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.

The main gate through which you need to continue driving to reach the designated car park. Couldn’t stop but wonder, how this city wall would have been during its hay days.


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 entrance of the Vittalla temple. The tower or Gopuram is damaged and needs some renovation.


The temple complex wall. The entire wall is made out of huge neatly cut rocks.


Grand Bazzar in front of Vittala temple in Hampi: Outside the temple complex you will find these type of structures which were once centers for trading. During the peak of Vijaynagara empire, Hampi was one of the busiest cities and know for prosperity and wealth.

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

Maha Mantapa: As you can see the structure has started to sag on its weight and renovation work was going on in full swing.


Renovation work on the Maha Mantapa.


Work in Progress – Keep away from the Maha Mandapa… Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go beyond this point to visit the Mandapa


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).

The Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple. Not long back the wheels of this Chariot could be rotated. But due to the wear and tear, the wheels have been cemented and no longer rotate.


Another shot of the Stone Chariot along with the Maha Mandapa in the background.


3) Ranga Mantapa – Musical pillars:



Ranga Mantapa with the Musical pillars from a distance. The large mantapa is renowned for its 56 musical pillars.


Another shot of the Ranga Mandapa. Tapping the musical pillars to emit musical notes is Strictly prohibited due to the wear and tear caused over the years.


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 side view of the Mandapa with the entrance in the background.


Neatly lined pillars. Most of the roof over these pillars have collapsed. With the roof, these looked like small rooms to get some rest !!!


Another shot of the ruins around the temple.


The section where the roof is still intact. Wonder what these structures were used for during the hay days. !!!


Inside the temple near the sanctum.


The empty inner Sanctum: The inner sanctum doesn’t contain an idol now. Most of these parts were destroyed during the invasion from Delhi Sultanate.


The Mantapas to the south and North of the stone chariot: You will find 2 more Mantapas which are in pretty good condition to the South and North of the Stone Chariot.


The exposed wall: I was amazed to see at the width of these wall. The photo does not do justice in highlighting how wide these wall were. No wonder these walls have are still intact !!!


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 river Tungabhadra. The temple which is located in the banks of the river was partially submerged during our visit.


Some random ruins while we were walking towards the river.


So much history which has faded away or lost. Each and every ruin around the temple complex has some wonderful history. I randomly took few trails around the temple and took these snaps.


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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