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Hampi: Virupaksha Temple – A view from the Hemakuta hill


Hampi Virupaksha Temple
Captured from the Hemkuta hill, this view shows the sprawling Virupaksha Temple complex, located in Hampi, Karnataka, India. As you can see, there are three gopuras and two courtyards. The tallest tower, known as the Bistappaya gopura, is on the east side and is where the visitors enter the complex. It was last modified in 1510 CE by Krishna Devaraya, the most famous ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire.

The middle tower is known as Raya gopura and was built by Krishna Devaraya at the time of his coronation. The third tower, known as Kanakagiri gopura, is slightly north of the other two towers and leads to the southern shores of the Tungabhadra River. The Virupaksha Temple, the main temple of the complex, is situated west of Raya gopura and south of Kanakagiri gopura.

Because the site where the current Virupaksha Temple stands now was considered sacred, people started building temples there as early as the 7th century CE. The temple we see today was the result of modifications and renovations by the Chalukya, Hoysala, and Vijayanagara dynasties. In 1510 CE, Krishna Devaraya added the Ranga Mantapa, a covered hall in front of the garbhagriha (inner sanctum). During his reign, the inspirational murals depicting stories from the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were painted on the ceiling of the Ranga Mantapa.

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Hampi Virupaksha Temple Murals

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