South Indian - Temples
At one time, during the heyday of the Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi was very likely the richest city in Asia. Long neglected after the fall of that empire which took place over a century or so from the mid-16th to mid-17th centuries, it is now renowned as one of the greatest archaeological sites in India and, while still difficult to reach, the rewards are significant.
Virupaksha Temple - Hampi - Karnataka
While many of Hampi’s other structures- royal compounds, elephant stables and many temples- are now abandoned but for tourists and macaques, Virupaksha Temple , ,located on the banks of River Tungabhadra, still attracts pilgrims from around Karnataka and beyond.
The temple is dedicated to the Virupaksha form of Lord Shiva and consists of ante chambers and many beautiful halls. It is also known as Pampapathi (husband of Pampa, the local goddess) Temple among local residents.
The temple was constructed in the 7th century CE and has been a principal pilgrimage centre for Hindus ever since. Aside from the main sanctum, other attractions of the temple include sub-shrines, courtyards, towered gateways and a 9-storey giant tower or gopuram. The pillars of the temple features stucco figures of couples in erotic positions. Another highlight is the sacred pond of the temple that has many small shrines surrounding it.
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