Achyutaraya Temple

Achyutaraya (1530-42 A.D.) temple complex is an imposing and magnificent cluster of temples in Hampi.

History

The magnificent Achyutaraya (Tiruvengalanatha) temple was built by Hiriya Tirumalaraja Wodeyara Mahamandaleswara serving under Achutadevaraya in 1534 A.D.

The record states that it was established in 1534, thirty one years before the fall of the empire, by Tirumalaraya Vodeyar ( Sr.), a nephew of the ruling king, Tuluva Achyutaraya and a brother of queen Varadambika. The temple was built for Venkatesa (called Tiru-Vangalanatha) who had gained considerable popularity during the Tuluva rule.

Art

The temple consists of a Garbhagriha, Antarala, Pradakshinapatha (circumambulatory), Sabhamandapa (hall), Mahasabhamandapa, Kalyanamandapa, Devi shrine etc. All these are enclosed in two prakaras one within the other. The outer prakara has main gates at northern and western directions, whereas the inner prakara has the gateways at north, east and west. All these gateways had gopuras which are in ruined condition now.

The square Garbhagriha which originally had an image of lord Venkatesha is all empty now. Its doorway is ornamented and has Vaishnava dvarapalas and Gajalakshmi at the lintel. Above the garbhagriha is a Dravida type sikhara. The most interesting part of this temple is the mahasabhamandapa stands on thirty pillars set in five rows and the square sabhamandapa has four pillars in the middle set on an elevated floor in the centre. The pillars exhibit typical Vijayanagara features. To the south-west is the Devi shrine and its garbhagriha which is all empty now. Its sabhamandapa has a sculpture which has been identified as that of king Achyutaraya, the builder of the temple.

Architecture

The temple consists of two concentric enclosures. The inner rectangular enclosure contains the north-facing main temple and smaller secondary (goddess) temple immediately to the south-west. Main temple:

The north- facing garbhagriha and antarala open into an ardhamandapa with side doorways. These give access to a pradakshinapatha that proceeds around the garbhagriha and antarala on three sides. The ardhamandapa adjoins the rangamandapa with four columns on a raised floor area in middle, but without wall columns.

East and West doorways lead to single-bayed porches. The frontal north doorway opens into a mahamandapa and a small south- facing shrine stands immediately to north.The temple facing north within double enclosure wall is known for its large dimensions and spacious courtyard fronted by a wide and long bazaar known as Achyutarayapete. The inner courtyard has a garbha-griha, antarala, ardha-mantapa and an ornate maha- mantapa on plan in a typical Vijayanagara style. The pearl bazaar measures 360.90 meters in length and 39.90 meters in width.