Tuesday, 20 June 2017


19th June 2017.
During April 2017, while we ( Mr Gireesh, Mr VijayaKumar and Coimbatore friends) undertook the trekking to Velliangiri hills Mr Mr Gireesh  told that he will arrange a Heritage Visit to Hampi before leaving Ballari official assignment.  Really I was waiting for a chance  to see the Hampi ruins. So decided to join with him for this heritage visit. Travel arrangements were made well in advance  for this Hampi heritage visit scheduled between 16th June to 18th June 2017. We took the Habbali express train for the onward journey from Chennai on 15th afternoon  and returned through NKSRTC bus. When we told our plan some of our friends threatened that the temperature will be high during June. Against the threat of high temperature and the climate was not too hot as expected and second day we got wet by rain for about an hour.

Flawless Travel, Stay at Padma Guest House near Virupaksha Temple, food arrangements and pick up from Railway station  and drop at Bus stand were made by Mr Gireesh under the leadership of Mr Rajasekar Pandurangan and his madam Vitya was excellent. My sincere thanks to the organising team and to my Co-participants. 
First day of our visit was to Virupaksha temple, which is one of the living temple in Hampi. The temple is on the southern banks of river Tungabhatra.

Iraivan : Sri Virupaksha
Iraivi    : Sri Pampadevi

Some of the important details are as follows...
The temple is facing east on the southern banks of river Thungabhatra with a 9 tier Rajagopuram called bishtappayya gopura measuring 52.6 meters high.  There is also a 2nd level 3 tier Rajagopuram. Palipedam, Nandhi Mandapam  and dwajasthambam are after the 2nd level  Rajagopuram. 

In the prakaram sannadhi for  Bhuvaneshwari and Pamapadevi, built during 11th century AD. The pillars of ambal mandapams are made of soap stones with exquisitely carved.   There is a 5 tier Rajagopuram which leads to the temple tank called kanagagiri gopura built by the chief of that place. The outer prakaram was built with pillared cloisters used for as stores and sub sannadhis.

The sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, 3 antarala, sabha mandapam and a muka mandapa built like mada temple ( elevated level ).  The sanctum outer walls has the reliefs connected to periyapuram and Lord Shiva’s various forms and kumbha panjaras. The vimanam has the stucco images of saivaite deities. The vimanam was built in Dravidian style  with sala, Kuta and stupi with kalasa.

The muka mandapa arch  has the  stucco images of Shiva & Parvati marriage, Shiva as kalahari murthy, Anantasayana and Mahisamardini.
The ceiling was plastered with lime mortar and paintings  of Shiva’s marriage with Ambal, Manmatha vijaya, tripurantaka, and saint Vidhyaranya processions,  etc were drawn. The pillars has the  reliefs various saivaite deities and mythological images. The approach from east side in the muka mandapam  has been closed, which will be used during important occasions and the devotees are allowed from north side entrance.

The temple was built during Hoysala & Chalukya period  and various structures were added between 7th century to 15th century by the Vijaya Nagara dynasty. The Muka mandapa was built with 38 pillars  and the same was added in 1510 AD by the  King Krishna Devaraya. The temple Shiva is under worship from 7th century till date without break ( break may be during Bamini and Nayaks wars )  

The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 13.00 Hrs and 17.00 Hrs to 21.00 hrs.

The land line telephone number is +91-80-22352828

The temple is very close to Hampi Bus stand and 12 km from Hospet. Nearest Railway station is Hospet.
Buses are available from Hospet and Ballari.


Carving on a pillar inside the Rajagopuram entrance

Muka mandapam

A mandapa on the left side of the corridor

Deepa sthambam, Palipedam, Dwajasthambam and Nandhi mandapam

Rajagopuram inside view 

reliefs on the sanctum wall ( the story of Kannappa nayanar )

Packshadanar – a relief 

 The relief on a Pillar is it Krishna devaraya ( Those who can read telegu please tell me what is written ) 

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

Tungabhadra river banks reliefs on the rocks

Tungabhadra river banks reliefs on the rocks

The emblem of Vijayanagara dynasty

Introduction meeting of the members of the group  participated in the Hampi Heritage Visit on the banks of Tungabhadra river 
..... to be continued Sri Vitthala temple

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