Hampi’s Jewel: Virupaksha Temple Explored


Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 by Sidakbir Singh

Virupaksha Temple in Hampi is a Hindu temple in Karnataka, India. Built in the 7th century CE, it is still used as a place of worship today. It is one of the oldest functioning temples in India. The temple complex is known for its stunning architecture, including intricate carvings and a towering gopuram (entrance tower). Virupaksha Temple is a significant pilgrimage site and is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Virupaksha Temple was built by King Lakshmi Narasimha in the 7th century AD, during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire.

NameVirupaksha Temple
LocationHampi, Karnataka, India
TypeHindu temple
AreaVaried, temple complex and surroundings
PurposeReligious worship and pilgrimage destination
Construction YearAncient, dating back centuries
FeaturesIntricate architecture, sacred shrine
Historical SignificanceSignificant historical and cultural importance

Virupaksha Temple History

The Virupaksha Temple story dates back to the 7th century, with inscriptions indicating its formal construction during that time. Over the centuries, the temple underwent renovations and expansions, especially during the reign of the Vijayanagara kings. The Chalukyan and Hoysala kings also contributed to its growth.

Under the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple reached its peak, becoming a significant complex. Lakkana Dandesha, a chieftain of the Vijayanagara kings, played a key role in building large temple structures, making it a revered site for Hindu devotees.

In the early 16th century, the Vijayanagara Empire faced threats from the Deccan Sultanates, particularly the Sultanate of Bijapur. Despite these challenges, the empire continued to patronize the temple, contributing to its expansion and renovation.

The temple’s architecture showcases a blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles, characterized by intricately carved pillars, mandapas (halls), and gopurams (entrance towers). The temple complex also includes various smaller shrines, courtyards, and tanks.

Architecture of Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha Temple plan was made by King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century AD. showcases a fascinating blend of Dravidian and Vijayanagara architectural styles. The temple complex is centered around a main sanctum dedicated to Lord Shiva, with various halls, shrines, and structures surrounding it.

Inside the temple, visitors can admire the pillared halls, known as mandapas, which are adorned with detailed carvings depicting mythological scenes and stories. The temple’s inner sanctum houses the main deity, Lord Virupaksha, in the form of a lingam, a symbol of Shiva.

virupaksha temple sculptures were created by skilled artisans and craftsmen during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire, under the patronage of King Krishnadevaraya.

Overall, the Virupaksha temple architecture is a testament to the artistic and engineering skills of the Vijayanagara craftsmen, and it stands as a masterpiece of South Indian temple architecture.

How to Reach Virupaksha Temple 

  • By Bus:- To reach Virupaksha Temple, one can take a bus, fly to Bangalore Airport,  and then travel by road to Hampi.
  • By Flight: – One can take a direct flight to Banglore Airport and then travel by road to Virupaksha Temple Hampi Karnataka India.
  • By Train:-  Travel by train to Hotstop Junction, which is the nearest railway station to Hampi, and then take a bus or taxi to the temple.

Best Time To Visit Virupaksha Temple

The best time to visit Virupaksha Temple and Hampi is during the winter months from October to March when the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing. The temperatures are mild, making it comfortable to explore the temple complex and the surrounding ruins.

Interesting facts about Virupaksha Temple

  • Protected Heritage: The temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the other monuments of Hampi.
  • Huge Courtyard: The temple complex includes a massive courtyard where various rituals and festivities take place, drawing devotees and tourists alike.
  • Living Heritage: The temple remains an active center of worship, preserving ancient rituals and traditions.
  • Cultural Hub: Virupaksha Temple is not just a religious site but also a cultural hub, hosting music and dance performances during festivals.
  • Festival Celebrations: The temple celebrates numerous festivals with great fervor, including the Virupaksha Car Festival, which is a grand event.

Virupaksha Temple Timings and Fee

  • Virupaksha Temple does not have an entry fee for visitors. 
  • The temple timings are typically from early morning to late evening that is 
  • Virupaksha Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 5 PM to 9 PM. It’s open every day, throughout the year.

Nearby Attractions in the Virupaksha Temple

  • Hemakuta Hill: Located within the temple complex, Hemakuta Hill offers panoramic views of Hampi and is dotted with ancient temples and ruins.
  • Hampi Bazaar: Also within the temple complex, Hampi Bazaar is a bustling street lined with shops selling local handicrafts, souvenirs, and snacks.
  • Matanga Hill: About 1 kilometer away, Matanga Hill is a popular spot to watch the sunrise or sunset over the Hampi landscape.
  • Achyutaraya Temple: Approximately 1.5 kilometers from Virupaksha Temple, Achyutaraya Temple is a historic temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, known for its impressive architecture and intricate carvings.
  • Vijaya Vittala Temple: About 2 kilometers away, Vijaya Vittala Temple is another iconic temple in Hampi known for its exceptional architecture, including the famous stone chariot.
  • Located in the Kolar district of Karnataka, the Virupaksha temple Mulbagal stands as a revered Hindu sanctuary devoted to Lord Virupaksha, an embodiment of Lord Shiva’s divine presence.

Visitor Guidelines and Pro Tips

  • Dress modestly and respect the sanctity of the temple.
  • Avoid visiting during peak hours for a more peaceful experience.
  • Ask before taking photographs, as some areas may be restricted.
  • Remove footwear before entering the temple premises.
  • Visit early in the morning or late in the evening for a serene experience.
  • Carry water and wear sunscreen, especially in hot weather.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and follow any instructions given by temple staff.
  • Support the local community by purchasing items from local vendors near the temple.

Other Activities To Do in Bangalore

Explore Bangalore’s green spaces, such as Lalbagh Botanical Garden or Cubbon Park, for a relaxing day outdoors.

  • Discover Bangalore’s vibrant nightlife scene by visiting its trendy bars, clubs, and lounges.
  • Engage in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or boating in Bangalore’s scenic surroundings.
  • Dive into the city’s shopping scene by exploring its bustling markets, upscale malls, and boutique stores.
  • Learn about Bangalore’s technological advancements by visiting its innovative startups, tech parks, and research centers.

Other Popular Attractions in India 

  • Explore Tourism in India along with majestic forts and palaces of Rajasthan, including the Amer Fort in Jaipur and the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.
  • Experience the spiritual atmosphere of Varanasi, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, known for its ghats along the Ganges River.
  • Discover the natural beauty of Kerala’s backwaters, where you can cruise on traditional houseboats and witness lush landscapes.
  • Visit the vibrant city of Mumbai, home to Bollywood, iconic landmarks like the Gateway of India, and bustling markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there any specific dress code requirements to visit Virupaksha Temple?

A: It is recommended to dress modestly and adhere to traditional attire norms while visiting the temple.

Q: Can visitors take photographs inside Virupaksha Temple?

A: Photography is generally allowed, but it may be restricted in certain areas. Its best to inquire with the temple authorities beforehand.

Q: What are some nearby attractions to Virupaksha Temple?

A: Nearby attractions include Hemakuta Hill, Hampi Bazaar, Matanga Hill, Achyutaraya Temple, and Vijaya Vittala Temple.

Q: What is Virupaksha Temple inverted shadow?

A: At times, the inverted shadow of Virupaksha temple in Hampi casts an upside-down shadow on its eastern wall due to the way its built and the position of the sun.

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About Sidak | View Posts

A creative person by profession and by passion, Sidak Bir is an enthusiastic writer who adores his job. His passion for writing has inspired him to pursue writing as a career. His commitment to creating quality content shines through, offering readers a blend of enlightenment and knowledge in every piece. Because he reads, writes, travels, and has an enjoyable time, some people claim he is leading the best life possible. They're right because what more could a person possibly need!

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