Temples in Hampi

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.

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Here is the list of 11 Temples in Hampi

1. 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!

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2. 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.

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3. 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.

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4. 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.

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5. 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.

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6. 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.

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7. 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.

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8. 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).

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9. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This post was published by Roli Sharaf

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