Virupaksha Temple is the center of religious and tourism activity in Hampi. It is said that Virupaksha temple was erected as a small shrine in 7th century and since then people are worshiping here uninterruptedly. It is located little away from Hampi bus stand and on the southern bank of Tungabhadra river. If you take the right hand side lane of Virupaksha temple, it will lead you to Tungabhadra river.
Virupaksha is a form of Lord Shiva. The temple complex was largely built during the Vijaynagar empire. Records also point to Chalukyan and Hoysala period constructions.
Entry fee to the temple is Rs 2/person. Camera fee is Rs 50.
Timings: 6 am to 8.30 pm
Entrance to the temple is through the largest gopura(tower). Inside there are two more gopuras which are smaller in size. There is an temple elephant which blesses people on tipping. There is an optical illusion near the goddess Pampa shrine. The shadow of the largest gopura falls inverted on the wall through a hole.
Run you imagination wild by visiting the underground chambers. Here you will find the idol of Pataleswara, another form of Lord Shiva. I took a LED torch with me on this tour and it helped immensely in such dark areas. There are other shrines like Bhuvaneswari, Nava graha etc
I would suggest you to walk all around the temple to see the intricate designs on the pillars and ceilings. There is a big earthen urn completely made of stone. Also, you can see the large temple drum which is played during festivals. An annual chariot festival is celebrated in the month of February.
On the right side of the wall one can see the family lineage of the Vijayanagar empire. Hampi was destroyed by the invasion of a Muslim confederacy in 1565 but Virupaksha temple remained more or less intact.
1. Shoes need to be left outside the second gate at the shoe stand. Each pair of shoe at Rs 2.
2. Photography is not allowed inside the shrine chambers.
To view all the pictures visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.