Hampi, the Capital city of the great Vijayanagara empire gets its name from the Pampa river. Also referred to as Kishkinda Kshetra, this place is said to be in the same location where Rama first met Hanuman. It is located on the banks of River Tungabhadra in the state of Karnataka. Hampi was the richest place during the 16th Century and attracted a number of traders from Persia and Portugal. During the reign of Sri Krishnadevarata, Hampi grew to be one of the most beautiful cities. Especially with respect to art and architecture, the temples in Hampi display the amazing skill of the Vijayanagara architects. However, multiple invasions by the Portuguese and Persians resulted in the complete destruction of the once glorious kingdom. The temples were unknown to the world until the 19th century and are now restored by the archaeological department. Read on to explore the best list of temples in Hampi.
Important Temples In Hampi With Images:
Here are our 12 famous and must-visit temples in Hampi with details. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Vijaya Vittala Temple:
Vijaya Vittala temple is a classic example of splendid architecture and design located in Hampi. It’s a temple complex with pillared pavilions within pillared pavilions and thus it is said that it’s more of a town in itself. The temple is dated back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple houses a famous stone chariot which is actually said to be a shrine of Garuda, the Eagle God, a vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
2. Virupaksha Temple:
Virupaksha temple is said to be the crowning glory of India’s one of the most illustrious empires, the Vijayanagar Empire. The temple was possibly constructed during the 9th and 10th centuries. The temple is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva who is also the presiding deity of the temple. Apart from Lord Virupaksha, the temple also houses idols of Goddess Pampa, Goddess of River Tungabhadra. Temple festivals are celebrated in the months of February and December, the Hampi festival celebrated here is a famous festival in Karnataka.
3. Achyutaraya Temple:
Achyutaraya temple is located between Gandhamadana and Matanga hills and was built in 1534 AD by Achyuta Deva Raya of the Vijayanagar Dynasty. The temple was constructed in classic Vijayanagar architecture style and design and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. Though much of the temple is in ruins, it is still well known for its grand splendour. The temple also houses a shrine dedicated to Garuda, the Eagle God.
4. Badavi Linga Temple:
Badavi Linga temple is a monolithic marvel of Hampi which houses a 3-meter-tall Shiva lingam carved out of a single rock. The temple has a stoned sanctum with an open roof while the base of the lingam remains submerged in water. The temple according to locals is said to be constructed during the reign of Vijayanagar rulers. The chamber of the temple fascinatingly remains filled with water always.
5. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple:
Lakshmi Narasimha temple houses the stone idol of Lord Narasimha, one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The temple was constructed in 1528 AD during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya. The temple originally had an idol of Goddess Lakshmi seated on Lord Narasimha’s lap but after a raid in 1565, Lakshmi’s idol was vandalized and removed. Thus, the idol of Lord Narasimha since then been known as Ugra Narasimha which is the most terrifying form in the absence of Goddess Lakshmi.
6. Hazara Rama Temple:
Hazara Rama temple is located in the vicinity of the ancient Vijayanagar Empire and is said that it was considered a private temple by the kings and royalties of the empire. The epic saga of the Ramayana is carved on the walls of the temple in form of characters, stories, events, acts and scenes.
Read: Top Temples in Karnataka
7. Bala Krishna Temple:
Bala Krishna temple was built in 1513 AD to celebrate and mark the victory of King Krishnadevaraya’s victory over Udayagiri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna in his adored infant form, Balakrishna or Gopalji. The temple’s idol has now been shifted to the State Museum of Chennai. The walls, pillars and domes of the temple are exquisitely carved with depictions from Bhagavata, Lord Krishna’s puranic story.
8. Kadalekalu Ganesha Temple:
Kadalekalu Ganesha temple is another monolithic wonder of Hampi. The temple is dedicated to Kadalekalu Ganesha and has a monolithic idol of Lord Ganesha which is 4.5 meters tall. The pillars of the temple are engraved with mythological characters and stories. To the south of the Kadalekalu Ganesha temple, a small shrine is dedicated to Sasivekalu Ganesha which is also carved out of a single stone.
9. Underground Shiva Temple:
Shiva temple located in Hampi is built several meters below ground level and is possibly one of the oldest temples located in the city. The temple remains flooded most of the year, especially during the monsoons when the chambers become completely inaccessible. The inner sanctum of the temple used to have an idol of Lord Shiva but presently, only the pedestal remains.
10. Hanuman Temple Hampi:
This temple is located on a hillock called the Anjaneya Hill, which is supposed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. There are about 570 steps to reach the top of the temple where one finds a huge idol of Lord Hanuman. There are also floating stones for visitors’ view, which are brought from the famed Rama Setu. This temple offers a scenic panoramic view to those who visit the temple.
11. Ganigitti Jain Temple:
The Ganigitti Jain temple was built in 1386 A.D. and is dedicated to Kunthunatha, who is the 17th Tirthankara. This beautiful temple was built by Iruga, who was the chief commander during the rule of Harihara II. The lamp post installed in front of the main sanctum bears the inscriptions of the history of the temple. This temple is constructed in true Vijayanagara style, but one also finds the influence of the Chalukyan empire.
12. Malyavanta Raghunatha Swamy Temple:
This temple, although not as popular as the rest of the temples in Hampi is a beautiful site to visit. Located at a distance of 3km from the main market street of Hampi, the temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Rama in the form of Malyavanta Raghunatha Swamy. It is told that the temple is the same location where Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana resided during their expedition to find Seeta.
Hampi, ever since it has been discovered from its ruins, has been attracting many national and international tourists. Every inch of this place speaks for the glory it once witnessed. There is certainly a mystery about this place which makes every tourist want to visit Hampi again and again. The ruins seem to be telling stories about the glorious history of their past. These majestic ruins are an incredible sight to behold and one has to only visit these temples to appreciate their beauty as no words can describe them.
What is special about Hampi Temples?
- Hampi temples were built in the Vijayanagara style and made of local granite and burnt bricks.
- A unique feature of the Hampi temples is Ranga Mantapa, the 56 musical pillars, in the Vijaya Vittala temple, also known as SaReGaMa pillars, which produce musical tones when struck with the thumb.
What are some places worth visiting in Hampi?
Apart from these listed temples, there are many places to visit in Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Lotus Mahal
- Queen’s Bath
- Matanga Hill
- Gagan Mahal
- Archaeological Museum
- Stepped Tank
- Hampi Bazar
- Tungabhadra River
- Zanana Enclosure
- Stone Chariot
- Sanapur Lake
- Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary
- Sunset point – Hemakuta Gudda
- Mahanavami Dibba