Hemakuta Temples

Some times referred to as Jain Temples, these clusters of temples on the Hemakuta hill is one of the beautiful sites in Hampi.

Thanks to its architecture these temples are mistaken for Jain Temples. In fact most of them are dedicated to Siva worship. These smart looking compact temples with pyramid-like roofs resemble that of the Jain temples.

A number of temples located on the northern end of the hills are made in what is called the Trikutachala style. That is, three shrines positioned perpendicular to the next face a common central hall. The outer walls of the temples are plane but for the horizontal chain of floral motifs carved around. The fluted foundation and the curvy eaves overhanging are other typical features on the exterior.

You can find a series of such temple complexes scattered all over the hill top. One can easily count at least three dozen structures in the vicinity. The largest and the most elaborate ones are located on the northern slop of the hill facing the Virupaksha temple campus. These are in fact one of the oldest clusters of temples in Hampi, much older than the empire itself.

The chain of temples on Hemakuta Hill (northern side) You would be first visiting this locale if you reach the hilltop from the Virupaksha temple. The whole area looks more like a gigantic sheet of rock with undulation.

Further up and a bit south you can spot a pond in the courtyard of a shrine. This shrine called the Mula (the original) Virupaksha temple is older than the grand Virupaksha temple. The front hall of this whitewashed shrine spots a series of cubical pillars of pre-Vijayanagara style. Interestingly, the porch faces the water body and the steps from the porch lands into the water. This is one of the few shrines in this are that are under active worship.

Just behind this is a tiny chamber like shrine with a pyramid roof. A Hanuman image is installed inside the shrine. This is one of the finest spots to witness a Hampi sunrise/sunset.

When you move further south, you practically get an aerial view of the Krishna Temple, Sasivekalu Ganesha, the twin monuments of Lakshminarashiha and Badavilinga shrine. At this point you can spot the two storied southern gateway to the hilltop. This area too has a number of temples built in the pre-Vijayanagara style architecture. Some of them even spots tall monolithic lamp posts inform of it. The exit through the gateway leads you to a short flight of steps carved on the rock surface. This flight of steps brings you to the Sasivekalu Ganesha statue.

The whole of Hemakuta Hill area is encircled with an ancient fortification. Though broken at many places, you can still make out the boundary line circling the hill.

One can easily spend a couple of hours hang around and check out various movements on this hill top. Though located at the very core of Hampi, the relative calm of the place is a pleasant surprise.

No admission fee. No camera fee.

No admission fee. Photography permitted free.

Hemakuta Temples  
 
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