The Vijaya Vittala Temple and market complex is over 3 kilometers northeast of the Virupaksha temple near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is the most artistically sophisticated Hindu temple in Hampi and is part of the sacred center of Vijayanagara.
It is unclear when the Vijaya Vittala Temple complex was built, and who built it; most scholars date it to a period of construction in the early-to-mid-16th century. Some of the books mention that its construction began during the time of Devaraya II and continued during the reign of Krishnadevaraya, Achuytaraya, and probably Sadasivaraya and it stopped probably due to the destruction of the city in 1565.
The inscriptions include male and female names, suggesting that the complex was built by multiple sponsors. The temple was dedicated to Vitthala, a form of Krishna also called Vithoba. The Vijaya Vittala Temple opens to the east, has a square plan, and features an entrance gopuram with two side gopurams.
The main temple stands in the middle of a paved courtyard and several subsidiary shrines, all aligned to the east. The Vijaya Vittala Temple is a unified structure in a courtyard measuring 500 by 300 feet which is surrounded by a triple row of pillars. It is a low structure of one story with an average height of 25 height. The temple has three distinct compartments: a garbhagriha, an ardhamandapa, and a maha mandapa.
The Garuda shrine is in the form of a stone chariot at Vitthala temple. The Vitthala temple has a Garuda shrine in the form of a stone chariot in the courtyard; it is an often-pictured symbol of Hampi. Above the chariot is a tower, which was removed during the 1940s, as per historian Dr.S.Shettar. In the front of the stone chariot is a large, square, open-pillared, axial sabha mandapa, or community hall. The mandapa has four sections, two of which are aligned with the temple sanctum.
The mandapa has 56 carved stone beams of different diameters, shape, length and surface finish that produces musical sounds when struck; according to local traditional belief, this hall was used for public celebrations of music and dancing. It is classified as Karakkoil, a temple fashioned after temple chariots which are taken in procession around the temple during festivals.
The mandapa links to an enclosed pradakshina path for walking around the sanctum. Around this axial mandapa are; the Garuda shrine, the Kalyana mandapa, the 100-columned mandapa, the Amman shrine, and the Utsav mandapa. The walled enclosure covers about 1.3 hectares with colonnaded verandahs lining the compound walls. In the southeast corner is a kitchen with a roof window.
Outside the temple compound, to its east-south-east, is a colonnaded market street almost one kilometer (0.62 mi) long; all of which is now in ruins. To the north are another market and a south-facing shrine with reliefs of Ramayana scenes, Mahabharata scenes, and Vaishnava saints. The north street ended in a temple honoring the Hindu philosopher Ramanuja.
The region around the Vitthala temple was called Vitthalapura. It hosted a Vaishnava matha, designed as a pilgrimage center centered around the Alvar tradition. It was also a center for craft production according to inscriptions found.
Timings to visit Vijaya Vittala Temple
08:30 AM – 05:30 PM.
Indian – 30 INR.
Free for Children (Below 15 Years)
Foreigners – 500 INR
Video Camera – 50 INR
Visit Duration: 2 – 3 Hrs.
How to Reach Vijaya Vittala Temple
By Air: Bellary Airport – 38 km
By Train: Hospet Railway Station – 17 km
By Bus: Hospet KSRTC Bus Station – 17 km
Vijaya Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, 583239, India.
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