Sunday, September 6, 2009

As soon as we see the main temple of Virupaksha, we will awe with wonder and will have a glimpse of what Hampi has to offer. There is art and sculptuDSC00629re everywhere on the temple. Not even the outer walls are left empty. The main entrance of the temple are guarded by two elephants and crocodiles are depicted having the legs of the elephants in their mouths. It depicts the story of “Gajendra Moksha” where Lord Vishnu saves the elephant who was about to be killed by a crocodile. This is a consistent feature of most of the temples in Hampi. Every temple has the same kind of sculpture at their entrance. There is a long stone plaque on which has an inscription which was probably written when the temple was commissioned.

Once you go inside, you will see pilDSC00637lars all around with exquisite carvings of Siva, Parvathi, Ganesha and others. The ceiling is also filled with paintings dated 7th Century on which the Dasavataras and the marriage of Siva and Parvathi are depicted. Inspite of the the paintings being old, they are still in good condition which tells about the quality of the work in those days. The wall panels at the ceiling are again with beautiful carvings of various stories not only of Siva but also of Vishnu. Stories like Mahishasura Mardhini and Lord Siva’s wedding and other carvings like Padmanaha Swami (Vishnu) are worth a mention. Some of the carvings are remodelled with Plaster of Paris as they have worn out. 

Every pillar has a carving of either an elephant or a lion.There is a door which leads us to the inner sanctum. On either side of the door, we find two dwarapalakas which gives a grand look and tells us the importance of theDSC00640 place. However, this entrance is not used anymore. The way to enter the sanctum is from its side. A camera is inside the inner sanctum which is focused on the idol and a television is put in the outer hall for the devotees to watch. This temple also houses some unusual guests, monkeys. They roam around freely among the hundreds of devotees. They play with the luggage of the devotees especially water bottles;quite a funny scene.

The inner sanctum is always incensed and the chanting of sacred words is heard almost all the time. There main deity is a Sivalinga which has a silver crown of the snake. Photography is not allowed inside the inner sanctum. I had the darshan and went on to visit the other shrines in the temple complex.

To be continued…


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