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User / Mukul Banerjee (www.mukulbanerjee.com) / Sets / Hampi & North Karnataka Trip, March 10
Mukul Banerjee / 139 items

N 7 B 8.6K C 39 E Mar 7, 2010 F Mar 28, 2010
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Virupaksha Temple is located in Hampi 350 km from Bangalore, in the state of Karnataka in southern India.

Hampi sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagar, capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Virupaksha Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi and has been considered the most sacred over the centuries. It is fully intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampa who is associated with the Tungabhadra River. There is also a powerful Virupakshini amma temple (mother goddess) in a village called Nalagamapalle, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, approximately 100 km from Tirupati.

Historically this temple has an uninterrupted history from about the 7th century. The Virupaksha-Pampa sanctuary existed well before the Vijayanagara capital was located here. Inscriptions referring to Shiva date back to the 9th and 10th centuries.[1] What started as a small shrine grew into a large complex under the Vijayanagara rulers.[2] Evidence indicates there were additions made to the temple in the late Chalukyan and Hoysala periods, though most of the temple buildings are attributed to the Vijayanagar period.


Under the Virjayanagara rulers, in the middle of the 14th century, there began a flowering of native art and culture. When the rulers were defeated by invaders in the 16th century, most of the wonderful decorative structures and creations were systematically destroyed.

The cult of Virupaksha-Pampa did not end with the destruction of the city in 1565. Worship there has persisted throughout the years. At the beginning of the 19th century there were major renovations and additions, which included ceiling paintings and the towers of the north and east gopura.

At present, the main temple consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines and other structures surround the temple.

The nine-tiered eastern gateway, which is the largest at 50 meters, is well-proportioned and incorporates some earlier structures. It has a brick superstructure and a two-tiered stone base. It gives access to the outer court containing many sub-shrines.

The smaller eastern gateway leads to the inner court with its numerous smaller shrines.

A narrow channel of the Tungabhadra River flows along the temple's terrace and then descends to the temple-kitchen and out through the outer court.

Krishnadevaraya, one of the famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire was a major patron of this temple. The most ornate of all structures in the temple, the central pillared hall is believed to be his addition to this temple. So is the gateway tower giving access to the inner courtyard of the temple. Inscriptions on a stone plaque installed next to the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 AD.

Tags:   India Hampi ancient ruins karnataka north Karnataka tourism tourist history palaces temple vijayanagar vijayanagar Kingdom Vijayanagara krishna deva raya Virupaksha Temple South India Indian Heritage Historical India Nikon D60 dSLR Nikon D60 by Mukul Banerjee ASIA Bharat Mukul Banerjee © Mukul Banerjee images photo Pics photographs mywinners www.mukulbanerjee.com Mukul Banerjee Photography Hindusthan © Mukul Banerjee Photography

N 1 B 2.9K C 4 E Mar 7, 2010 F Mar 28, 2010
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Thanks to the resemblance the giant monolithic Ganesha statue is locally called Sasivekalu(mustard seed)Ganesha. This is located on the southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill.

In Hindu mythology Lord Ganesha (also known as Ganapathi or Vinayaka) is notorious for his food habit. One day he ate so much of food that his tummy almost busted. He just caught a snake and tied it around his tummy as a belt to save his tummy from bursting.

On this statue you can see the snake carved around his tummy. Also he holds the goad, pasha (noose), and his broken tusk. The hand which holds modak (a kind of sweet ball) is broken and not reconstructed. This monolithic statue carved out of a huge boulder measures about 2.4 meters (8 feet). An open pavilion is build around the statue. According to inscriptions found nearby this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri (in present day Andhra Pradesh)in 1506 AD, in memory of one of the Vijayanagara king – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD)

A bit north of Sasivekalu Ganesha is another giant statue of Ganesha, called The Kadalekalu Ganesha. A bit south of Sasivekalu Ganesha is the Vishnupada shrine. All these are walkable from one to another and can be covered in 30-45 minutes.

Tags:   India Hampi ancient ruins karnataka north Karnataka tourism tourist history palaces temple vijayanagar vijayanagar Kingdom Vijayanagara krishna deva raya Sasivekalu Ganesha Sasivekalu Ganesha Ganesh South India Indian Heritage Historical India Nikon D60 dSLR Nikon D60 by Mukul Banerjee ASIA Bharat Mukul Banerjee © Mukul Banerjee images photo Pics photographs www.mukulbanerjee.com Mukul Banerjee Photography Hindusthan © Mukul Banerjee Photography

N 8 B 3.2K C 4 E Mar 7, 2010 F Mar 28, 2010
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Thanks to the resemblance the giant monolithic Ganesha statue is locally called Sasivekalu(mustard seed)Ganesha. This is located on the southern foothill of the Hemakuta Hill.

In Hindu mythology Lord Ganesha (also known as Ganapathi or Vinayaka) is notorious for his food habit. One day he ate so much of food that his tummy almost busted. He just caught a snake and tied it around his tummy as a belt to save his tummy from bursting.

On this statue you can see the snake carved around his tummy. Also he holds the goad, pasha (noose), and his broken tusk. The hand which holds modak (a kind of sweet ball) is broken and not reconstructed. This monolithic statue carved out of a huge boulder measures about 2.4 meters (8 feet). An open pavilion is build around the statue. According to inscriptions found nearby this pavilion was built by a trader from Chandragiri (in present day Andhra Pradesh)in 1506 AD, in memory of one of the Vijayanagara king – Narasimha II (1491-1505 AD)

A bit north of Sasivekalu Ganesha is another giant statue of Ganesha, called The Kadalekalu Ganesha. A bit south of Sasivekalu Ganesha is the Vishnupada shrine. All these are walkable from one to another and can be covered in 30-45 minutes.

Tags:   India Hampi ancient ruins karnataka north Karnataka tourism tourist history palaces temple vijayanagar vijayanagar Kingdom Vijayanagara krishna deva raya South India Indian Heritage Historical India Nikon D60 dSLR Nikon D60 by Mukul Banerjee ASIA Bharat Mukul Banerjee © Mukul Banerjee images photo Pics photographs www.mukulbanerjee.com Mukul Banerjee Photography Hindusthan © Mukul Banerjee Photography

N 8 B 4.7K C 57 E Mar 7, 2010 F Mar 28, 2010
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This is the largest monolithic Linga in Hampi. Located next to the Narasimha statue the Linga is housed inside a chamber with an opening in the front.A close look on this icon can reveal three eyes (depicting the three eyes of Siva) carved on it. Legend has it that this was commissioned by a peasant woman and hence the name (Badva means poor in local tongue).

The sanctum in which the Linga is installed is always filled with water as a water channel is made to flow through it.

According to Hindu mythology the River Ganga (Ganges) was brought from heaven to earth to quench the drought. But the river was so forceful that it could split the earth into two pieces if allowed to fall on earth.

Lord Shiva consented to take the impact by allowing the torrent of Ganga to fall on his matted hair. Thus helping to release a smooth flowing river on to earth from his hair. As an iconic representation of this, in Siva temples you can spot a dripping pot hanged over the Linga.

Tags:   India Hampi ancient ruins karnataka north Karnataka tourism tourist history palaces temple vijayanagar vijayanagar Kingdom Vijayanagara krishna deva raya Shiva Shivlinga Shivling Shivaling South India Indian Heritage Historical India Nikon D60 dSLR Nikon D60 by Mukul Banerjee ASIA Bharat Mukul Banerjee © Mukul Banerjee images photo Pics photographs www.mukulbanerjee.com Mukul Banerjee Photography Hindusthan © Mukul Banerjee Photography

N 5 B 7.6K C 21 E Mar 7, 2010 F Mar 28, 2010
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This is the largest statue in Hampi. Narasimha is sitting on the coil of a giant seven-headed snake called Sesha. The heads of the snake acts as the hood above his head. The god sits in a cross-legged Yoga position with a belt supporting the knees.

Sometimes this is referred as Ugra Narasimha (i.e. Narasimha in its terrifying form). The protruding eyes and the facial expression are the basis for this name.

Narasimha (means half-man’half-lion in local the languages) is on of the ten incarnations (avatar) of Lord Vishnu.

The original statue contained the image of goddess Lakshmi, consort of the god, sitting on his lap. But this statue has been damaged seriously during the raid leading to the fall of Vijayanagara. Even the damaged portion of such a large statue of Lakshmi carved on his lap is missing. Probably it may be laying around in tiny pieces. But the goddess’s hand is visible resting on his back in embracing posture. If you get a chance to go inside this enclosure, it is possible to see the hand of the goddess. Even the nails & the rings on her fingers are so perfectly executed.

Lion face of Lakshmi Narasimha also sometimes called as Unganarasimha (the ferocious Narasimha) Lakshmi Narasimha
Somehow this single statue alone can demonstrate at the same time how creative and destructive the human mind can be.

The Hindu mythology has a tale of Narasimha’s origin.

"Lord Vishnu takes the form of Narasihma in his fourth incarnation, the previous one being that of a Boar (Varaha). Vishnu kills the demon Hiranyaksha during his Varaha avatar. Hiranyaksha’s brother Hiranyakashipu wants to take revenge by destroying Lord Vishnu and his followers. He performs penance to please Brahma, the god of creation. Impressed by this act, Brahma offers him any thing he wants.

Hiranyakashipu asks for a tricky boon. That he would not die either on earth or in space; nor in fire nor in water; neither during day nor at night; neither inside nor outside (of a home); nor by a human, animal or God; neither by inanimate nor by animate being.

Brahma grants the boon. With virtually no fear of death he unleashes terror. Declares himself as god and asks people to utter no god’s name except his. However his son Prahlada (who a devoted worshiper of Lord Vishnu!) refuses. Repeated pressurization on him yields no results for Hiranyakashipu. Prahlada declares the omnipresence of Lord Vishnu.

Once Hiranyakashipu points to a pillar and asks if Vishnu is present in it. Prahlada nods in affirmative. Angered at it, he draws his sword and cuts the pillar; Narasimha appears out of the broken pillar.

Lakshmi Narasimha in the Yogic posture Lakshmi Narasimha in the Yogic posture
Narasimha (being a man-lion god form) kills Hiranyakashipu. He comes out to kill at the twilit (neither day nor night);on the doorsteps of his palace (neither inside nor outside); uses his nails to kill (neither animate nor inanimate); puts him on his lap before killing (neither earth nor in space). Thus making power of the boon ineffective.

The death of this demon king is celebrated as Holi (the celebration of colors) in India, especially in the northern parts.

This icon was the centre of an ambitious temple plan. But it was never completed

Tags:   India Hampi ancient ruins karnataka north Karnataka tourism tourist history palaces temple vijayanagar vijayanagar Kingdom Vijayanagara krishna deva raya South India Indian Heritage Historical India Nikon D60 dSLR Nikon D60 by Mukul Banerjee ASIA Bharat Mukul Banerjee © Mukul Banerjee images photo Pics photographs mywinners www.mukulbanerjee.com Mukul Banerjee Photography Hindusthan © Mukul Banerjee Photography


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