Vittala Temple

Vainavam

 

Overview

The Vittala Temple or Vitthala Temple is located in the north eastern part of Hampi, near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. 
 
The renowned Vittala Temple dates back to the 15th century. It was built during the reign of King Devaraya II (1422 – 1446 A.D.), one of the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. Several portions of the temple were expanded and enhanced during the reign of Krishnadevaraya (1509 – 1529 A.D.), the most famous ruler of the Vijayanagara dynasty. He played a significant role in giving the monument its present look.The Vittala Temple is presumed to be the grandest of all temples and monuments in Hampi. The temple exemplifies the immense creativity and architectural excellence possessed by the sculptors and artisans of the Vijayanagara era.The temple complex is a sprawling area that is surrounded by high compound walls and three towering gateways. The temple complex has many halls, shrines and pavilions located inside it. Each of these structures is made of stone and each structure is a beauty in itself.
 
The temple is built in the form of a sprawling campus with compound wall and gateway towers. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus.The Vittala temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. It has traits and features that are characteristic of typical south Indian temple architecture. It’s elaborate and artistic carvings and magnificent architecture is unmatched by any other structure found in Hampi.Notable among these structures are the shrine of the Goddess, Maha Mantapa or main hall, Ranga Mantapa, Kalyana Mantapa, Utsava Mantapa, and the famous Stone Chariot.
 
The Maha Mantapa or main hall of the Vittala Temple is situated in the inner courtyard of the temple complex. It is a structure of immense beauty and is situated on a highly ornate base. The base is decorated with carvings of warriors, horses, swans and several other ornamental designs.The Maha Mantapa comprises of four smaller halls. The steps on the eastern side of the Maha Mantapa are decorated with elephant balustrade. There are forty pillars lining the facade of the temple. Each of these pillars has a height of 10 feet.
 
The central part of the Maha Mantapa has sixteen intricately decorated pillars having beautiful sculptures of Narasimha and Yali. These set of sixteen pillars forms a rectangular court. The ceiling of the Maha Mantapa is a richly designed structure. The beautifully sculpted ornate pillars of the Maha Mantapa exemplify the splendour of this magnificent temple.
The Vittala Temple Complex has the richly sculpted Stone Chariot, which is considered to be the most stunning architecture of the Vijayanagara kingdom. The Stone Chariot or Ratha stands in the courtyard of temple. It is one of the three famous stone chariots in India. The other two chariots are situated in Konark (Odissa) and Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu).
 
The Stone Chariot of Vittala Temple is actually a shrine that has been designed in the shape of an ornamental chariot. The shrine is dedicated to Garuda and had an image of Garuda enshrined into the sanctum. As per Hindu mythology, Garuda is the carrier of Lord Vishnu.
antapa is one of the main attractions of the Vittala Temple. The large mantapa is renowned for its 56 musical pillars. These musical pillars are also known as SAREGAMA pillars, indicating the musical notes emitted by them. The musical notes and emanated when the pillars are tapped gently.
 
There are a set of main pillars and several sets of minor pillars inside the Mantapa. Each main pillar provides support to the ceiling of the Ranga Mantapa. The main pillars are designed as musical instruments.Every main pillar is surrounded by 7 minor pillars. These 7 pillars emit 7 different musical notes from the representative musical instruments. The notes emanating from these pillars vary in sound quality depending on whether the instrument is a percussion, string or wind instrument.
The cluster of musical pillars inside the Vittala Temple complex was carved out of huge single pieces of resonant stone.The emission of musical notes from stone pillars was a mystery that fascinated many people down the centuries.
 
Even the British rulers of India were wonderstruck and wanted to discover the secret behind the musical pillars. To satisfy their curiosity and to unravel the mystery behind the amazing pillars they cut two of the musical pillars of Vittala Temple to check whether anything existed inside the stone pillars that resulted in the emission of musical notes. However, they found nothing inside the pillars.
 
The two pillars cut by the British rulers still exist inside the temple complex and can be seen by visitors even today.
 
The wheels of the chariot were once functional and could be rotated by the people. But some years ago the government cemented the wheels in order to avoid causing damage to them any further. Even tapping the musical pillars to emit musical notes is prohibited, as tapping over the years have caused some damage to the musical pillars of the Ranga Mantapa.
 
Even the road leading to the temple is in a completely ruined state. The road was once the location of a thriving market place. The market was known as the Vittala Bazaar and was famous for horse trading. The ruins of the market can be seen on both sides of the road. There are carvings inside the temple that represent images of foreigners trading horses.
 
Today the temple has floodlights installed inside the temple complex. The lights illuminate the Vittala Temple Complex at night and offer a majestic view of the beautiful structure against the dark night sky. The annual Purandaradasa festival is held at the temple complex.
 
Best Time to Visit: From November to February
 
Temple Timing: 8.30am to 5.00pm
 
How to Reach,
Road Way: The Vittala Temple in Hampi is situated at the end of the ruined Vittala Bazaar. The place can be easily reached by vehicles from all parts of Hampi.
 
Nearest Railway Station: Hospet Junction
Nearest Airport: Ballari(Bellary)

Location

Country
India
State
Karnataka
City
Bellary
Location
Hampi
Address
Vittala Temple, Hampi, Bellary, Karnataka 583239
Contact Info
Phone:
Mobile :
Fax :
Near Cities
Nearest Bus Terminal
Hampi
Nearest Railway Station
Hospet Jn (HPT)
Nearest Airport
Bellary Airport
IN
latitude : 15.162799840 longitude :76.882797240
Corporation : Bellary
GPS Code : VOBI
Open Year
15th century
Architect
Dravidian style
Dedicated To
King Devaraya II
Visiting Hours
8.30am to 5.00pm

Nearest Places

  • Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka, India. The name hampi can also mean "champion".It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monume

  • The Vittala Temple or Vitthala Temple is located in the north eastern part of Hampi, near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. 

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