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. 

Virupaksha Temple as seen from a hill

Virupaksha Temple as seen from a hill

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 entrance

The entrance

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. 

The inner sanctum from inside.

The inner sanctum from inside.

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. 

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Lakshmi – the elephant.

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. 

The carvings on the ceiling

The carvings on the ceiling

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. 

The Sun also calls it a day.

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. 


This is Day 1 post for the Write Tribe Festival of Words

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!

36 Responses

  1. Suzy says:

    The architecture of yore was truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
    Suzy recently posted…Remembering #Songs – Moon RiverMy Profile

  2. Beautiful pictures! I don’t think I’ve been to any temples down south apart from one and I can tell you at the time, I didn’t appreciate it at all because of the crowds. And because I was 11.
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…Broken GlassMy Profile

  3. Beautiful temple snaps!Our temples are the showpieces of our architectural history!
    Great to see a post on one of Karnataka’s most famed temples

  4. joshi daniel says:

    that is cool especially with the elephant 😉

  5. Sheethal says:

    have read so much about Hampi. Must visit place for long now.

  6. Beautiful post. The wonderful energy of this place can be felt in your words and pictures.. 🙂
    Payal Agarwal recently posted…Burnt leavesMy Profile

  7. Wow. This is spectacular.. The photos, the post. Now I have to do my own research and learn more! Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Val says:

    I love these little peeks into your part of the world, Parul. Our country is beautiful, but we don’t have the depth of history or culture that you have there.
    Now I am wondering what the dyes were made from. Spices? Earth?

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Thank you, Val! I think in general the world is beautiful. Look at the Grand Canyon, Machu Pichu, Rome – all that is history.

      I’m also thinking on the same lines. What dyes and colors?

  9. C.TdeF says:

    What a beautiful experience! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Alana says:

    I am continuously amazed by the architecture in your part of the world (I live in the United States and have never been off the North American continent). I am so happy I found Write Tribe.

  11. Alok Singhal says:

    Meeting Lakshmi must be quite an experience. The craving look worn-out though, but yes – a great work back then!

  12. Nabanita says:

    everytime I read about or visit such historical places, I wonder how life back then would have been. It’s incredible really to imagine how these temples have stood the test of time and must have been witness to so many stories

  13. Esha says:

    I have read all your Hampi posts, Parul! Love the photos and the beautiful write-up here. The ruins have made such a lasting impression on me…would love to visit again. The craftsmanship and the beautiful designs are so enthralling even after so much destruction!

  14. The monuments and holy temples created by our ancestors still live on, and it’s really something to wonder about. We really must have some way of knowing whether our present day monuments and temples live on for more than a few centuries!
    A beautiful theme for the challenge, Parul! I’m loving the pictures you have shared with the posts. All the best 🙂

  15. Kala Ravi says:

    This is gorgeous! I had read about the other side of Hampi you had posted, but this side looks even more amazing! Lovely clicks and what marvellous structures and sculptures!

  16. Dashy says:

    “Untold stories like those history chapters which remain unread” so true. Often when I visit heritage sites I feel incomplete without knowing the story behind every structure. One would be amazed at the significance of even the tiniest unnoticed detail sometimes. Beautiful clicks, and the ancient dyes on the carvings look spectacular!

  17. Rajlakshmi says:

    It must be fun to see the elephant pass the coin to the mahout 🙂 Beautiful architecture of Hampi 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Please let me drown in the DishwasherMy Profile

  18. Great post blended with some awesome photographs. Karnataka is very much on my list because I want to visit the Jog Falls and Coorg with Sarah for a week or so.
    Sharukh Bamboat recently posted…Cherished Blogfest 2: Share Your Story With The World Once AgainMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Jog Falls is gorgeous. I went there in 2011 and wasn’t blogging then. Will try and pull pictures one day for a quick travelogue. 🙂 Coorg is on my list too. A week will be wonderful. Thank you, Sharukh.

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