In my previous blog, I have introduced you to the ancient temples of Lord Ganesha and the stories behind them. In this blog, I will introduce you to the ancient temples of Lord Shiva in Hampi and some interesting stories behind them.
If you haven’t read my previous blog, you can read it from this link Ancient temples of Lord Ganesha – Hampi.
Virupakhsha temple is considered one of the main and oldest temples in Hampi. This temple has India’s second-highest Gopuram (Temple entrance) which is about 160 feet tall. Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai has the highest Gopuram which is about 170 feet tall. Virupaksha temple is built in the architecture of Dravidian style. In South India, major of the temples are built in Dravidian style. Where you’ll have to enter through a huge Gopuram before getting into the shrine.
Initially, this temple was established in the 7th century. But the building of the temple was small. Later, in the 15th century, king Krishnadevaraya had reformed this temple into a huge complex. Once you enter the temple complex, you’ll meet an elephant named Laxmi on the left side of the main shrine. It is said that the goddess Laxmi herself showers the blessings through this elephant. Virupaksha Temple is one of those rare and very old temples which is still active in function. And we are very lucky for witnessing such an old temple.
As we all know, the temple of Lord Shiva is incomplete without his Vahana (Vehicle), Nandi. Nandi is a sacred bull calf who is also a gatekeeper of Lord Shiva. He is also one of the great devotees of Lord Shiva. We always see the statue of Nandi facing the Shiva Linga just before the door of shrines at all the temples of Lord Shiva.
The Monolithic Nandi statue was built in the 15th century and its 3 meters tall This statue is located at 800 meters distance from the Virupaksha temple. The facing of Nandi is towards the Virupakha temple only. Some local people also refer to this Monolithic Nandi as Yeduru Basavanna and they believe that this Nandi is a protector of Hampi.
Badavilinga Temple is located just beside the huge statue of Ugra Narasimha. The height of this Shiva Linga is about 3 meters. Its name is a combination of 2 words, Badava and Linga. Where Badava means poor and Linga represents Lord Shiva. This Linga was established by the women of the poor farmer families. Because of that, this temple is known as Badavilinga temple.
Underground Shiva Temple:
I was very excited about visiting this temple since I heard the story about this temple. So this temple was built in the 14th century during King Krishnadevaraya‘s rulership. Due to some calamities, this temple got buried under the ground. And remained buried for almost 400 years. Later in the 19th century, our archaeologists found some traces of this temple during their investigation. And the excavation started to bring this temple into its existence again.
The shrine located 10-15 feet below the ground level. The shrine is always remains submerged under the stagnant water. Local people say that the water comes from the Tungabhadra river and they also consider it holy water. After visiting this temple I felt a unique inner peace.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. 🙂
In my next blog, I will introduce you to the temple of Lord Krishna in Hampi and the stories behind them.
So stay tuned for the next blog. 🙂