Achutaraya temple is a hidden jewel in Hampi. It is located in a valley created by Gandhamadana hill and Mantunga hill. It is secluded from the main Hampi area by these huge stone boulder hills. Achutaraya temple was built during the reign of King Achuta Deva Raya (1530-1542) of Vijaynagar empire by one of the officers of his court. Hence, this temple is known by the name of Achutaraya temple and is dedicated to Lord Thiruvengalanatha (Vishnu).
We reached the temple by climbing the steps besides monolithic bull which is opposite to Virupaksha temple. Once we went past to the other side of the hill, we were amazed to the sight of Achutaraya temple and surroundings. There is another way by taking Kumpa Bhupa path (Tungabhadra riverside path) and after reaching Kodanda Rama temple or King’s balance take a right turn. There are signboards through out the way. The temple has three entrances and it consists of garbagriha, sukanasi, an Antarala, a rangamantapa and a spacious mahamantapa. Within the complex to the south west of the main temple is the devi shrine.
The temple complex is enclosed with two prakaras (enclosures). The outer prakara has one mahadwara (main door), most imposing on the north. The inner side of the prakaras are a series of mantapas with pillars in the facade. From the front of the northern main door runs the Achutarayapete with a series of pillared mantapas on both sides. This is also know as Courtesans’ street.
At the backyard of Achutaraya temple, one can sit quietly in the shade of pillared mantapas, enjoying the cool breeze and peace of mind. This temple is typically less crowded. I saw a little bit of restoration work has been done on the main shrine.