Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple

Preview: Sunrise in Hampi Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India. A work in progress: flying over the ancient city of Hampi, Karnataka, India during sunrise. This temple is located on the south bank of the river Tungabadra, just next to where the local bus drops you. This area in general has been an important pilgrimage centre for the worshipers of lord Shiva. Virupaksha temple is equally sort after by the tourists and pilgrims. The annual festivals attract huge crowds of both the types.The very origin of Hampis history as a sacred place revolves around the myths associated with this temple. It believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD.That makes this one of the oldest functioning temples in India.The original worship place was only a few separate humble shrines (believed to be as old as 7th century) housing the image of the god and the goddesses. Over the centuries the temple gradually expanded into a sprawling complex with many sub shrines, pillared halls, flag posts, lamp posts, towered gateways and even a large temple kitchen. You access the temples main entrance tower through the chariot street in front now popularly called the Hampi Bazaar. This east facing giant tower (Gopura) leads you the first courtyard of the temple complex. This pastel painted 9 storied tower with a pair of cow horn like projections on top is the most prominent landmark in Hampi. The lower two tiers of the tower is made of decorated stone work.The progressively diminishing superstructure is made with brick and mortar. All around the exterior of the first tier spots many interesting stucco figures. You may get to some distance from the base of the tower to see all of them. For example, the erotic figures of the amorous couples located at the south side of the tower. Such icons connected with fertility rites are considered auspicious on a philosophical ground. You can view them from the southward going alley (towards the post office) from this entrance to the tower. These stucco figures are located at the bottom row of the stucco figures.The main temple is east facing and has two large courtyards, one leading to the other. You directly enter into the first courtyard through the tower mentioned above. This courtyard mainly houses a pillared hall called 100-column hall at the far left corner, Kalyanamantapa at the far right corner, administrative offices, the ticket counter, a police outpost and even an old well. A kitchen complex projects out of the compound overlapping the two courts at the south wall. A narrow passage on the wall of the 100 pillared hall gives access to the kitchen. A water channel system connected to the nearby river is built into the floor of the kitchen complex. You can see the remains of its feeding channels outside the southwest corner of the temple corner. hampi.in

dmitry sumin

431 10/03/2015 1,944
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