The Vittala temple in Hampi, represents the highest form of Vijaynagara style of art and architecture. Vittala is the Krishna aspect of Lord Vishnu. The temple is located at the bank of Tungabhadra river. There are two ways to reach Vittala temple:
1. Little before the Monolithic bull take a left turn for the riverside path and keep walking besides Tungabhadra river to reach Vittala temple. We took this route. It is very adventurous and probably one of the best walk trails. On the way you will also see various temples and structures.
2. Through Kamalapur. If anyone is unable to walk then one to reach Vittala temple via Kamalapur. The vehicles will stop at a parking lot and from here battery operated vehicles ferry the passengers. One way per person cost is Rs 10. To reach the parking lot Auto, bus and private vehicles are available.
It is one of the largest temples of that period, built under the patronage of Devaraya II (1422 – 46 AD). Substantial portion of the present structure were added during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 AD). The hundred pillared mantapa (pavilion) to the south west of the main temple and the eastern and northern gateways carved with deceptions of Vishnu and his other forms are attributed to Krishnadevaraya and his queens.
The temple is built on a sculpted ornate plinth. The composite pillars of the sabha mantapa (congregation hall) are massive, hewn out of a single granite blocks, which are designed as clusters of slender pillars. Some of these when tapped gently, produces musical notes. to the northern bay of the sabha mantapa is the Narashima mantapa where a pillar has a sculpture of a Yogavarada Narashima and various other forms.
The stone chariot at the entrance, a reproduction of the processional wooden chariot is perhaps the most stunning achievement, typical of the Vijaynagara period. It houses an image of the Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The ornate Kalyana Mantapa (marriage hall), Utsava mantava (festival hall), and devi shrines completes the ensembles of the temple complex.
Outside the temple, to the east is a huge bazaar measuring 945 meters in length and 40 meters in width leading to a sacred tank called Lokapavani.
Entrance to Vittala temple is paid. Entrance fee per person is Rs 10 (Indian) and $5 foreigners. Entrance fee below age of 15 years is free. There is no fee for still photography but for videography fee is Rs 25.
Timings: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
It is advisable to visit here in the first hours of the day so that you can see it peacefully and take good photographs. Once the crowd builds up, it is very difficult to take photographs. Also, may be we can skip visiting on Sunday.
To view the complete set of pictures visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.