Saturday, July 18, 2009

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi

Hampi has several architecturally beautiful temples. Virupaksha temple is the oldest among them and is located on the south bank of the river Tungabadra. It is principal temple of Hampi as it is believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. The temple can be accessed through the chariot street popularly known as the Hampi Bazaar.

The main entrance tower of Virupaksha Temple is east facing and is a huge 9 storied tower. The lower two tiers of the tower is made of decorated stone work. The tower progressively diminishes as it moves upward and the structure is made with brick and mortar. From the tower one will enter into two large courtyards, which are linked to each other. The first courtyard has a pillared hall called 100-column hall at the far left corner, Kalyanamantapa at the far right corner. As soon as one enters this place one can to see on the left side Triple headed Nandi (bull statue).

In the open area in the center there is a pillared cloisters leaving gaps at the north, south and east edges for a series of sub shrines. The front portion has a row of decorated pillars. It looks like the lion figure carved at the base of each of these pillars supporting the slender upper portions. The most striking feature of this court is the central pillared hall known as the Ranga Mandapa added to the temple complex in 1510 AD by Krishadeva Raya. Two mythical lion like creatures forms the balustrade for the entrance to this elevated open pavilion. This hall with 5 aisles and 38 pillars is used for temple rituals including the marriage ceremonies. The highlights include rows of pillars shaped with rampant lion like mythical creatures (Yalis) standing on aquatic creatures (Crocodiles).

pillared cloisters 

At the sanctum of Lord Virupaksha there are two 4 armed guardian deities, about 8 feet tall, stand on either side of the entrance to the inner hall. The sanctum contains the idol of lord Virupaksha in the form of a Linga .

The must see part of the temple is at the rare of temple complex. Behind the main sanctum a flight of steps leads to the rear exit of the temple complex. Just before the exit on the right side there is a dark chamber with a slit on the wall. The sun ray pass through this slit forms an inverted shadow of the main tower on the wall. This was designed in those early days and a masterpiece.


Ranju said...

have been following your blog for some time ... I really like the way you describe each place with its history, beautiful photos...

joo said...

Stunning place!I like the triple head Nandi statue.
Thanks for showing such an interesting place:)

Kelly said...

...absolutely gorgeous. The craftsmanship that went into building this is amazing.

Anya said...

Very interesting place :)
The temple is a BEAUTY !!
Nice written story, Thanks :)

Swetha said...

Mind blowing shot!! the temple is so Majestic!

Zuzana said...

Reading your posts makes me feel like being there. This is fascinating from historical, but also architectural and intellectual point of view.;)

Unknown said...

Beautiful post. Very interesting history and photos.
The temple is beautiful. This is something I would like to see.

Best regards

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Great post as usual. loved the three-headed Nandi photo.

Dave Coulter said...

The building I live in is undergoing masonry repair - and it's 85 years old. Isn't it amazing how these temples still remain?

Shelly's Style Shop said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and your comment! ;-) I really like your blog. You have alot of interesting things. I just love all the pictures.

xoxo, Shelly

James said...

What an amazing place, the top picture reminds me of a pyramid.
It's so true, there are many "architecturally beautiful temples" in India.

Anonymous said...

we would like to see more and more images of this lovely place. :)

namaki said...

wow ! this is a nice article .... I have always dreamt of visiting India ... at least I can do it virtually !

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Wow! What a wonderful trip to this most-unique temple!! Thanks for sharing.

TV Tower on Sinhagad - Going Inside Clouds

ARUNA said...

Never been to this place but its stunning.....very beautiful Rajesh. Thanks for sharing!!!

Rush said...

truly a masterpiece!!

Ramakrishnan said...

This is a historically significant temple - represents the best of art & architecture of the Vijayanagara period. Good descriptive account. Nice photo.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Very interesting historically and culturally!

Anonymous said...

I am flabbergasted by the cultural and historical wealth that India has to offer.

I love your collage on the header.

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic post and photos! I, too, like ewok am amazed by the cultural and historical wealth of India. Incredible temples, architecture! Would so love to visit!

Indrani said...

There is an elephant who blesses you if you place a five rupee coin in its trunk.

Rajesh said...

Ranju: Thanks for the appreciation. Good to know that you have been keeping tab on my blog.

Joo: Thanks, this kind of Nandi sculpture is unique throughout India.

Kelly: Thanks for the appreciation.

pranksygang: Thanks. Yes, it a grand temple

Anya: Thanks for the appreciation.

Protege: Thanks for the appreciation. I am happy that I am able to give virtual tour.

Asta: Thank you. You should definitely plan a visit.

Sucharita: Thanks, this kind of Nandi sculpture is unique throughout India.

Shelly: Thank you.

James: Thanks, the most of the temple towers are of this kind of shape.

Deepak: Thanks, I will be writing more on Hampi

namki: Thanks for the appreciation. am happy that I am able to give virtual tour.

Bhavesh: Thank you.

Aruna: Thanks, This is a nice must visit place.

Rush: Thanks for the appreciation.

Ram: Thanks for the appreciation. It truly depicts Vijaynagar architecture.

Phivos: Thanks for the appreciation.

ewok1993: Thanks for the appreciation. I am glad you have liked the header.

Sylvia: Thanks for the appreciation. You are most welcome to visit in person.

Indrani: Thanks, Yes there is small elephant at the entrance which blesses the people. They say doing so with the kids will give them courage.

Ivar said...

Wow, awesome huge building, nicely captured... Very nice

Aparna said...

You are bringing out the stunning beauty of Vijaynagar through your posts and snaps.
The architecture seems like a marvel. Between yours and Rams posts, I have been left thoroughly confused. Cant decide where to go for this Diwali break.

Bala said...

Good Post thanks for sharing.
One word to say that " Your blog is full of informative stuff "
Keep posting more like these.
Good Luck

Travel fromChennai-Coimbatore

Viji said...

Nice Post:-).

I recently went to a photo exhibition of Hampi (The shots were taken more than 150 years back by 2 british soldairs!!).

What an acrchitecture!!

Planning to visit sometime soon!

Urmi said...

Beautiful description with splendid photos.I liked it very much.Keep writing.

magiceye said...

thank you for the wonderful tour of virupaksha temple. was surprised to see the triple headed nandi!

Carrizo said...

Awesome photos Rajesh. Great photo report and when reading it and admiring Your photos, one feels like being there.

Wolynski said...

Quite a spectacular temple - how come India is so full of wondrous historic buildings and so much dire poverty at the same time?

LadyFi said...

Yet another fantastic post! THat temple is spectacular - like a tiered cake.

Hazel said...

I kinda like the name - "chariot street" like always you have beautiful objects to capture and they are nicely captured. Thanks for the description too.

Anonymous said...

Hampi - Yes, the destination I want to visit ASAP.

sandeep said...

i never noticed that slit in the wall and the inverted shadow. next time i guess :)

Sumandebray said...

Nice place... Humpi Ruins is one of the place that let you ponder the mysteries of nature... A whole city turned into rubbles
There used to be plenty of monkeys there... one of those was trying to move away with one of your bags

Old memories....

Unknown said...

You have a beautiful world out there, full of history and artistry. Great post and thanks for the visit. ~Namaste

biologion said...

Beautiful place! Excellent photos of an astonishing building!

Arija said...

This temple looks so well preserved. Nice post.

Reader Wil said...

It's hard to understand that long before the European Gothic age you in India already built buildings as decorated and refined like our Gothic Cathedrals.
You said to be surprised that the first Belgian king came from England. Well he was German but married the English Crownprinses. He got the British nationality, but when his wife died in childbirth, he left England and became king of Belgian.

Carver said...

That's a beautiful temple. Very informative post and great photographs.

Gattina said...

Beautiful architecture, so strange to me !

Mark Kreider said...

The temple is amazing!

Anonymous said...

You have a lovely blog. Now I know where to look for travel info. Lovely pics.

Mario said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenn Jilks said...

Interesting world. Thank you for visiting My Muskoka, too!

Rajesh said...

Lvar: Thanks for the appreciation.

Aparna: Thanks, the Vijaynagar architecture is definitely a marvel. Probably you can cover the places from both the posts as some of them are close by.

Bala: Thank you.

Viji: Thanks, I would love to see thiose snaps.

Babli: Thanks for the appreciation.

magiceye: Thanks, the Nandi is unique.

Carrizo: Thanks for the appreciation. am happy that I am able to give virtual tour.

Wolynski: Thanks, In spite of so much rich heritage the poverty still exists as it is plundered for its wealth way back. It is not that bad anymore.

LadyFi: Thanks for the appreciation.

Hazel: Thanks for the appreciation.

Hobo: Thanks, you are most welcome to visit this place.

Sandeep: Thanks, this place is at the rare of the temple.

Suman: Thanks, Hampi ruins are man made destruction. I do not remember seeing the monkeys.

Pacey: Thanks for the appreciation.

Arija: Thanks, the architecture whatever is remaining is well preserved.

biologin: Thanks for the appreciation.

Wil: Thanks for the appreciation. Indian history is very old.

Gattina: Thank you.

Craver: Thanks for the appreciation.

Jenn: Thank you.

mkreider: Thank you.

Jyothi: Thanks for the appreciation.

Swarna said...

Hampi is still in my to-do list.
The triple-headed Nandi is unusual, I think?

George said...

This is absolutely fascinating. Thanks for giving us the information about this temple and for the pictures. They are very impressive when enlarged.

Ice said...

Did you look around in all 9-storey of this temple? I always wonder what do they have having so many levels.

Mo said...

A Lovely temple with interesting comment. Love to see more of it. Perhaps you can photograph the interior

IrinaBohemianDance said...

Absolutely lovely place...
(Thank you for visiting my blog)

Have a great day,


Worldwide1 said...

beautiful as well as full of historical meanings..

Bengbeng said...

awesome ref to the first pic

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rajesh:)

Very interesting and informative post. Excellent photos.

I am amazed at the intricate carvings on the temple. To think that this architectural marvel was constructed in the 7th century is all the more spellbinding.

Have a nice day Rajesh:)

Unknown said...

interesting post. must be amazing to see in person.

thanks for the visit!

Laurie said...

It is an amazing and beautiful place.

Rajesh said...

Swarna: Thanks, It is a nice place to visit. This Nandi is very unique.

George: Thanks for the appreciation. I am glad you have enlarged them to view.

Ai Shiang: Thanks, It is not permitted to enter inside this tower for general public.

Irina: Thank you.

Mo: Thanks for the appreciation. More to come.

worlwide1: Thanks for the appreciation.

Doreen: Thank you.

Bengbeng: Thanks for the appreciation.

Joseph: Thank you, definitely the architecture is marvelous and they were great artists.

Laurie: Thank you.

Unknown said...

Fantastic location ! This is a lovely place to go..Thanks for sharing the beauty Rajesh..Unseen Rajasthan

Kcalpesh said...

Very informative. Thanks for sharing all the info and pictures! Very little I knew about this place before reading your post!

Bhushavali said...

As usual a great post.... I love the triple headed Nandi... - My Travelogue

Jeevan said...

Last week I was watching a travel program on hampi in DD Pothigai channel and first thing came to mind is your post. They showed the Tungabhadra River and the river side structures and lingams.

Your describe gives an image of interior temple and the tower is one strong building I have seen so far. nice post.

Sahildeki Ev said...

India, a country that I want to revisit again, but I think for the time being I will be happy with your blog

Shammickite said...

Oh, I would LOVE to visit India. So much history, architecture, myths, religions, and the food, oh yes, the food!.... maybe one day. I really enjoy your blog!

Pietro Brosio said...

Amazing place indeed.
The main entrance tower is amazing!
Beautiful images!

Barbara Martin said...

I appreciate the detailed history you put in with the photos. There is so much history for me to learn about India.

Recently I read "The Toss of a Lemon" by Padma Viswanathan that provided an indepth look at a Brahmin family from 1896 to the mid-20th century. A delightful read and now I want to visit India to see the sights, the temples and learn the history behind everything (well, almost everything).

Baron's Life said...

Your shots and commentary are second to none...such a pleasure to follow your blog
Your Friend from Canada

myonlyphoto said...

That is one beautiful structure. Believe or not we have similar build here in Canada. What a nice workmanship, and style. Anna :)

Louis la Vache said...

This is a very interesting post. «Louis» is happy he read it and he thanks you for visiting San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Rajesh said...

Unseen: Thanks for the appreciation.

Kcalpesh: Thanks for the appreciation. I am glad I an able to something new to the world.

Mitr: Thanks, the triple headed Nandi is unique.

Jeevan: Thanks, I am glad you were reminded of my blog when watching the program on Hampi on T.V. It means a lot to me.

Pietro: Thanks for the appreciation.

Turquoise: Thanks, you are most welcome.

Baron: Thanks for the appreciation.

Shammickite: Thanks, you are most welcome.

Barbara: Thanks for the appreciation.

Anna: Thanks, I do believe when you say similar structures are there in Canada. I have seen temples in U.S.A and Singapore.

Louis: Thank you.