The Virupaksha Temple is the main place of devotion in Hampi and one of India’s most stunning tourist attractions. Temple is highly known for its architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The magnificent structure, which is more than 1,300 years old, is composed of a stacked tower of finely carved friezes that house many Hindu deities and symbols.
Another name for the temple, which was constructed in the Dravidian architectural style, is Pampapati Temple. On the south bank of the river Tungabadra, it is surrounded by the ruins of the historic city of Vijayanagar, which served as the capital of the Vijayanagara dynasty.
Virupaksha temple belongs to Lord Shiva because he is married to the local goddess Pampa, who is associated with the Tungabadra River.
Virupaksha is a manifestation of Lord Shiva, and this temple is still in use in spite of all the neighboring ruins.
Since its inception in the seventh century AD, this temple is believed to have been open continuously. It is thus one of India’s oldest still-operational temples.
This temple contains antiquity from the ninth and eleventh centuries.
History Of Virupaksha Temple Hampi
The Virupaksha-Pampa sanctuary was located here before the Vijayanagara capital was built here. Inscriptions from the ninth and tenth-century reference Shiva. What was once a little temple grew into a huge structure under the Vijayanagara monarchs.
Although the Vijayanagara period is credited with building the majority of the temple, evidence points to the late Chalukyan and Hoysala period expansions to the temple.
The massive temple was built by Lakkana Dandesha, a nobleman serving Deva Raya II of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The ceiling paintings at the Virupaksha date from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The Virupaksha-Pampa religious cult persisted even after the city was destroyed in 1565. Worship has persisted there over time.
At the beginning of the 19th century, significant improvements and additions were performed, including the reconstruction of a few collapsed towers on the north and east gopuras.
The other temples in Hampi were destroyed and damaged by the Bahmani sultanates, leaving only this one standing as of now.
The current main temple is made up of a sanctum, three ante chambers, and various structures like a pillared cloister and entrance gateways as well as courtyards and minor shrines.
It has a superstructure made of bricks and a base made of stone. The several sub-shrines in the outer court can be accessed through it.
The little eastern gateway leads to the inner court’s plethora of small shrines.
Another gopuram, the Kanakagiri gopura, faces north and, after going through a small enclosure with auxiliary temples, connects to the Tungabhadra River.
The Tungabhadra River flows through a little channel along the top of the temple before descending to the kitchen and leaving through the outside court.
One of this temple’s most notable features is the application of mathematical concepts in both its construction and adornment. The temple has repeated patterns that demonstrate how fractals function.
The fundamental shape of the temple is triangular. As you look up the top of the temple, the patterns divide and repeat themselves, just like you may see in a snowflake or other piece of uncultivated beauty.
Festivals & Celebrations At The Virupaksha Temple
A chariot and a huge entourage pull the idol down the chariot street at Hampi. The chants and music of the procession serve to commemorate the marriage of Lord Virupaksha and Devi Pampa.
In December, the temple celebrates the reunion of Virupaksha and Pampa with a vivacious festival called “Phalapuja festival,” which draws a huge crowd of believers. From November 3 to November 5, this event takes place.
As part of the yearly Shivaratri celebration, a nightlong prayer in praise of Lord Shiva is also conducted at the Virupaksha temple.
Virupaksha Is One of The Pattadakal Temples
The Virupaksha temple is one of the structures that make up the Pattadakal monuments in Karnataka, a collection of Hindu and Jain temples. Each temple has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
They display a particular architecture made by combining influences from northern and southern Indian architecture.
The Virupaksha temple, one of the most artistic buildings among the Pattadakal temples, is where the main deity’s idol was preserved from invasion and is still adored today.