Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chandikeswara Temple: Datable to 16th century AD. facing east, this temple on plan has a sanctum vestibule, a Mahamantapa on north, south and east and a Mukhamantapa. The pillars of the Mukhamantapa have rearing lions trampling elephants and Vyala sculptures. Most of the relief’s on the pillars in this temple have Vaishnava representations like Hanuman, Garuda, Balakrishna, Kamadhenu, Srinivasa, Vamana, Yashoda churning the milk etc. DSC00984

The Garbhagriha has a Pitha carved with the figure of Garuda. The brick - mortar super structure over the Garbhagriha is treated with stucco representation of Vaishnava sculptures. To the north-west, is the Amman shrine. A pillared cloister runs around the two shrines. The bas relief’s of Vaishnava affinity found on the pillars indicate that the temple was originally dedicated to Vishnu.

Comparatively, this is a smaller shrine than others but it has the same elegant architecture that the other major temples have.

Uddana Veerabhadra Temple: This temple of Veerabhadra located south east of the Chandikeswara Temple is known as Mudduviranna temple as per the inscription and was consecrated by Dalavayi Jangamayya in 1545 AD. The temple as a spacious Garbhagriha, an Antarala and pillared Mukhamantapa.

The image of Chaturbhuja Veerabhadra 16 feet high is by far the largest image of Veerabhadra of Vijayanagar period found aDSC00995t Hampi. The image of Veerabhadra well sculpted bears bow and arrow in the upper right and left hands and the lower hands bear sword and shield. At extreme right is the goad headed Dakshabrahma.

The statue of Veerabhadra is black in colour and stands elegant. The visitor gets a good feeling when he/she enters inside the inner shrine. The same statue installed in 1545 AD. is still the main idol and it has not lost its charm. Photography is prohibited inside the shrine and that’s the reason i do not have any.

The one thing that is not understood is why this and the Virupaksha temple have not been raided. I assume that the reason could be that the invaders have not recognized the deities. Deities like Rama, Krishna or Vishnu are easily identified while a Sivalinga and Veerabhadra cannot be.

Akka Tangi Gundu:  These naturally formed stones called Akka Tangi Gundu (Twin Sister Stones) are a wonder in Hampi. Two huge boulders are inclined towards each other leaving a big gap between them at the base.

It is a nice place for having photographed. The top of the stones are filled wiDSC00997th cobwebs and bats; a reason to be very careful.

Just before the Akka Tangi Gundu, we can see the outer perimeter walls of the Royal Enclosure. The walls are made with blocks of granite and still intact after centuries.

Prasanna Virupaksha (Underground Siva) Temple: This temple known as Prasanna Virupaksha Temple in inscriptions is popularly known as the underground temple simply because the roof of the temple is with the present ground level since it is in a low lying area.

The temple has a Garbhagriha, aligned with an Antarala, and Ardhamantapa and a Mahamantapa. The Mahamantapa has pillared corridors fused with the pillared Mukhamantapa making a larger pillared frontal Mantapa which also encloses a Dwajasthamba. The pillars of theDSC02852 temple are plain. The temple stylically dated to 14th century. An inscription referring to this temple states that Krishnadevaraya donated Nagalapura and other villages for worship and offering to the God for the merit of his parents, Narasanayaka and Nagajidevi.

As you see in the picture, the main temple is in a low lying area. Water stagnates the area from the inner sanctum till half of the Mukhamantapa 24x7 making it more spiritual as in our feel will automatically be cleaned before having the darshan. Once we cross the Mukhamantapa and move further, the place is dark and bats prowl inside and there have been incidents that a group of bats attack at a time.

Just in front of the inner sanctum, you can find the Nandi bull. Inside the inner sanctum, there is a small Sivalinga on a pedestal.

Moving along, we enter the Royal Enclosure


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