The temple is located in the historical town of Hampi, Karnataka, and is dedicated to Lord Vitthala. Situated at the end of the ruined Vittala Bazaar, tourists can reach this beautiful temple from all parts of Hampi. This temple is historical in a sense that the construction dates back to 15th century, and was built during the reign of King Devaraya II, a fearsome ruler of Vijayanagara Empire. It has expanded since his reign, mostly under the reign of Krishnadevaraya, another ruler of Vijayanagara dynasty.
It’s been said that the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his Vitthala form, and most of the present look of the monument comes from Krishnadevaraya.
Presumably, this is the largest temple in all Hampi. The works of sculptors and artisans of Vijayanagara era can be seen along the lines of the temple. The architecture is that of Dravidian style, and also draws inspirations and characteristics of typical south Indian temple architecture. Some believe that the main shrine had one enclosed Mantapa; the open one had only been added in 1554.
The complex is surrounded by high compound walls with three towering gateways. One can notice multiple halls, shrines, and pavilions located inside the temple. Everything is made out of stone.
The most notable ones are the shrine of Goddess Devi, Maha Mantapa, Ranga Mantapa, Kalyana Mantapa, Utsava Mantapa and the stone chariot. The main hall is in the inner courtyard.
The stone chariot is in the complex and is famous for the stunning architecture of Vijayanagara kingdom.
It’s actually a shrine designed in the shape of an ornamental chariot dedicated to Garuda.
The temple is also famous for Ranga Mantapa which has 56 musical pillars, known as Saregama pillars.
As one taps the pillars, musical notes are emitted by them in the form of western do re mi sa…..
Hampi is known for the ancient, historical sites. It was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. But it covers only 25 sq.km. and is surrounded by mountains on three sides and a river on the other.
One must travel from Ballari, which is 64 km from Hampi. There is no airport there, so Ballari is the stop from where one must travel via local bus. If you go by rail, one must go to Hosapete Junction Railway Station. From there, it is only 10 km. You can take local buses to get there.