Hampi’s Virupaksha Temple


  • A section of the pillars holding up the pavilion at Hampi’s Virupaksha temple collapsed recently following heavy rains.

About the Virupaksha Temple of Hampi

  • It is a historic Hindu temple located in Hampi, Karnataka, India.
  • It holds immense religious and cultural significance and is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Historical Significance

  • It dates back to the 7th century CE. Some historians suggest that it existed even before the Vijayanagara Empire established its capital in Hampi.
  • During the 14th to 16th centuries, under the Vijayanagara rulers, the temple underwent extensive expansion and flourished as a vital centre for religious and cultural activities.
  • The Vijayanagara Empire was founded by Harihara I of the Sangama dynasty, it expanded from a strategic position on the banks of the Tungabhadra River to become one of the most powerful kingdoms of its time.

Architectural Marvels

  • The Vijayanagara Empire (1336 to 1646), known for its grand architecture, built Dravidian-style temples and palaces in Hampi, including the Virupaksha Temple.
  • Notable features include towering gopurams (gateways), pillared halls, and shrines dedicated to various deities.
  • The Vitthala Temple within the complex stands out for its exquisite ornate structure, representing the pinnacle of Vijayanagara temple architecture.
  • It features a grand bazaar street, a stepped tank, and beautifully carved mandapas.

Religious Significance

  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva.
  • It is associated with the local goddess Pampadevi, linked to the Tungabhadra River.
  • Worship at the Virupaksha Temple has persisted over centuries, even after the city’s destruction in 1565.