Based on our personal experience, Here we are sharing 5 must-visit Hampi Temples in Karnataka, India. The presence of several ancient temples in Hampi making it a holy site and one of the spiritual locations of South India.
1. Sree Virupaksha Temple, Hampi
Virupaksha Temple located in Hampi also popular as Pampapathi Temple is one of the tourist attractions and eye-catching Temple of Hampi situated in the Vijayanagara district of Karnataka, India.
The temple was constructed with the assistance of Lakkan Dandesha, a Nayaka (leader of a tribe) under the ruler Krishna Deva Raya II previously known as Prauda Deva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire. He ruled Hampi between 1509 and 1529.
The temple is purely dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, people there used to pray and worship him as a form of Shiva as the consort of the local goddess Pampadevi who is associated with the Tungabhadra River.
It is said that Temple is not considered as a part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A mysterious phenomena happens every day in one of the dark chambers of Virupaksha Temple, which is an Inverted shiny image of 160 feet tall Temple tower as upside down appears on the wall and that comes through the 1-foot wide hole which is in between the Temple tower and Chamber’s wall.
This occurs only in the afternoon during 2-6 pm. People over there say that this is a supernatural event.
But the science behind it is something called Camera Obscura or Pinhole Image due to natural optical phenomena. When light reflection comes on the wall from a small hole, the top side always hits the bottom and light from the bottom hits the top which creates the inverted illusion of any object on the wall.
Only in afternoon hours when the sun moves to the west, sunlight comes on the shiny part of the tower due to which we are able to see an inverted shiny image during this time only.
2. Achyutaraya Temple
Achyuta Deva Raya was a ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire of the Southern Indian region of ancient kingdoms in 1529–1542. He was the younger brother of Krishna Deva Raya, whom he succeeded in 1529.
Achyuta Deva Raya Temple constructed in 1534 AD dedicated to Temple’s deity Lord Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Vishnu. It is one of the huge, magnificent and worthy of admiration out of all Hampi temples located between the Gandhamadana and Matanga hills where the north part of the hill slopes down to the Tungabhadra river.
The name of the temple is due to it was constructed by a high officer in Achyuta Raya’s court. One of the long-lasting impressive and imposing appearance-style temple projects executed in the capital Hampi before the fall of the Vijayanagar empire.
Partially the location of the temple is a bit off from the main tourist track due to the temple’s location is hidden behind Matanga Hills because of which temple is mostly found as less crowded.
As a consequence of the attacks by the Deccan sultanates of the Bahamani kingdom, unfortunately, this graceful and stylish temple is in ruins.
Nature’s beauty and silent peaceful place while worship is the main attraction for the tourists here, in addition to which Matanga Hills offer a beautiful view of the surrounding landscapes.
November to February is the best time to visit the temple.
3. Hazara Rama Temple
The royal centre section of Hampi, previously known as Ramachandra temple has occupied the western part of the urban core in the 15th century.
One of the important shrines of Hampi with dazzling frescos is the “Hazara Rama Temple” built by Vijayanagara royals. Temple that was purely dedicated to Rama of the Ramayana fame, and an avatar of Vishnu.
This is not huge as other Hampi temples but the main attraction for tourists is the walls of the temple that represents Hindu mythology, Ramayana. The stories are nicely sculpted in long arrays, onto the walls of this temple.
The thousands of intricate carvings made on walls and excellent workmanship behind them is really admirable. These thousands of carvings gave name to the temple ‘Hazara Rama,’ i.e. ‘Thousand Rama’.
As per medieval historical records, it is said that in 1513 AD, Devaraya I, the king of the Vijayanagara Empire, as worship to Lord Rama expressed his wish to build this grand temple.
At that time, the temple was private only to the king and at the most, royal family members of the Vijayanagara Empire to visit and worship idols. Later on, it became open for all citizens.
A lawn spreading out over a large area in an untidy and irregular way is located at the north of this temple is an easy landmark you can spot from a distance.
4. Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple
One of the most popular attractions of Hampi at the birthplace of Lord Hanuman is Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple previously known as Pranadeva Temple. It is located on Anjanadri Hill in Anegundi known as the site of the monkey kingdom Kishkindha.
Temple is purely dedicated to the deity Lord Hanuman, a Hindu god and divine vanara companion of the god Rama.
It is said that this temple is built on the place where Hanuman and Lord Rama met for the first time. Others believe that Sri Vyasaraja who was a royal priest of the Vijayanagara Kingdom used to draw the carving of Lord Hanuman on the huge rocks to pray Lord Hanuman at this place.
To visit this temple, one needs to climb several old-style stairs more than almost 550 steps, as it is situated at the highest location on the hill area which is at the top of the Anjanadri Hill.
But the cool breeze and view from every step help visitors in their climb. The temple is at a distance of 4 km from Hampi.
The natural beauty around it and sunset/sunrise view from this location is another plus point for the worshippers to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the temple.
5. Vijaya Vitthala Temple
Behind the Indian Rs.50 note, one can find the motif of Chariot, depicting the country’s cultural heritage and representing the glorious ruins of Hampi. This stone chariot is actually found in Hampi’s temple known as “Vijaya Vitthala Temple”.
The central focus of Hampi’s attractions and one of the most expensive architectural showpieces of Hampi temples is Vitthala Temple.
The visual impact or spectacle of this temple is admirable. The temple is built in the form of spreading out over a large area in an untidy campus surrounded by compound walls and gateway towers.
There are many halls, summerhouses and temples located inside this campus.
This iconic architectural temple was originally built by King Krishna Devaraya in the 15th century AD which is purely dedicated to Vitthala, is a form of Lord Vishnu.
The major attraction of the temple for tourists is its eye-catching pillared halls and an incomparable stone chariot.
In Vitthala temple’s courtyard complex we can see the Garuda shrine which was Lord Vishnu’s vehicle in the form of a stone chariot built with many giant granite blocks which represent a pictured symbol of Hampi.
From Virupaksha temple almost around 3 kilometers over the northeast, the Vitthala temple and market complex is located near the banks of the Tungabhadra River.
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