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Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

From a religious and mythological point Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple in Hampi is very significant. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Raghunatha (Rama).

The mythical association of the place with (Hampi's version of ) Ramayana is interesting. Rama and Lakshmana were looking for a shelter during the monsoon season. Rama aimed an arrow in the Malyavanta hill direction. A cleft on the boulder atop the Malyavanta Hill is caused by the arrow, according to this story. Rama and Lakshmana stayed here till the monsoon rains are over, before marched to Lanka along with the army of Hanuman.

The images of the deities are carved on the face of a massive boulder. Rama and Lakshmana are sitting posture, Sita is standing next to them, and Hanuman , a kneeling posture with great attitude. A massive temple complex is built around this boulder, keeping the images portion within the inner shrine. The boulder protruding above is further enhanced with a tower structure over the boulder. This makes boulder is an integral part of the structural elements. You'll see many such instances in Hampi. This is one of the peculiarities of the Vijayanagara architecture.

The temple complex is otherwise typical of any large temple complexes in Hampi. The whitewashed pillared hall stands in the axis of the main shrine at the center of the complex. A long colonnade stands along the enclosure wall facing the temple compound. This has been used as a shelter and place for prayer by the pilgrims. The kalyana mantapa (a large pavilion) is located on the southwest quarter. The sub-shrine of the goddess is on the northern side of the main shrine. Towards the south of the temple you'll find a natural well with image of Krishna playing flute carved on the inner wall (boulder) surface.

You'll enter the temple complex through a tower in the east, where the road from the foothill ends. You'll find a massive boulder almost covering the entrance. A little ahead on the boulder you'll find a Hanuman shrine. On the southern side of the compound wall overlooking the Kampili road is another gateway tower. There is a small opening at the rear part (west) of the tall enclosure wall . On either sides of these openings, on the wall you'll find a great deal of relief work, mostly of aquatic creatures.

A little ahead is the Shiva Cave Temple, built under a massive boulder. This is a great site to get a panoramic view of the valley beneath. Somewhere in the middle you can see the road to Vittala Temple sneaking through the planes. Somewhere nearby is the cleft caused by Rama's arrow, mentioned earlier. Also the cleft are rows of Shiva lingas and Nandi images carved on the rock.

You'll find the entry arch to Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple on the Kampili road from Kamalapura. The arch appears on your left , at the base of the hill that appears a few kilometers from Kamalapura towards the direction of Kampili. A little before the hill you'll find the deviation to the Vittala Temple.

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cave-temple-Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

Cave Temple atop Malayavanta Hill

cave-temple-Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

Cave Temple atop Malayavanta Hill

Photo Gallery Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple
 
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Tower built on a Boulder

Tower built on a Boulder

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Cave Temple atop Malayavanta Hill

Cave Temple atop Malayavanta Hill

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View from Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

View from Malayavanta Raghunatha Temple

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