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The Vittala Temple is in Hampi, Karnataka. The temple is a stunning example of Dravidian architecture and stands as a testimony to the exve Vijayanagara kingdom, once one of the greatest Indian lineages of great kings and rulers. It is in the southern banks of the river Tungabhadra. Many people visit this temple, and It attracts a lot of people across the globe.
It is believed that the Sanskrit word Pampa, was changed into Hampa, which later became Hampi. There is a river, Pampa, which flows near the temple. Goddess Parvati was also called Pampa Devi. Since Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati, he was called Pampapathi. Lord Vittala is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is also worshipped as Lord Krishna. This temple is even believed to be visited by Sage Adisankara who was a great sage and introduced many reforms in Hinduism.
Vittala Temple’s construction was started during the reign of King Krishnadevaraya in 1513 CE and continued by his successor King Achyutaraya. Many people believe that the city of Hampi is a sacred city which finds mention in historical accounts and the Hindu scriptures. This temple was visited by many European, Persian, and Portuguese travelers. It was one of the biggest cities during the Medieval era, after Beijing city. It was also the richest city, attracting traders from many parts of the world.
The splendid empire was then captured by Sultans and completely vandalized. Many temples were desecrated. The ruins of Hampi occupy more than 4100 hectares and includes temples, buildings, forts, halls, courts and other structures. This is the place where Goddess Parvati performed her austerities to marry Lord Shiva. This place also has a close connection with the great epic Ramayana, where Hampi is mentioned several times.
This is a striking Dravidian-style architecture, and the structure is in the form of a quadrangle. The temple is placed in the center, which measures 500 ft by 310 ft. It has three gopuras or temple towers near the entrances. The temple complex is divided into three parts, which are Mukha mandapa, which is the exterior of the temple, central Ranga mandapa and the interior Sukhanasi which forms the sanctum sanctorum. There are several carved pillars that support the temple. All the pillars and walls are entirely carved with a lot of intricate designs, images and details. The Stone Chariot or Ratha is an important piece of attraction in this temple. It has four wheels and has the image of Garuda, the animal-mount of Lord Vishnu. Musical pillars of this temple represent various instruments and produce music when they are tapped.
Hampi Festival in December is one of the biggest events. Purandaradasa Aradhana is a classical music festival to commemorate the Sage Purandaradasa, who was also a great singer and poet. Other important festivals are Deepavali, Maha Shivaratri and Makar Sankranti.
The current structure is a specimen of great architecture and the grand life of Kings like Krishnadevaraya. However, this temple is considered more like a monument than a place of worship.
The nearest airport is Belgaum which is almost 270 kms from the temple. Bangalore Airport is both nationally and internationally connected and is almost 300 kms from the temple. There are numerous modes of local transport from the airport to the temple.
The nearest railway station is in Hospet.
There is a bus stop very near the temple. Apart from buses, there are numerous forms of local transport like autos and taxis which can take one very close to the temple.
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