When translated into English, Rayagopura means the royal tower or gateway. This is the ruin of a tower whose construction was never been completed. That makes it a fine specimen for you to see the inner details of an otherwise lofty tower. Located outside the southwest corner of the Vittala Temple complex, this tower would have been planed to mark the east end of the Bukka’ Path.
What you can see is the base structure of the tower and massive doorjambs projecting upward.
The outer structure at ground level is decorated with horses and trainers. At the centre are the four tall doorjambs. The faces of which are carved with floral patterns. At the base of each doorjamb nymph figures in dancing postures can be seen. Next to it are the carvings of Hanuman, a guardian deity, whose figures are usually carved near the entrances. The rear sides of the doorjambs are left unfinished, since this would get embedded into the internal portions (though never completed) of the tower.
Between the doorjambs, you can spot two lion-Yalis (mythical beasts) with protruding eyes in a galloping posture.
This gateway stands as a lone structure with no connection to any other structures. You would naturally end up in this area if you were taking the riverside trekking path (Bukka’s Path) to reach Vittala Temple from Hampi Bazaar area. Just close to the Rayagopura is the King’s Balance.
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.