Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

Discover the rich history, significance, and elaborate rituals of Virupaksha Temple, a spiritual gem nestled in the heart of Hampi*

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

Virupaksha Temple is nestled in the heart of Hampi, a village on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River in Hospet Taluk, Bellary district, Karnataka State. Surrounded by picturesque landscapes with striking and beautiful natural scenery, Hampi's location provided great strategic strength, leading the Vijayanagara rulers to choose it as their capital. The temple itself, dedicated to Lord Shiva, stands as a testament to the rich historical and cultural heritage of the region.

Significance of the Temple

Virupaksha Temple at  Pampa-Kshetra or Bhaskara Kshetra, has deep roots. Pampa, the daughter of Brahma, performed penance here to marry Shiva, a legend celebrated in the local lore as Girija Kalyana and Pampa Mahatme. This temple is also associated with the epic Ramayana, adding layers of  significance to its history.

Virupaksha Temple is home to many significant locations connected to its rich heritage:

  1. The Main Sanctum (Garbhagriha): The central shrine where the idol of Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva, is worshiped.
  2. The Temple Courtyard: A spacious area surrounded by smaller shrines dedicated to various deities.
  3. The Nandi Pavilion: Housing the sacred bull, Nandi, who is the mount of Lord Shiva.
  4. The North Gopura (Entrance Tower): The towering gateway that leads to the temple, showcasing intricate carvings and architectural brilliance.
  5. Pampa Sarovara: The site of Pampa’s penance, symbolizing her devotion and perseverance.

Pujas and Festivals

Virupaksha Temple is renowned for its elaborate rituals and ceremonies, many of which have been performed since ancient times, maintaining the cultural heritage of the region.

Morning Puja

In the early morning, the idols of Virupaksha and Pampadevi are brought from the bedchamber, symbolizing the transfer of chaitanya  from the image to the linga. This  marks the beginning of the day’s worship and is a significant part of the temple's daily activities.

Bindige Seve

The junior priest fetches water from the Tungabhadra River for abhisheka, accompanied by temple musicians. This water is used in the morning puja, which is elaborate and involves chanting mantras and praying for the community’s well-being.

Nandadipa Aradhana

Lamps are lit in the main shrine and other sub-shrines, marking the start of the day’s worship. This brings a serene glow to the temple, enhancing its spiritual ambiance.

Sub-shrine Worship

Worship of deities in smaller shrines within the temple complex starts from the Varada Ganapati and includes Chamundi, Anjaneya, Suryanarayana, and other gods. The priest performs abhisheka followed by decorating the deities with sandal paste and flowers.

Main Puja

The main puja is performed in the morning, noon, and evening. The priest starts performs panchamrita abhisheka with milk, sugar, honey, ghee, and curds. The deity is then decorated with flowers, turmeric, and vermilion, and special occasions call for adorning with jewels.

Naivedya

Cooked rice and water are offered to the gods. This ritual involves the priest and an assistant, accompanied by torchbearers and musicians, moving in a circumambulatory path around the temple.

Bali Puja

Bali is offered at different platforms around the temple. The head priest, along with another priest and the torch bearer, performs this ritual, accompanied by musicians playing traditional music.

Paduka Puja

The palanquin carrying the padukas is taken around the temple, symbolizing  guru Vidyaranya. This involves circumambulating the temple three times, with the priest chanting mantras throughout.

Ekanta Seva

After the paduka seva, ekanta seva is performed. This consists of a procession of the idols of Pampapati and Pampadevi in the shrine of Adishesha. Many devotees participate in this nityotsava, which is a token of identification of god with the community.

Giri Pradakshina

Twice a year, the giri pradakshina is performed. This involves a procession around Virupakshapura, covering a distance of two kilometers. En-route, devotees offer coconuts and fruits to the deity.

Annual and Special Festivals

Virupaksha Temple is also known for its annual and special rituals, adding to the rich cultural tapestry of the village.

Phalapuja

Phalapuja is a four-day celebration of the engagement ceremony  of Virupaksha and Pampapati, occurring in Maghamasa. The idols are taken round and placed in the mantapa for public viewing and obeisance. The celebration culminates with the Teppotsavam, a grand procession in the palanquin.

Kalyanotsava

Kalyanotsava celebrates the marriage of Siva and Parvati, with rituals that have been performed since ancient times, maintaining the historical and cultural continuity.

Fortnightly Festival

On the full moon day, a special ritual involves a procession and offerings to the god. The idols are decorated and placed in the palanquin, which is taken around the temple and Virupaksha bazaar, with devotees offering coconuts and bananas.

Highlights

The rituals at Virupaksha Temple are enhanced by the participation of temple musicians and torch bearers, adding to the ceremonial atmosphere. The community's involvement is significant, with large gatherings for rituals, highlighting their devotion. Symbolic elements like water, lamps, and flowers are used in rituals, adding to the spiritual ambiance.

 

Location

 

 

Google Map Image

 

 

How to reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Hubli Airport (approximately 166 km from Hampi). From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Hampi.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction (Hosapete), which is about 13 km from Hampi. From Hospet, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to Hampi. There are regular trains to Hospet from major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Goa.

By Road

  • From Bangalore (350 km): You can drive to Hampi or take a bus. Several state-run and private buses operate daily between Bangalore and Hospet.
  • From Hyderabad (380 km): You can take a bus or drive directly to Hampi.
  • From Goa (310 km): You can take a bus or drive to Hampi.

 

Virupaksha Temple is a place where history, and spirituality intertwine. The temple's picturesque surroundings, and rich cultural heritage make it a remarkable site. The elaborate pujas and ceremonies performed at Virupaksha Temple, many of which have been practiced since ancient times, maintain the cultural and spiritual legacy of the region. These rituals offer spiritual guidance, cultural connection, and emotional comfort, enriching the lives of the devotees and fostering a sense of community. By exploring Virupaksha Temple, one delves into deep philosophical themes and gains insights into the nature of existence, karma, dharma, and the purpose of life, making it a significant place for both personal and societal growth.

 

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Comments

wuh3j
I had an absolutely fantastic time at this remarkable place with an ancient vibe. It's truly a must visit world heritage site. Exploring the rich history and feeling the cultural essence of the place was truly unforgettable. Every corner seemed to whisper stories of the past, and being there immersed me in a world that felt both timeless and deeply significant. I highly recommend anyone to make the journey and experience it for themselves. It's truly a treasure worth cherishing. -Harish

We visited temple during Hampi Festival. The combination of stunning architecture, cultural performances, and festive ambiance made it a truly memorable trip. -Ketan Dhruv

Heartfelt thnks for making scriptures simple and acurate with your teachings -Samyukta Hari

Proud do be Bharatiya and also Hindu. Good going Veddhara🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 -Vallabh Khetan

Vedadhara's teachings are both simpl and precise, good job -Sreshta Iyengar

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Knowledge Bank

What are the minimum requirements of any puja?

Lighting lamp, dhoopa (agarbatti), offering chandana, offering flowers, offering naivedya (along with water). This is called panchopachara puja.

How many steps are there in Naina Devi Temple?

130 steps from where the ropeway lands. From the bus stand, it is 300 steps.

Quiz

Which is the abode of Lord Krishna ?
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