Virupaksha Templeis an ancient Hindu temple located in the city of Hampi in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It is dedicated to Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva in Hinduism.
It is a part of the ‘Group of Monuments at Hampi’ which is aUNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Virupaksha temple was built by Lakkan Dandesha, who was a chieftain under the popular Vijayanagara empire which ruled in Karnataka between 14th and 17th centuries AD.
But some parts of it existed well before the establishment of Vijayanagara empire – someon it(referring to Lord Shiva)date back to around the 9th and 10th centuries! At the time it is believed to have been just a small shrine, which subsequently grew into a larger temple complex under the Vijayanagara rulers.
The main temple of Virupaksha consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall.
Beautiful carved pillars adorn the structure along with a cloister, multiple entrance gateways. Apart from the main deity (Virupaksha), there are smaller shrines and other structures that surround the main part of the temple.
The entrance gateway on the east side of the temple is the largest of all – it is 50 meters high,made of brick with a stone base. It gives access to the outer courtyard that contains various other smaller shrines.
The temple lies along the mighty Tungabhadra River of Karnataka,that flows alongsidethe temple (near the terrace side).
Virupaksha Temple is open to visitors between 9 AM and 1 PM, and between 5 PM to 9 PM every day, on all days of the week.
The entry to this temple (like most temples in India) is free; visitors are not charged any entry fee here. However, any offerings to the deity (like flowers/garland, incense sticks, fruits, and other Pooja items) can be purchased within the temple complex and this isoptionally done by devotees – it isn’t compulsory.
Hampiis well connected to cities across Karnataka as well as other neighbouring states The city can be reached by air, rail or road.