Hemakuta Hill Temple

A Visitor’s Guide to Hemakuta Hill Temple

Hemakuta Hill Temple – One of Hampi’s most attractive hills is Hemakuta, which means “golden hillock” in Sanskrit.

Almost fifty distinct types of buildings, including temples, mandapas, galleries, and gates of varied sizes, are scattered throughout.

The view of the Virupaksha temple and the Hampi Bazaar from Hemakuta Hill Temple is superb. 

Three entrances lead to the Hemakuta hill: one on the hill’s eastern side, one on the south side, and one on the southern side, all of which lead to a street close to the Virupaksha temple.  

In Hemakuta Hill, there are more than 35 temples. In the pre-Vijayanagara and Vijayanagara eras, these temples were constructed (9th to 14th century AD).

Although many of these temples are devoted to Lord Shiva, they are referred to as Jain Temples. 

History Of Hemkunt Hill Temple In Hampi 

There are numerous historic temples on the Hemakuta hill, some of which date back to both the pre-and post-Vijayanagara eras.

Many of these temples were built between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, predating the establishment of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. 

The temples that dot the hillside are all hundreds of years old and each one represents a distinct period in art and culture. 

Mythology About Hampi is connected to the Hemakuta Hill Temples.

Lord Shiva is the subject of the majority of the temples in the Hemakuta group. Local tradition claims that there is a mythological explanation for this. 

Before being hitched to a local woman named Pampa or Parvati, Lord Shiva allegedly atoned on Hemakuta Hill.

The girl’s dedication satisfied Lord Shiva, and he agreed to marry her. This choice by Lord Shiva caused gold to rain on the hill. This hill was given the name Hemakuta since the Sanskrit word for gold is Hema. 

According to a different tradition, Lord Shiva is said to have burned Kama, the god of passion, on Hemakuta Hill. By keeping Shiva from performing his penance, Kama had made it possible for Pampa to marry Shiva.  

Shiva was enraged at Kama’s action, so he used his third eye to release fire, killing Kama. Rathi, Kama’s wife, begged Shiva to spare her husband’s life, and Shiva complied. Shiva revived Kama, but only as a character and not as a living entity. 

Famous Hemakuta Hill Monuments in Hampi: Shaiva or Jaina Temples 

Hemakuta Hill Temple

Although some believe they were once Jain temples, the majority of these are Shiva temples. None of these are still operational places of worship, and the Garbhgrih is absent from the majority of them. 

We took some of them on foot. These temples have straightforward floor plans and porches with sloped seating slabs in the balcony style; ardhamandaps have plain and unadorned walls and simple columns. 

The biggest of these temples is triple-shrined, with shrines pointing in three different directions: east, west, and north. The center shrines are square in shape and have kalasha finials on top of granite stacks that resemble pyramids. 

The only embellishment found on the outside of these shrines is a panel that runs down the middle of each side wall and gods that are carved beneath the arches that resemble an antelope’s horn.

Lord Hanuman and Lord Veerabhadra statue on Hampi’s Hemakuta Hill

We come across a 3.6 m high idol of Lord Hanuman carved on a boulder as we ascend to a two-story pavilion. The Prasanna Anjaneya Temple and the Prasanna Virupaksha Temple are still operational places of worship that house this idol and another of the Lord Virupaksha that was carved right behind it. 

Hanumanji is often depicted with an arm outstretched, as if blessing his followers or fending off evil spirits.

According to experts, Lord Hanuman and Lord Veerabhadra were once etched on the sides of ancient roads and perched atop hilltops as protecting deities.

There is an inscription here from 1398 AD that details how Virupaksha Pandita dug a tank and built the Virupaksha temple. 

Many Well-Known Hemakuta Hill Temples at Hampi’s 

The Hemakuta Hill is home to almost 35 temples. On the northern side of the hill, facing the Virupaksha temple complex, are the largest and most ornately constructed temples.

The historic or original Virupaksha temple, also known as Mula Virupaksha Temple, is located on the route to the hill’s southern side. 

The Mula Virupaksha Temple exemplifies an architectural style that was well-liked before the Vijayanagara style emerged, although not being as opulent as the one constructed by the Vijayanagara monarchs. 

The temple’s courtyard features a tiny pond. One of the few antique temples that is still being used for worship. Aerial views of the Badavilinga, Lakshmi-Narasimha, Sasivekalu Ganesha, and Krishna temples may be obtained further south. 

In this region, there are a number of additional temples that were constructed in the pre-Vijayanagara architectural style. 

It is a well-liked location for travelers to spend some quiet time on the hilltop because of the grandeur of the old temples and the general tranquility of the area. 

Quick Advice 

  • This is the highest point among the Hampi ruins from which to view the entire location. 
  • It is a sunset viewpoint with beautiful views of the surroundings. It is also known as Sunset Point, thus it is best to go there in the evening or very early in the morning. 
  • It involves some hill climbing. So, it is advised that elderly individuals and those with knee issues be ready for the same. 
  • There are other methods to ascend this hill, but the most well-known and straightforward method involves Sasivekalu Ganesha and descending toward the Virupaksha Temple.

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