approximately 2.5 hours
Photography : Not allowed inside the main shrine.
Camera cost - 50 INR/-
Cost for foreigners is different and has been displayed on the board at the ticket counter.