Hampi – Virupaksha Temple
The tall Virupaksha temple is visible from where ever you are in Hampi. It feels like that grand monument which is so inviting that while you are visiting other spots, your heart wants to step inside this one. It pulls you towards itself like some magic. We visited the temple on our day two in Hampi and it had that effect on me.This Lord Shiva temple has been around since the 7th century. Since then, it has been used for marriages, annual festivals and various other religious ceremonies. The temple consists of a central sanctum and then the smaller sanctums that surround it. As it is with all the world heritage sites – the architecture is beautiful and will leave you amazed. At the entrance sits a Nandi and devotees pay their respects before entering the main sanctum for worship.
Lakshmi is also an integral part of the temple. She is a quiet elephant and her mahout sits next to her. As you give her a coin, she passes it on to her master and then blesses you. Something very unique that I also tried.The ceiling of the central sanctum has carvings all over and our guide mentioned that the tales from the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted on the ceiling. Over the years, those colors have stayed on the ceiling narrating those stories. Hard to imagine how and even harder to imagine the kind of dyes used in those days. As we closed our day, the many pillars, those inscriptions, the carvings and even the long corridors had untold stories. Like those history chapters which remain unread. One visit is by no means enough to get to the heart of this temple. The many stories of faith and belief that exist. The 7th century old temple is one of India’s oldest temple and having set my foot here early this year, I do feel blessed.
I visited Hampi early this year and this post is a part of series. The small city in North Karnataka has a lot of historical significance and a travelogue will never be enough. Read the rest of the posts here. Happy Travelling!