Virupaksha Temple is an ancient temple of Hampi steeped in beauty. It is located on the bank of the river Tungabadra. It is dedicated to lord Shiva who is also known as Virupaksha or Pampapati. Pampa is the name of the goddess Parvati, the consort of lord Shiva. Even after so many centuries the temple attracts numerous devotees. Travellers also show deep interest in the ageless beauty of the temple.
Resonating the imposing architectural style of Vijayanagara, Achyutraya Raya's temple was built 500 years ago. Its foundation was laid by an officer in Achyuta Raya's court. Hence the temple was named after him. It exemplifies the most advanced form of the temple built in Hampi. It was the last contribution of the Vijaynagara Empire before it declined. The temple is dedicated to the heavenly deity Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Lord Shiva.
One of the finest architectural marvel of the Vijaynagara Dynasty, Varaha Temple is located in the northern end of the Courtesan's street. There is a beautiful river near the temple. The temple is famous for its wall carvings. The bas-relief's of boars are the wall carvings attracting tourist's attention. Surprisingly, there is no idol in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ranganatha Temple is a must-see temple of Hampi. It is also called Vishnu Temple. Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, can be seen here resting on the serpent Ananta. This temple is located near the Achyut Raya's temple in the northern end of Courtesan's street. The shrine was built in rectangular shape with a porch outside it. The sanctum-sanctorum is dimly lit. It is better to visit the temple during the day time so that you can easily see the images inside it.
Hampi is an ordinary town but its heritage is extraordinary which clearly reflects in its ancient temples. It was founded in the 14th century by two local princes, Hukka and Bukka. The rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire made excellent contributions to the architectural beauty of the town. Kodandarama temple was one of the finest architectural jewel made by them. It clearly shows their passion of art and architecture.
The fourth cave is a Jain temple dedicated to the Tirthankara Parshavnatha. The temple also houses the sculpture of Mahavira in a sitting posture.
Located on the top of the Anjeyanadri hill, the Yantrodharaka Anjaneya Temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, the son of wind. A river flows nearby adding more charm to the temple. The temple is also called Anjaneya temple and is one of the most revered shrines of the Hindus. The temple houses an idol of lord Hanuman positioned inside an amulet(locally called Yantra). The amulet is surrounded by the beautiful carvings of monkeys.
Hampi is a major destination of Karnataka when it comes to brilliant temples. Perched on the highest point in Hampi, the Veerabhadra temple is located at the Matanga hilltop. It is blessed with peaceful ambiance. Despite being in ruins, the temple attracts a lot of tourists from far and wide. It is dedicated to the cult deity Veerabhadra. Belonging to the Siva lineage, the Veerabhadra deity is held in high esteem by the people of Hampi.
Vishnupada Shrine is dedicated to lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. This shrine houses a pair of the footprint carved on a rock. It is believed that these footprints are of lord Vishnu and hence the shrine was named Vishnupada Shrine meaning 'footprints of Vishnu'. The shrine also houses the Naga(divine snake)which clearly indicates that the temple was built in the honour of lord Vishnu.
Located on the Hemakuta Hill, the Hemakuta Temples are a cluster of beautiful temples. The hill offers picturesque views of Hampi. Due to their architectural style, these temples are some times mistaken for Jain temples. Most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. These mesmerizing temples with pyramidal roofs attract a lot of tourists from far and wide. People who are inclined towards the architectural beauty of the past can quench their thirst in Hampi.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and lord Narasimha,one of the forms of Vishnu. The term Narasimha means half man and half lion. The temple houses the statue of lord Narasimha which is the largest statue in Hampi. The lord is seated in a yogic posture on the coil of a huge snake called Sesha. The snake is giant and has seven heads forming a canopy over the head of the lord.
Badavilinga Temple is the pride of Hampi. It is the largest monolithic Linga present in the town. Located near the Narasimha statue, it is visited by devotees throughout the year. The Linga is installed inside a chamber which has a single opening in front. The Linga was commissioned by a peasant woman. In local language the term Badva means poor and hence the temple derived its name from it.
As the name suggests, the Krishna temple is dedicated to lord Krishna. The main shrine of the temple had an extremely beautiful idol of Balkrishna(lord Krishna as an infant). This divine idol has now been transferred to the state museum in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple was built by the ruler Krishnadevaraya in the 16th century to commemorate his victory over the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala(in present day Orissa state).
Uddana Veerabhadra Temple is a beautiful temple where the cult deity Veerabhadra is worshipped. The legend goes that Daksha, the king of God's had a daughter named Sati who married lord Shiva against his will. Daksha never liked Shiva as he wears funeral ash and snakes on his body. Once Daksha held a yagna ceremony at his home and invited everyone except Sati and Shiva. Still she attended the ceremony.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Chandikesvara Temple is conspicuous for its pillared hall. The architecture of the temple is quite impressive. As soon as you enter the temple you will notice the graceful Yalis( a Hindu mythical creature with the body of a lion and some elephant features). This temple reflects the great passion of the Vijayanagara rulers. The pillars of the temple are decorated with impressive carvings dedicated to the themes picked up from the Hindu mythology.
Saraswati Temple is an ancient temple located in Hampi. It is not in a very good condition but still holds its old world charm. The sanctum and the pavilions of the temple are in better condition in comparison to the rest of the structure. The terracotta made stucco figures which were once the charm of the architecture of the temple are now losing their charm. They are almost in ruins. Beautiful carvings can still be seen on the pillars.
The spiritual aura of the ISKCON temple in Bangalore will surely make you feel at peace. It is an extremely beautiful temple which is held in high esteem by Hindus. ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Every day around 12,000 devotees come to the temple for darshan. The shrine houses mesmerizing idols of Lord Krishna and Radha.
Chennakesava Temple is a noteworthy temple built during the rule of the Hoyasala Empire. It was built by the Hoysala king to commemorate his military success in the 1117 A.D. Originally known as Vijayanarayana Temple, the Chennakesava Temple is located on the banks of the Yagachi river in Belur. The architectural style of the temple is different from the traditionalone and the interiors are lavishly decorated.
Known as the 'supreme climax of Indian architecture', the Hoysaleswara Temple is one of the largest temple in South India. It was the master piece contributed by the Hoysala Empire. The Hoysala ruler Vishnuvardhana built it in the 12th century. The temple is located at Halebidu and was named after the ruler. The temple faced the wrath of the Muslim rulers. They looted the temple which finally resulted in the problem of its maintenance.
Shravanabelagola is one of the oldest pilgrimage centre held in high esteem by Jains. It is located in the Dharmasthala district of Karnataka. It is surrounded by Indragiri and Chandragiri hills. Devotees flock to the city to see the monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwar Bahubali. Towering to 17 m, this statue is the tallest statue in the world. Surprisingly the beautiful statue was carved out of a single rock.
Cave temples are the landmark of Badami. Located on a hill, they were scooped out of the sandstone hills. Displaying the brilliant example of Indian rock-cut architecture, the cave temples consist of four caves. These temples were built in the 6th century. The entrance of these caves is marked by porch decorated with stone columns and brackets. A little ahead is the mandap with numerous columns.
Kadalekalu and Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is dedicated to lord Ganesha. Located in the historic town Hampi, the temple houses a huge statue of lord Ganesha. It was scooped out of a giant rock at the north eastern part of the Hemakuta hill. The belly of the statue is fashioned in such a way that it resembles a Bengal gram(Kadalekalu in local language) and hence the temple takes it name from this.