Waking Up in Hampi And Visiting The Virupaksha Temple
It’s always dark outside when I start my journey to a new place. As most of my trips are during a long weekend or the weekend I choose to travel every month. After my work is complete I return back home take my backpack and just go. Take the bus available which can take me to that new town, village and even a hill. So this trip I was Waking Up in Hampi And Visiting The Virupaksha Temple.
But this time it was a different place to explore. People say that this place is the history, for some it’s a hippie hub and for some a pilgrimage. So I was heading to Hampi to experience the mixed culture and history it had. I wanted to be both a pilgrim who is visiting the sacred places and also a hippie guy on the other side of the river.
Waking Up in Hampi
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Follow @avinash.ks Both sides of hampi. The Hippie side in left with the foreigners visiting the place to enlighten their internal peace and again the religious side in right with people visiting the place to offer their prayers to Gods and Goddesses. Photographed while entering the Virupaksha Temple.
We woke up in Hampi when the bus conductor knocked everyone’s seat announcing that we have reached. On the bus you are just thrown out of your one night’s bed with weird looking faces and scrambled hair all over. We took an auto to reach the Archana Guest House which was listed by the Lonely Planet. It was a decent place of the amount we paid mostly due to the Hampi season going on. It’s located at the riverfront with the beautiful river views from the terrace. It also has a cafe on the other side which also offers some great food. If you talk to the owner he will help you with the daily tours available there which starts from sunrise to a sunset point.
It won’t be total justice to describe Hampi in my words as this place is still an unsolved mystery for the archaeologist. It is a village and a temple town with various temples some of which are still active for worship. Located in the ruins of the Vijayanagara city, it is the former capital of legendary Vijayanagara Empire. Spread over 24kms Hampi is also been recognised amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The town is divided into two parts with the Sacred Centre and the Royal Centre. The Sacred centre includes the religious monuments and temples. And the Royal Centre covers the Royal enclosures of the Vijayanagara Empire.
It is also believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati to be married at the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. Which was our first place we visited in Hampi so let’s know more about that.
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Not a Drone Shot as Need to Climb Mountains to Take Shots Like These for now :). View of Hampi from the Top The Hampi Tower and the Village looks extraordinary from here. Climb the Mathanga Hills for the same. Checkout my vlog of these Temples in Hampi @ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F25qzNyksHg #hampi #hampidiaries #desi_diaries #photographers_of_india #indianphotography #storiesofindia #passionpassport
After our breakfast we headed to the Virupaksha Temple as it was a 2mins walk from our Guesthouse. With the huge boulders and ancient ruins at Hampi you will see this single rising tower of Virupaksha Temple. Also known as the Gopuram tower following which we reached the temple. The road was lined up with different shops. Just before entering the temple kids rushed to us selling guides on the places to visit in Hampi.
I took one to know more about the temple as the guidebook described it in more detail. That the temple and the tower is dated back in the 15th century. Which was later renovated during the reign of Krishnadevaraya who was the most famous among the Vijayanagara kings. The basic structure of the temple has been left as it was earlier but the temple was renovated many times.
Another interesting fact about the towers of the temple is that. It was built in such a way to produce an inverted shadow of the huge tower to fall on the western wall of the temple. The Huge gopuram has 5 storeys and the one inside is made up of 3 storeys.
History of Virupaksha Temple
The beautiful history of Hampi is associated with the myths this temple holds with it. It is considered that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly since the 7th century. Which makes Virupaksha temple one of the oldest functioning in India.
Another belief of locals there is the birth of Goddess Parvati in this region as Pampa (and that initially the Tungabhadra River was named as Pampa and even the city was called the same which was later changed to Hampi). When Lord Shiva went into deep meditation at the Hemakuta Hill which is just next to the temple. Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva, so she started to meditate as it was the only way to win him. And that Virupaksha temple stands at the place where they were married. To live an auspicious beginning of their married life, the people from the neighbouring villages still prefer to marry within the premises.
It takes some time to walk around the temple as its huge. The main sanctum is dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, which leads you to the sacred Tank, The Manmantha Tank and a series of shrines. The other tower in the northern part of the temple is called Kangiri Gopura.
You can witness the daily rituals happening here once in the morning and evening. The temple premises are open to all with sunrise and closes in night. You are charged a small fee for the entrance, and depending on the equipment you use from photography to videography. Also you can pay a guide at the entrance to guide you through the temple.
Festivals Celebrated at Virupaksha Temple
In December they celebrate the marriage of Virupaksheshwara and Pampa. The chariot festival which is a chief annual festival celebrated in February every year.
Virupaksha Temple was the first place we visited so there is more to come. Stay tuned 🙂
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