Virupaksha Temple is one of the ancient temples situated at Hampi
, a UNESCO certified World Heritage Site, about 350 km from Bangalore
, in Karnataka
. It is situated in picturesque surroundings on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River
, to the north of the Hemakuta Hill
. The temple enshrines Virupaksha or Pampapati, a form of Lord Shiva
, as the presiding deity. Pampapati literally means Ďthe lord of Pampaí - the daughter of Brahma
- or the lord of the Pampa-Teerth.
As per the historians the temple has an uninterrupted history from about the 7th century. Once a small shrine, the temple was developed into a large complex under the Vijayanagara rulers. The temple was rebuilt for the coronation of King Krishnadevaraya in 1510. The temple is an outstanding example of the Vijayanagara Style of architecture. Several additions were made during the late Chalukya and Hoysala period.
The various parts of the temple complex are within a long rectangular enclosure divided into two large courts. The temple has a 160 ft high gopuram which date back to the 16th century. The main entrance of the temple, the eastern gopuram, is a well-proportioned nine-storied structure about 52 m high with a usual two-tiered stone base and a superstructure in brick.
The broad Hampi Bazaar, one of the important thoroughfares in the ancient city of Vijayanagar, is situated facing the Virupaksha Temple.
Car Festival in February and Marriage Festival of Virupaksha and Pampa in December are the main festivals of the temple. Thousands of people visit the temple every year.
Hospet Junction Railway Station, managed by the South Western Railways, is the nearest railhead (12 km). Belgaum Airport is the nearest airport.