Chandramouliswara Temple is located on the north bank of Tungabadhra, in the Rishimukh Island.
Chandra means crescent, mouli means crown of hair and iswara refers to Lord Shiva. Chandramouliswara hence literarly translates to 'the wearer of the crescent moon on the crowned hair' represents the aspect of Shiva wearing wearing the crescent on his crowned hair.
The river confluence at this area has deposited a huge heap of lose sand on this island. This is in contrast with the otherwise rocky and hard terrain of Hampi. Partly owing to the shifting sand, much of temple and its fortified structures are in a stage of crumble. Shrubs have grown all over preventing one from entering the temple pavilions.
Constructed during the 13th century, this temple had been an important place of worship during the peak days of Vijayanagara kings. Large arches made of carver stone, stucco figures, intricately carved walls, massive doorways and pillars with motifs adorn the Chandramouliswara Temple.
Reinforcement stonework can be seen at side facing the river area. A large number of the collapsed temple parts has been scattering around the site.
Of late massive reconstruction efforts are underway sponsored by a local steel plant. This is one of the first private partnership conservation projects in Hampi. The restoration with a recreated stone bridge is expected to bring more visitors and pilgrims to this temple.
The ruined ancient bridge once connected this area to the south bank. Because of its remote location and lack of easy access, visitors do not frequent this place.
However Chandramouliswara Temple can be reached by a coracle from near Vittala Temple or through the narrow village paths from the north (i.e. if you have already crossed the river to the north bank). It’s not a bad idea to combine this visit to Chandramouliswara Temple with the other sites scattered around the Anegondi area (Like the Anjeyanadri Hill and Pampa Sarovar) , you can make at as part of the Route 5 of Hampi Itinerary.
Tungabhadra is a major river in the south Indian peninsula. Hampi is located on the south bank somewhere in the middle of this river’s path. In this area the river takes a number of twists and turns owing to the rocky terrain.
The river has immense significance in forming the political & religious history of Hampi. The river along with along with the boulder-strewn hills formed the northern barrier of the capital. It was not easy for an invading army cross the river without the fate of a sure defeat.
Anegondi was the capital of the region, before it was moved to Hampi. In fact this was the core of a tiny kingdom that eventually expanded into the Vijayanagar Empire covering the whole of south India. Currently Anegondi is sleepy village with a principally farming community inhibiting it.
Domingos Paesa a Portuguese traveler visited Hampi 500 years back wrote "...People cross to this place by boats which are round like baskets.Inside they are made of cane, and outside are covered with leather; they are able to carry fifteen or twenty persons, and even horses and oxen can cross in them if necessary, but for the most part these animals swim across. Men row them with a sort of paddle, and the boats are always turning round, as they cannot go straight like others; in all the kingdom where there are streams there are no other boats but these..."
They are exactly as it is today as it was five centuries back, except probably the PVC sheets has replaced leather, and motorbikes too are added to its cargo list!
The whole of Hampi is crisscrossed with a network of irrigation canals of varying size. Connecting everything from temples to palaces to tanks to quarters to the agricultural lands, many of them were made during the Vijayanagara days. A good number of them, especially the ones run along the valley area, are still in use.