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virupaksha temple overview

#3 of 29 Places To Visit in Hampi
virupaksha temple
3.8 5
6 ratings
click to rate
5 reviews
Hampi, Bellary, Karnataka 583239, India
entry fee
no entry fee
All days of the week
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
visit duration
Around 3 hours

about virupaksha temple

While the medieval metropolis of Hampi is practically synonymous with the formidable and one of India's most illustrious empires, Vijayanagara, its crowning glory, the Virupaksha Temple, actually pre-dates the settlement of Vijayanagara and was possibly built between 9th-10th century. One of the most widely revered temples of southern India, Virupaksha Temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an avatar of Lord Shiva and the patron deity of Vijayanagra empire, and Goddess Pampa, Goddess of River Tungabhadra from whom Hampi gets its name.

Originally a small, humble shrine it was expanded to its present magnificence during the reign of the Vijayanagra kings, though additions to its complex and structure were also made by the Chalukyan and Hoysala eras.

In 1565, when Hampi fell to the hands of the five Deccan sultans there was rampant destruction and much of the temple's exquisite carvings, decorations and sculptures were destroyed. While Hampi never gained its glory and grandeur, Virupaksha Temple continued to be a significant site of sacred sanctuary and pilgrimage. In early 19th century much of its missing chunks were replaced with artwork, ceiling paintings and other additions including the gopurams' towers.

Tower of the main entrance don't just seem to be reaching up to the heavens above, they are sky-high, measuring 50 meters in height. The temple's complex is replete with small shrines, gateways, courtyards, three ante chambers, pillared pavilion, etc. Its central chamber was built under the patronage of King Krishnadevaraya and is perhaps the temple's most ornate structure. At varied points in the temple's complex you will find inscriptions dating to its origins, 9th-10th century, as well as its glorious years, the 14th century.

A fascinating aspect of the temple is the inverted pinhole image of its tower cast on one of its inner walls. Don't forget to get the blessings of Lakshmi, the resident temple elephant, on your visit to the Virupaksha Temple. On most days, the temple is home to hundreds of chattering monkeys. However, in December and February, when the temple festivals are celebrated, it comes alive with a different kind of chatter and resounds with festivities.

virupaksha temple photos

9 virupaksha temple photos

Virupaksha Temple traveller reviews

3 Virupaksha Temple reviews
Sudhu Reddy
Sudhu Reddy
“Functioning hindu temple”
Jun 22 2014
First of all I dont know why this is listed as pattadkal! The main photo posted is pattadkal but then all the reviews are about virupaksha temple Hampi. This is the main temple of Hampi and functioning Shiva temple. It is a prominent landmark of Hamp ...... read more
Kshitiz Chaurasia
Kshitiz Chaurasia
Was a delight to roam around the temple.
Jun 22 2014
The temple is really well built and it was a delight roaming around the place and having a look at each and every thing it have. It was a perfect place to enjoy with my siblings and family. This place is great to visit with family.