Thursday, 22 June 2017


19th June 2017
It was around 17.30 hrs when we finished our of  Vitthala Temple. Against 12 places planned, we could see only the two places. On the way we planned to visit Narasimha Temple and Badavilinga, since both are close to each other and nearer to our lodge also.

This is a huge monolithic sculpture near Krishna temple. This is one of the outstanding sculpture on the monolithic stone of Vijayanagara. The 6.7 meters sculpture was chiselled out of a massive boulder by Krishnabhatta in 1528 AD during Krishnadevarayar’s rule. Lakshmi Narasimha was seated on the coil of  7 headed Adhisheshan with Lakshmi on his left  lap with makara thorana which is supported by two ornate pillars. Narasimha is sitting in padmasana with yogapattika.  Lakshmi’s right hand is on the hip of Narasimha in embracing posture. When Bhamini sultans  conquered Vijayanagara kings and they looted valuables and destroyed many temples. This temple is also one of them. Lakshmi and Narasimhar’s legs were completely broken. The legs with yogapatti are reconstructed in the recent years. Now Lakshmi Narasimhar is sitting on open to sky with 7 feet high wall.


 Lakshmi’s right hand embracing Narasimha can be seen 

This temple adjacent to Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar’s sannadhi.   The Shiva linga is about 3 meters high and avudayar is  about 2 meter diameter. The lower part of the shiva linga is always in the water. It was told that the water is sourced through a small cannel from Tungabhadra. The super structure is in dilapidated condition.



Wednesday, 21 June 2017


 ... a continuation post to Sri Virupaksha temple, Hampi ruins.  
19th June 2017
The Vitthala temple, Lakshmi Narasimha and Badavi linga temples are covered after the lunch. This Vitthala temple is on the way to Kampali from Hampi, about 1.5 KM off the main road. Battery operated vehicles are there for commuting  from the main road on chargeable. Some of us preferred walking. 
Moolavar : Sri Vitthala

This is one of the master piece of the Vijayanagara architecture with a massive enclosure with a 5 tier Rajagopuram which is ruined now facing east. There two other rajagopurams on south and north. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu  in the form of Vitthala. From the inscription Vitthala is known as Vitthaleswara. The sanctum existed since Devaraya II ( 1422- 46 AD). Latter expanded by the Vijayanagara Kings, especially  Krishna Devaraya (1509 -1529 AD) had contributed a lot.

Garudalwar sannadhi / stone chariot ins in front of the mahamandapam and Deepa sthambam in front of east side Rajagopuram had fallen down now. In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Thayar, Kalyana mandapam, 100 pillar mandapam and Utsava mandapam. The sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, Antarala, Arthamandapam and mahamandapam.

The mahamandapam has symmetrically recessed on sides and stands on a ornate adhistanam with sculptured friezes of horses, soldiers, elephants and swans. The adhistanam has also miniature vimanas with incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Interestingly we found a Jain Theerthangara in one of the Vimana. The prominent feature of the mahamandapa is with continuous frieze of bas reliefs of deities and other images. Fragments of original decorative parapet made of brick bonded with lime mortar  with niches and images in kutas can be seen.

The mandapa has 56 pillars  of about 3.6 meters high, of which 40 are forms the 3 sides and 16 pillars forms the  centre court. Each pillar has the massive composite  sculptures. The pillars has the reliefs of Deities, animals, Squatting lions, women dancers, drummers, clowns etc. The entrance pillars are of Yali type. The centre court yard is open to sky now and visitors are not allowed to climb the maha mandapam.  

The kalyana mandapa is on the south east side of the temple complex, constructed  similar to Mahamandapam. The utsava mandapa is on the northeast  side of the outer prakaram  built by Krishna Devaraya.

The Thayar sannadhi was built like a separate temple  with sanctum, antarala,  arthamandapa, and a maha mandapa with a sub sannadhi facing north. The roof and vimana was damaged completely.

The Garudan  sannadhi is constructed like a chariot with meticulous decorations with four wheels. The stone chariot is the proto type model of a wooden ratha. The super structure made of brick with stucco images are missing now.

A Shiva’s dance posture stucco image on  a Vishnu temple Rajagopuram

 Kalyana mandapam

ceiling panel..

ceiling panel..

Garudan sannadhi- A chariot style with reliefs 
Garudan sannadhi- A chariot style with reliefs 
Garudan sannadhi- A chariot style with reliefs 
Garudan sannadhi- A chariot style with reliefs

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,. 
Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Adhitanam reliefs, elephants, horse, Horse traders etc,.

Is this  Jain theerthangara ?  with mahara thoranam in a niche of the mahamandapa adhistanam- 

Vitthala Bazar a huge bazaar with a sacred Lokapavani tank is constructed  in front of the Vitthala temple measures 946 meters in length and 396 meters width. Remnants of the dilapidated mandapa in either side of the pathway remain as mute testimony to the ancient market existed during its golden days.

Kudure gombe ( toy horse ) mandapa. On the left side of the path way a shrine with sanctum, Antarala and a open arthamandapa called Kudure Gombe. The pillars has the sculptures of horse riders in standing position. The mandapam was used during processions and urchavams.

Gejjala ( Parankusha) mandapa. This is a 16th century AD Mandapa on the way to Vitthala temple near the starting point of the main road. This mandapa is used to alight the deities during processions.

.... to be continued ( Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple )

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


19th June 2017.
During April 2017, while we ( Mr Gireesh, Mr VijayaKumar and Coimbatore friends) undertook the trekking to Velliangiri hills Mr Mr Gireesh  told that he will arrange a Heritage Visit to Hampi before leaving Ballari official assignment.  Really I was waiting for a chance  to see the Hampi ruins. So decided to join with him for this heritage visit. Travel arrangements were made well in advance  for this Hampi heritage visit scheduled between 16th June to 18th June 2017. We took the Habbali express train for the onward journey from Chennai on 15th afternoon  and returned through NKSRTC bus. When we told our plan some of our friends threatened that the temperature will be high during June. Against the threat of high temperature and the climate was not too hot as expected and second day we got wet by rain for about an hour.

Flawless Travel, Stay at Padma Guest House near Virupaksha Temple, food arrangements and pick up from Railway station  and drop at Bus stand were made by Mr Gireesh under the leadership of Mr Rajasekar Pandurangan and his madam Vitya was excellent. My sincere thanks to the organising team and to my Co-participants. 
First day of our visit was to Virupaksha temple, which is one of the living temple in Hampi. The temple is on the southern banks of river Tungabhatra.

Iraivan : Sri Virupaksha
Iraivi    : Sri Pampadevi

Some of the important details are as follows...
The temple is facing east on the southern banks of river Thungabhatra with a 9 tier Rajagopuram called bishtappayya gopura measuring 52.6 meters high.  There is also a 2nd level 3 tier Rajagopuram. Palipedam, Nandhi Mandapam  and dwajasthambam are after the 2nd level  Rajagopuram. 

In the prakaram sannadhi for  Bhuvaneshwari and Pamapadevi, built during 11th century AD. The pillars of ambal mandapams are made of soap stones with exquisitely carved.   There is a 5 tier Rajagopuram which leads to the temple tank called kanagagiri gopura built by the chief of that place. The outer prakaram was built with pillared cloisters used for as stores and sub sannadhis.

The sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum, 3 antarala, sabha mandapam and a muka mandapa built like mada temple ( elevated level ).  The sanctum outer walls has the reliefs connected to periyapuram and Lord Shiva’s various forms and kumbha panjaras. The vimanam has the stucco images of saivaite deities. The vimanam was built in Dravidian style  with sala, Kuta and stupi with kalasa.

The muka mandapa arch  has the  stucco images of Shiva & Parvati marriage, Shiva as kalahari murthy, Anantasayana and Mahisamardini.
The ceiling was plastered with lime mortar and paintings  of Shiva’s marriage with Ambal, Manmatha vijaya, tripurantaka, and saint Vidhyaranya processions,  etc were drawn. The pillars has the  reliefs various saivaite deities and mythological images. The approach from east side in the muka mandapam  has been closed, which will be used during important occasions and the devotees are allowed from north side entrance.

The temple was built during Hoysala & Chalukya period  and various structures were added between 7th century to 15th century by the Vijaya Nagara dynasty. The Muka mandapa was built with 38 pillars  and the same was added in 1510 AD by the  King Krishna Devaraya. The temple Shiva is under worship from 7th century till date without break ( break may be during Bamini and Nayaks wars )  

The temple will be kept opened between 07.00 hrs to 13.00 Hrs and 17.00 Hrs to 21.00 hrs.

The land line telephone number is +91-80-22352828

The temple is very close to Hampi Bus stand and 12 km from Hospet. Nearest Railway station is Hospet.
Buses are available from Hospet and Ballari.


Carving on a pillar inside the Rajagopuram entrance

Muka mandapam

A mandapa on the left side of the corridor

Deepa sthambam, Palipedam, Dwajasthambam and Nandhi mandapam

Rajagopuram inside view 

reliefs on the sanctum wall ( the story of Kannappa nayanar )

Packshadanar – a relief 

 The relief on a Pillar is it Krishna devaraya ( Those who can read telegu please tell me what is written ) 

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

exquisite  carving on the soap stone  pillars in side the ambal sannadhi  

Tungabhadra river banks reliefs on the rocks

Tungabhadra river banks reliefs on the rocks

The emblem of Vijayanagara dynasty

Introduction meeting of the members of the group  participated in the Hampi Heritage Visit on the banks of Tungabhadra river 
..... to be continued