Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple has been, for centuries, considered the most sacred of the temples at Hampi. This temple is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra, immediately to the north of the Hemakuta hill. The temple complex lies within a long rectangular enclosure.


The original temple with Virupaksha Siva Linga was perhaps first consecrated in the twelfth century A.D. with the establishment of the Vijayanagara kingdom additions were made twice once during the period of Krishnadevaraya in 1510 A.D .and the other during the period of Maharangamandapa in fifteenth century A.D.


The temple consists of Garbhagriha (shrine-cell or sanctum sanctorum), Antarala (passage or room between shrine and outer mandapa), Sabhamandapa and a Maharangamandapa. The square Garbhagriha has a Siva Linga. It has a Dravidian type of Sikhara with Kalasha on the top. The square Sabhamandapa has four central pillars and sculpture of gods and goddesses of which Bedara Kanappa, Kiratarjunuya, Bhairava are important. It has two entrances at the north and south.


The Maharangamandapa added by Krishnadevaraya contains 38 pillars with entrances on three sides with flights of steps decorated with balustraded elephants. The pillars contain relief sculptures of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The ceilings have paintings of Tripurantaka, Parvati Kalyana, and procession of Vidyaranya etc.

Krishnadevaraya renovated the main eastern gopura which is 170 feet in height and it dominates the entire area.

The Virupakshapura comprises the following three units:

  • The temple of Virupaksha and its Chari ot Street.
  • A cluster of about fourty temples on Hemakuta, south of the Virupaksha temple.
  • A cluster of about sixteen monuments between the Virupaksha temple and the Tungabhadra river