5 Best Temples of Hampi
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its magnificent temples, ancient ruins, and stunning natural landscapes. With over 500 historic monuments and temples spread over an area of about 26 square kilometres, Hampi is a paradise for history buffs, lovers of ancient temples, and architecture enthusiasts. Hampi is a treasure trove of ancient temples and ruins that offers a glimpse into India’s culturally rich heritage, which existed even before the marauders set foot on this great spiritual land and tried to destroy it. Each temple in Hampi is unique in its own way, either in terms of style, architecture, or significance. Among the numerous temples dotting the skyline of Hampi, listed below are the five most important temples that a visitor to Hampi should visit.
Virupaksha Temple: Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple is the most prominent temple in Hampi. Dedicated to Bhagawan Shiva, the temple dates back to the 7th century and has undergone various additions and renovations over the centuries. The temple complex consists of several halls, smaller shrines, and courtyards, each with its own unique architectural style and features. Vijayanagara rulers made plenty of donations to this temple according to the inscriptions. The 160-foot-tall gopura, adorned with intricate carvings and numerous sculptures, is the main attraction of this temple.
Vittala Temple: Vittala Temple is another iconic and most visited temple in Hampi. It is known for its exquisite architecture, intricate carvings, and stunning musical pillars. Built by the Vijayanagar rulers during the 16th century, this temple dedicated to Bhagawan Vishnu consists of a mesmerising pillared hall, a magnificent stone chariot, and a beautiful courtyard. The temple is also famous for its 56 musical pillars, a masterpiece of work that produce different musical notes when tapped.
Hazara Rama Temple: The Hazara Rama Temple was built by the rulers of Vijayanagara during the 15th century. It is a small but impressive temple that showcases the finest example of Vijayanagara art and architecture. The temple is dedicated to Bhagawan Rama and features intricate carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana. Apart from this, the visitors also come across beautiful pillars, carved ceilings, and finely decorated doorways. The temple also houses a large courtyard that was used for religious ceremonies and rituals.
Achyutaraya Temple: Located near the Royal Enclosure, the Achyutaraya Temple is a massive temple complex that was built by the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire during the 16th century. Dedicated to Bhagawan Venkateshwara, the temple has several halls, smaller temples, and courtyards. Each of these creations stands apart for its unique features and style. The temple is also well known for the beautiful carvings of various deities, animals, and mythological scenes.
Hemakuta Hill Temples: Located on a hill overlooking Hampi, the Hemakuta Hill Temples are a group of small but beautiful temples. A great view of Hampi can be enjoyed from this place. These temples date back to the 9th century and are dedicated to various deities. Many of the temples sport intricate carvings and beautiful sculptures.