The Virupaksha temple (or Prasanna Virupaksha temple) is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river at Hampi, Karnataka. Built during the 7th century, the beautiful architecture and history of the temple has made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. 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!
The temple has tall towers or gopurams acting as gateways to the inner sanctums, as is usually seen in temples of south Indian style architecture. The gopurams lead to many inner corridors and halls, all decorated with ornate stone-work. The sculptures depict mythological stories of numerous Gods and Goddesses. The main deity of the temple is Lord Virupaksha, but it is also abode to few other Hindu deities too. While many devotees visit the temple during festival seasons, it is otherwise less crowded.