Hampi Vitthala Temple

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U see the magnificent Vitthala Temple complex. A trip to Hampi is incomplete without visiting this temple. It has an outer wall, 3 gopurams-gateways in the east, north, south directions. The temple stands in a large rectangular enclosure (164*94.5m). All along the enclosure walls on the interior side are pillared colonnnades. Arranged around the sanctum is the Amman shrine, the kalyanamandapa, an natyamandapa, a 100 pillared sabhamandapa and a stone chariot dedicated to Garuda. Outside the enclosure in front of the eastern gopuram stands a dipastambha, nearly 12 m in height. Hill on right of pic in Anegundi hill where Lord Hanuman was born.

Took this picture from the top of Anegundi Hill where Lord Hanuman was born. Pic taken around 12 noon so not very clear. But it gives you a good idea of the temple complex layout. The water that you see is the Tungabhadra river. U can see three gopurams, boundary wall. Best time to visit temple is early morning or after 4pm adjusted for season.

Board outside temple. Built under patronage of Devaraya II 1422-46, additions during Krishnadeva Raya reign 1509-29. It has 100 pillared mandapa, eastern and northern gateways carved with depictions of Lord Vishnu. Composite pillars of Sabhamandapa are massive, made out of single granite blocks. Some of these when tapped produce musical notes.

When u walk towards the temple from the main market u see this 2 storeyed gateway. Two empty cubical shrines that you see on either side of the structure probably once enshrined images of guardial deities like Hanuman.

This is the first Gopuram when u walk in from the market side facing the North. Lower portion is stone while upper is brick work (little of it is left). The outer wall of temple is plain but missed seeing the inside wall of the temple - did it have any sculptures.

Sculptures on the Gopuram - u can see image of a Goddess. The temple was in active worship till the fall of the Vijayanagara empire in 1565.

Another view of the lower portion of the Gopuram. The temple is about a 20 minute walk from the main market. Or u can take a car through the town and reach entrance from where the battery operated vehicle brings u to the temple.

This is east facing gopuram ie also the main temple entrance. The gopurams were built by Chinnadevi and Tirumaladevi, queens of Krishnadeva Raya.

A close up of the restored work on the brick portion of the main entrance gopuram. For a good guide call Prakash 9448795114. Speaks English, Hindi, Kannada well.

Just outside the main entrance is a huge bazaar remains of which you see. Bazaar measuring 945 sq mts and 40 mts in width that leads to a sacred tank known as Lokapavani that I missed seeing.

Overview of temple. Left to right first is marriage hall (Kalyanamandapa), behind that is Sabhamandapa (meeting hall), centre is Stone Chariot, behind that is Dancing Hall (Natyamandapa). Behind that is Vitthala Temple and on extreme left is Prayer Hall (Bhajanamandapa).

This is the rear side of the Vitthala Temple. As u see the gopuram is quite high and width of the temple quite huge.

We present a series of pictures on the world famous Stone Chariot. It was made between 1510-1513 to commemorate Krishnadevaraya''s victory over the King of Orissa. The round wheels remind me of the Sun Temple Konarak.

This is the north facing side. Imagine this piece is made out of stone - can todays men and machines make something like this.

A side view taken from the north eastern side. Sequence of structures is Stone chariot at the end, then Bali pet, Yagna mandapa, Tulsi and Deepstamb that u do not see in picture. Hill that you see in centre of pic is Anegundi hill. Pic taken around sun set time.

A north facing view in broad daylight. See carvings at bottom of chariot. Elephant trunks are broken. Observe and admire the structure. Right side end picture is the Prayer Hall.

Same north facing view taken close to sun set. Hill on left hand side of picture is Anegundi Hill. To see pics of all monuments at night, flood lit, go to Hampi Festival pictures.

A close up of the wheels - top of left hand side see the stone there to ensure the wheel remains inside and does not come out. Admire the intricate work. Pictures of soldiers, hunters, the Portugese, Arabs and Persians are depicted in this chariot.

Behind the wheels were paintings as u see in picture. Can someone throw light on what images at bottom of picture represent.

A north eastern view of the chariot. All the intricate and delicate details found in a wooden ratha are simulated in this stone chariot. The brick superstructure of the ratha, shaped like a vimana is no longer extant.

View of chariot from southern side pic taken around sunset. Right side back of pic is marriage hall. Generally a image of Garuda is found in front of a Vishnu temple but here a stone chariot was made.

East facing entrance side close up of the stone chariot.

Entrance to Kalyanamandapa or marriage hall. Has 50 pillars. 500 feet length, 310 feet width. Has a platform in the centre. Made in 1554.

Entrance to royal marriage hall.

Just behind the entrance u see a huge pillar. Made in Kakatiya style ie from modern day Andhra Pradesh.

This is the platform in the centre of the hall where the marriage took place. It is called an open pillared mandapa, systematically planned, with deeply recessed sides and has the usual arrangement of composite pillars, balustrades and highly ornate ceiling. It also displays vestigates of original Vijayanagara paintings.

Pillar in marriage hall - Lord Krishna stealing clothes of the Gopis.

Another close view of the marriage hall sculptures. Highly ornate ceiling.

Marriage hall pillar - can someone help with a narration that describes this picture.

I went to the temple twice, once during day and then evening to click temple fully lit. Around sun set time I was lucky to see these two pigeons.

External wall scultpure of marriage hall - can someone help with a narration that describes this picture.

External view of the 100 pillars Sabhamandapa or meeting hall. Has three inscriptions in three different languages stating that it was built by Krishnadeva Raya in 1516.

Inside the meeting hall - u can see the pillars. Different pillars give different sounds.

Centre of meeting hall - at the end is a raised platform where the King used to sit.

Carvings on pillars - both seem to be in dancing pose. My guide called these break dance poses of earlier times.

A close up of one of the images. Can someone help with a narration that describes this picture

Another image on pillar in dancing pose.

U see Natyamandapa. Took this pic around sunset. It is for famous for its Musical Pillars. In the centre of the pic large structure is the temple. The mandapa contains 56 pillars, each around 3.6 m high, 40 of these arranged to form an isle around 3 sides, while the remaining 16 form a rectangular court in the centre. Each pillar is a composite sculptural unit, sometimes measuring as much as 1.5m high. A u can see the steps to the mandapa have an elephant-balustrade on the east but those on the north and south have surul yalis that u can see in the second last picture.

Hall pic taken from opposite side ie at Vitthala temple entrance. The central court ie today roofless was probably covered earlier. In the centre u can see stone chariot and east facing gopuram. Mandapa made in 1513. Area under restoration so not allowed to go in.

U see plinth of the dancing hall. Has 6 levels. Top is Yali below Krishna. Two is Dandiya. 3 is bangles carving. 4 is place to keep deepam. 5 is peacock carving. 6 is portugese horses.

See the lowest level - shows Chinese, Portugese and Arabian traders - can notice from the dress.

Evening view of the marriage hall pillars - on left is the Vitthala Temple. The 56 musical pillars that resound with musical chimes when struck. Type of pillars vary according to their position in the mandapa. Most of the pillars along the outer edges are with a large number of slender columnettes around a central shaft. However, 2 pillars at the centre of each shaft are the yali type.

A close up view of the musical pillars. Each pillar was used to play a musical instrument that could be heard a km away.

Pillars of the dancing hall. Lord Krishna dancing on lotus flower with snake in hand.

Inside the dancing hall. Ceiling of the mandapa is divided into sections and carved beautifully with lotus-motifs.

This is a must see image. From top looks like a frog, big and baby monkey. From side looks like a jumping Hanuman. Sitting pose is Monkey and other is Nagalingapushp.

A pillar on the left as I was entering the Vitthala Temple. Top image is Lord Hanuman with Shri Ram. Lower part is Lord Krishna as Kalia - dance pose on snake. Wall that u see on the right of the shrine, that I missed taking a close up of, has ornate devakoshtas, large and well-proportioned kumbha panjaras in bold relief.

The main temple was dedicated to Vishnu as Vitthala. Inside the temple.

In this pillar top is baby Krishna, then Mother making butter milk and last is dancing Krishna.

My guide called this dancing pose Michael Jackson style.

My guide called this image Jackie Chang - Chinese style Kung Fu. In the interior, most of the pillars on the south side are of the yali type, while those on the North contain various forms of Narasimha. Some of the inner pillars on the east contain figures of dancers, women and drummers.

Can someone help with a narration for this picture. Left shows a flute being played.

Entrance to temple has two dvarapalas or door keepers. U see door keeper on left side Jaya nearly 2.7m high. The sanctum of the god and its axial mandapas form a long and low structural group, about 7.6 m in height and 70m in length. Group comprises of open mahamandapa (ie open hall) seen earlier, a closed ardhamandapa with side porces and a covered prasadkshinapatha with the antarala and garbhagriha - that you shall see in next two pics.

I found that in a number of temples at Hampi the inner sanctum is a separate structure. Here we had walk down 2 steps and then walk around the sanctum. U need to walk down these steps to reach the inner sanctum. This is called the Amman shrine of the Vitthala temple.

Left side is corridor inside inner sanctum, right side is temple. There is no image there or worship being done currently. Dip in the centre of pic is perhaps where water used to flow into. This is the closed ardhamandapa and covered pradakshinapatha enclosing the antarala and garbhagriha. Devotees walk around the inner sanctum of which u see the left side.

As I walked out of temple there were number of pillars. U see Manmatta or God of Sex. Vehicle is parrot, bow is sugarcane and arrow are flowers.

U see Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana of the epic Ramayana) sleeping.

U see Shri Ram sleeping, Laxman sitting with Lord Hanuman facing them.

Southern side exit of the natyamandapa or dancing hall. Steps to mandapa have elephant balustrade as u saw earlier but this south facing has surul yalis.

Entrance to the Prayer Hall ie on southern side of temple. Some narrations taken from the Archaeological Survey of India booklet on Hampi. In case of any error in narration please write back.