Hazara Ramachandra Temple


The Hazara-Rama temple occupies the centre-stage in the Royal Center. It is the best preserved Vaishnava temple at Hampi and the most ornate of the Vijayanagara temples. The term hazara means a thousand; it also means a 'hall', a 'pavilion'. The first ever reference to this temple is made in a record of the early 15th century; in this, it is called Ramachandra temple. Some think that the original temple was rebuilt during 1465-85 and was further extended during the reign-period of Krishnadevaraya (early 16th cent.).

The name ‘Hazara-Rama’ might have been inspired by the ‘Thousand Ramas’ carved on temple’s walls, but it probably comes from the word ‘Hazararama’. The temple was evidently called Hajara-Rama, because it was the palace-temple and was also at the entrance to the royal palace-enclosure.


The outer walls of the Ardhamandapa are richly carved with many fine bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the Ramayana. In the centre of the Ardhamandapa are four exquisitely-carved and polish¬ed blackstone pillars. These heavy cubical pillars contain well-chiselled bas-reliefs of Ganesa, Mahisha-mardini, Hanuman and many forms of Vishnu, includ¬ing the Kalki avatara. Kalki is represented here as a four-armed Vishnu holding sankha, chakra, sword and shield and riding on a horse. The corbels are of the Pushpapodigai type with joining band. The large and ornate central ceiling consists of the usual diagonally alternating square courses with a finely carved lotus motif in the centre of the ceiling.


The small but highly ornate temple abuts the north-west corner of the King's palace-enclosure. It was originally dedicated to Vishnu. The general plan of this east-facing structure consists of the sanc¬tums of the god and goddess, a Kalyana-mandapa and other subsidiary shrines, all contained within a prakara enclosed by a high wall. The main sanctum has a number of axial mandapas, the easternmost of these being an open mandapa with tall and ornate cubical type of Vijayanagara pillars. Behind it is the Ardha-mandapa with two side-porches and a pillared plat¬form on the east. The heavy pillars of the porches are of the early cubical type but the cross-corbels are of the Vijayanagara Pushpapodigai type with joining band.