In The previous segment we talked about the Brihadisvara temple and its architectural works ect, and today we are going to talk about another magnificent temple which is the Virupaksha Temple,located at South-India’s temple town Hampi.Hampi is in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, approximately 74 kilometres from Bellary, another tourist attraction near Hampi. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hampi was an important part of Vijayanagara city (1343 – 1565), which was later ruined, but this beautiful place known as the temple town still exists. Because of its geographical location, it has always been a priority for various rulers. It is surrounded on three sides by impregnable hills, and the Tungabhadra River flows on the fourth, making it both secure and beautiful from a scenic standpoint.Hampi is a religious centre because it is home to many temples.
This location is worth seeing because it is both archaeologically and architecturally significant. Furthermore, it is wonderfully surrounded by lofty mountains and a smoothly flowing river, which adds to its already existing attractiveness. According to Google statistics, this is the most searched location in Karnataka.
Lord Shiva is lauded at the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. The distance between Bangalore and Hampi is approximately 350 kilometres. Hampi is a South Indian temple town that has been identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Lord Shiva is honoured at the Virupaksha Temple. This temple was built with the help of Lakkana Dandesha, a commander under King Deva Raya II.Hampi is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
This revered temple is the most important pilgrimage site in Hampi. It is the most holy and sacred retreat.The Virupaksha temple has withstood the test of time and continues to thrive. In the midst of the ruins that surround it, it remains pristine. During the month of December, it attracts large crowds. The yearly chariot festival takes place in February.
History of Virupaksha Temple
The Virupaksha temple’s history dates back to the seventh century. The Virupaksha-Pampa retreat has been here for a long time. Several texts about Lord Shiva were carved in the ninth century.During the reign of Vijayanagara, it began as a small shrine and grew into a massive complex. There is evidence that additions to the Virupaksha temple were made during the later years of Hoysala and Chalukyan rule.
During the reign of the dynasty in the fourteenth century, native art, craft, and culture flourished. However, when the Vijayanagara rulers were defeated by Muslim intruders, their beautiful architectures and creations were destroyed.The devotional movement of Pampa and Virupaksha did not end with the destruction of Hampi in 1565. The temple is still worshipped today and has survived the centuries. In the early nineteenth century, extensive renovations were carried out, including the addition of towers and ceiling paintings.
The temple contains a shrine or holy place of worship, a hall with numerous pillars, and three antechambers. Courtyards, a pillared monastery, a few small shrines, and entrance ways surround the temple.The eastern gateway is the most important of all the gateways. It has nine levels and is 50 metres long. It’s well-built and has some pre-existing structures. The framework is made of brick, and it has a gravel base that leads to the court outside.
This court has several sub-sanctums. The inner eastern gopuram has three storeys, while the northern gopuram has five.The Kanakagiri gopuram, located to the north, leads visitors to a small enclosure with additional sanctums.Krishnadevaraya, a well-known Vijayanagara King, contributed to the temple’s construction. It is thought that he added the main pillared hall, which is the most ornate structure in this temple. A stone slab beside the hall has inscriptions explaining his offerings to the temple.
There are numerous dilapidated mandapams surrounding the Virupaksha temple. In front of this temple, there was an ancient shopping centre interlaced with mandapams. Its ruins can still be seen today.
The main temple currently has a sanctum, three chambers, a pillared hall, and an open pillared hall. It is embellished with intricately carved pillars. The temple is surrounded by a pillared abbey, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines, and other structures. The largest at 50 metres, the nine-tiered eastern gateway is well-proportioned and incorporates some earlier structures.
It has a stone foundation and a brick superstructure. It provides access to the outer court, which contains numerous sub-shrines.The smaller eastern gateway leads to the inner court, which contains a slew of smaller shrines.Another gopuram, the Kanakagiri gopura, leads to a small enclosure with subsidiary shrines and eventually to the river Tungabhadra.The Tungabhadra River flows along the temple’s terrace, then down to the temple kitchen and out through the outer court.
The use of mathematical ideas to build and embellish this temple is one of its most striking features. The temple features repeated patterns that demonstrate the Fractals concept. The temple’s main shape is triangular. The patterns divide and repeat themselves as you look up the temple top, just like in a snowflake or other natural wonder.Krishnadevaraya, a famous Vijayanagara Empire king, was a major supporter of this temple.
The central pillared hall, the most ancient looking of all structures in the temple, is thought to be his contribution to this temple. As is the gateway tower that leads to the temple’s inner courtyard. Inscriptions on a stone plaque next to the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. This hall was built to commemorate Krishna Devaraya’s accession in 1510 AD. He also constructed the eastern gopuram. As a result of these additions, the central shrine came to occupy a relatively small portion of the complex.
The temple’s halls were used for a variety of purposes. Some were places where gods’ images were placed to watch special programmes of music, dance, drama, and so on. Others were used to commemorate deity marriages.
By Plane: Bellary, 350 kilometres away, is the nearest international airport to Hampi. Visitors can take a taxi from Bellary to Hampi.
By Rail: Hospet railway station is about 13 kilometres away. Hospet is well-connected to major cities such as Bellary and Bangalore. To get to Hampi, most tourists take a taxi from Hospet. The distance between Bangalore and Hampi is 288 kilometres.
By Road: Tourists can travel to Hampi by bus from places such as Bellary, Hospet, and Bangalore. Passengers can choose between Volvo and AC buses. Cabs are also available for travellers.
Image Source: Google