Temples in Hampi

Religious

Temples in Hampi

Hampi is world renowned for its historical ruins and heritage but the main highlight is the temples of Hampi. The beautiful temples of Hampi are located along the banks of River Tungabhadra for which the city is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the city was the capital of the Vijayanagara empire - the largest empire post-Mughal era - be prepared to experience the grandeur and diversity of the temples in Hampi.

Here is the list of 20 Temples in Hampi

1. Achyutraya Temple in Hampi

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This temple of Hampi is also known as the Tiruvengalanatha Temple, after the main deity, a form of Lord Shiva. It has a modern architecture in comparison to the other temples of Hampi. Many carvings here depict mythological legends, seen on pillars, walls and monolith blocks.

2. Badavilinga or Big Shivlinga, Hampi

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Carved out of a single boulder, this Shivlinga stands at a height 3m amidst water. It is a major attraction in Hampi. The temple is located near the Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi.

3. Virupaksha Temple in Hampi

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Also known as the Pampapathi temple, it is the most famous temple in Hampi and dates back to the 7th century. The temple is abode to one of the forms of Lord Shiva called Lord Virupaksha. While it is located at present day Hampi, it was once a smaller shrine in the middle of the ancient and majestic Vijayanagara empire. You will find beautiful stone inscriptions dating back to the 7th century on the walls of the temple as proof of its rich heritage. Architecture-lovers and history-buffs, do visit the temple when you are in Hampi!

4. Vithala Temple in Hampi

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The most impressive structure in Hampi, the Vithala Temple dates back to the 16th century and is a truly splendid example of rich architecture. The famous stone chariot, which has become an iconic symbol of the architecture, is located inside the premises of this temple in Hampi. The temple complex is spread over a huge area. The main gate has an impressive arch with carvings and opens in a large courtyard which has the famous stone chariot in the centre. The main temple is located just behind the chariot and has beautiful carvings. There are also several other smaller temples inside the courtyard, all of which are definitely worth a visit. The carvings on the walls/pillars of these structures depict various gods in different forms.

5. Kadalekalu Ganesh Temple in Hampi

Kadalekalu Ganesh is an important temple in Hampi. The temple has traditional stone architecture and is located on Hemakuta Hill and has a huge 15 feet monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which is a believed to be one of the largest in the world. The reason why the attraction is called Kadalekalu is because the belly of the deity is chiselled to look like Kadalekalu (Bengal gram).

6. Hanuman Temple in Hampi

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Atop the Anjaneya Hill, this temple is dedicated to Hanuman. 570 steps must be climbed by devotees to visit this temple in Hampi. The view from atop the hillock beside this temple is a feast for the eyes. The temple is 500 years old is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Sri Vyasaraja, who was the Rajaguru of the Vijayanagara Kingdom and a Dwaita philosopher, was the one to install the idol of Lord Hanuman in the temple. Being one of the most famous attractions of Anjeyanadri Hill, the Monkey Temple is considered as a sacred spot for all the Hindus.

7. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple in Hampi

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This temple of Hampi features the biggest effigy, of Narasimha sitting on SeshaNaag i.e. the seven-headed snake acting as a shelter to him. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed along with that of Narasimha.

8. Hazara Rama Temple in Hampi

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At the middle of the Royal Centre, this was a place of worship for the Royals. The walls and pillars are beautifully adorned with fascinating carvings, including the outside walls of the compound. This temple is smaller in size compared to the other temples in Hampi. The Hazara Rama Temple is a World heritage monument that dates back to the 15th century and is located in the centre of the land area that belongs to the Royals. It is one of the most preferred locations for photography in Karnataka. Every picture that visitors capture here is a frame that locks in the beauty of the mesmerizing monument that will be cherished for life.

9. Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex in Hampi

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The Hemakunta Hill houses a temple complex, many of them dedicated to Lord Shiva. These are all protected by a fort, providing a secluded atmosphere.

10. Sasivekalu Ganesh Temple in Hampi

Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple has a gigantic monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha. This temple in Hampi has a statue standing at over 8 feet tall and was created in the memory of a Vijayanagara King - King Narasimha II. It is often associated with the legend of Ganesha when he tied a snake around his belly when his stomach was about to burst after he had consumed a lot of food. The snake can be clearly seen around Lord Ganesha's belly.

11. Sri Krishna Temple in Hampi

This famous temple in Hampi is known for its stunning carvings of Lord Krishna and Indian mythology along with architecture unique to King Kishnadevaraya. It is a must-visit for both devotees as well as architecture lovers. The temple is dedicated the child version of Lord Krishna or Bala Krishna.

12. Ganagitti Temple

This is one of the most notable Jain temples in Hampi and was built by Iruguppa Daṇḍanāyaka during the reign of the Vijayanagara king Harihara II in the year 1386 AD. It is one of the more modest temples in Hampi but still attracts a large crowd of tourists.

13. Kodanda Rama Temple

It is one of Hapi's most famous temple's dedicated to Lord Rama.The Kodanda Rama Temple is a UNESCO World heritage site and has a lot of history attached to it, as it is the site where Vali was killed by Lord Rama and it is believed to have been around since the time of the Ramayana.

14. Pattabhirama Temple

Dedicated to Lord Rama,it is one of the lesser known temples in Hampi but just as big as the Vittala temple. It's has a gorgeous garden and one of the largest temple marriage halls in Karnataka.

15. Prasanna Virupaksha

This temple has been around since the 14th century AD and was built in honour of Prasanna Virupaksha(an avatar of Lord Shiva). During the monsoon season the temple get's flooded as it is an underground temple. There is a heavy Vijaynagara style influence in the architecture of the temple and the pillars are simple yet elegant.

16. Saraswati Temple

Built in the 13th century AD, and dedicated to godess Saraswati, there are many intricate carvings on the pillars. The temple is known for it's impressive architecture and has terracota stucco figures which adorn the temple.Opposite the temple is a rock which has a beautiful image of the goddess carved on it.

17. Sasivekalu Ganesha

This temple has a huge monolithic statue of Ganesha which is 8 ft tall.The name is derived from the kannada word for mustard 'sasivekalu', since the Ganesha's belly resembles a mustard seed. The statue shows a four-armed Ganesha sitting in a lotus position and the inscription on the statue dates back to 1500 AD.

18. Varaha Temple

This temple is dedicated to Varaha(the boar), one of Vishnu's ten avatars. It has a rectangular compound with an entrance tower and boars are carved on the temple walls. The inner sanctum is found in the middle of the compund and there is a lot of history within these temple walls. It is one of the finest temples built by the Vijaynagara dynasty.

19. Chandikesvara Temple

One of Hampi's most iconic temples which is on every tourist's list. It's central location on Hampi's main road makes it difficult to miss. The Chandikesvara temple was built in honour of Vishnu and the beautiful carvings on the pillars which potray different themes from Hindu mythology stand out the most.

20. Chandramouliswara Temple

One of less popular temples in Hampi owing to the fact that it is found on an island in the northern bank of the Tungabadra river. However, it is a stunning temple dedicated to Lord Shiva adorned with intricate carvings. This temple has withstoood the test of time and is a must visit.

Hampi was voted as one of the must-see destinations in the world by the New York Times and visiting the temples of Hampi easily validates that.

This post was published by Roli Sharaf

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