The Vittala Temple or Vitthala Templex complex in Hampi epitomizes the exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship of the tVijayanagara dynasty. Widely regarding as one of the most famous structure to visit in Hampi, the temple complex located by the banks of the majestic Tungabhadra River.
The temple dates way back to the 15th Century and was built during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 – 1446 A.D.). The temple complex was expanded during the rein of King Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 A.D.), undoubtedly, the most famous ruler of Vijayanagara Dynasty. The temple is dedicate to Lord Vittala – a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.
We were staying at the “Hyatt Place, Hampi”, which is a good 40 Kilometers from Vittala temple complex. It would be a good idea to visit the temple during the morning time as the sun can get pretty harsh during noon. The rocky terrain around the temple could be one of the reasons due to which the temple complex becomes very hot and dry during daytime. We had our breakfast at the hotel and left for the temple at around 8:00 AM.
We reached the temple at around 9:00 AM, an hours drive through the narrow winding roads around Hampi. There is ample parking place available and one can see many buildings which are in ruins all the way leading to the temple.
Quick facts to note about the temple:
- Timing: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM – All days
- Entry fee: It was free
- Photography: Allowed
- Duration of Visit: 3-4 Hours.
The temple has so much of history and it is a delight for serious photographers. Did feel a bit embarrassed to pull out my point and shoot camera in-front of these photographers :). The humble camera did not let me down though !!
The Key attractions in the Temple complex are:
1) Maha Mandapa:
The Maha Mantapa or main hall of the Vittala Temple is one of the main attractions in the temple and is situated in the inner courtyard of the temple complex. The structure is built on a highly ornate base, decorated with carvings of warriors, horses, swans and several other ornamental designs
2) Stone Chariot:
The other key attraction in the temple is the Stone Chariot, iconic photograph representing Hampi. The Chariot is considered to be the most stunning architecture of the Vijayanagara kingdom. It is one of the three famous stone chariots in India, the other two being Chariots in Konark (Odissa) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
3) Ranga Mantapa – Musical pillars:
The landscape was mesmerizing and I could not help but wander around the temple looking for details from the past. Took some more random photos highlighting the beauty of this temple complex
The visit to this temple complex would not be complete if you do not walk down to and see the majestic Tungabhadra river. Since we had planned our trip during the fag end of the monsoon season, the river was swollen and looked majestic.
The temple complex will take you to a very different era and highlight the rich culture that the Vijayanagar dynasty has to offer. I so wished that each of these monuments could come to life and show us how people of Hampi lived during their hay days. It is such a pity that one of the most prosperous and culturally vibrant city of its time, lies in complete ruins today !!!
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