The riverside gorge just north of the Kodandarama Temple is remarkable for the various clusters of ruins. The sought after ones are the array of Shiva Lingas carved on the flat rock surface and the carved Anandashayana Vishnu on the rock cleft.
A little exploration of this area, close to the edge of the river, can lead you to a couple of Shiva Lingas arrays (mandalas) carved on the surface a flat rock surface. One is an array of 108 Lingas, the other a more fabulous 1008 lingas in a square area.
The numbers 108 and 1008 has some significance in Hinduism. For example lord Shiva has 1008 names quoted in one of the sacred texts.
A little away on a vertical rock surface is the carved sculpture of Lord Vishnu in the reclined posture (See the Rangatha Temple article). The other interesting features include a series of pavilions, partially submerged tiny shrines, sequence of motifs carved on the rock surfaces and spotting of sculptured artifacts lay at random. All are in this vicinity.
This gorge is one of the best locations to have a close look at the jumble of the boulder blocks. Scuttling through and over these boulders can be both puzzling and exciting. Because of its isolation perhaps, the place is practically absent of the whirlwind brand of tourists!
Up north of the Kodanda Rama Temple you can spot a number of narrow but well trodden paths, generally going towards the riverside. First they run along the sandy and sometimes marshy riverbank. A few meters away from the riverside, the sand slowly gives way to rough surface, and then to the boulder heaps. The main path that runs between the Kodanda Rama Temple and Sugreeva’s Cave is the base path from where to branch to your riverside expedition.
This is one of the narrowest, and hence most torrent, portions of the river.
Careful about the slippery rock surfaces, generally close to the river edge. A word of caution often repeated to the tourists - Never venture into the water.
If the river is not turbulent (during the monsoon or the discharge form the upstream dam), you can reach this location by a coracle hired from near the Kodanda Rama Temple.
You can negotiate the charge to about Rs 25-50 for a short trip. Ask him to take you to the 108 Shiva Linga site. This is a relatively easy and quick option than the former. The bonus is a close look at the gorge or even a short trip to the other side of the river.
Explore this area as part of the Route 2 of Hampi Itinerary that covers the attractions between Vittala Temple and Hampi Bazaar.
108 Shiva lingas carved on a large sheet of rock by the riverside.