This is a small but religiously prominent temple in Hampi. There are many tales in the Hindu mythology about of the origin of the cult deity Veerabhadra and the cult associated with the worship.
Sati, the daughter of the King of Gods, Daksha, marries Lord Shiva against the king’s wishes. He considers Lord Shiva as dirty, roaming ascetic who wears funeral ash and snakes on his body. On a special occasion (a ritualistic sacrifice) the king invites everyone including the gods and sages but except Sati and Shiva. However she attends the function and Daksha insults her and sheds abuses over her husband in front of the guests. Unable to stand the humiliation, Sati suicides by jumping into the sacrificial fire at the venue.
On hearing the news of his consorts death Lord Shiva gets furious at Daksha. He rips off a piece of his matted hair and throws on to the ground in anger. The furious demon god Veerabhadra and goddess Kali appears out of this. This unleashes terror at Daksha’s place and finally he gets killed. Terrified at Lord Shiva’s furry, the gods appeal to him for mercy. Shiva offers to restore Daksha’s life by replacing the head of the first animal he encounters. He finds a goat. Daksha comes back to life with the goat’s head. Daksha turns into one of Shiva’s devoted attendants.
It’s believed that Veerabhadra is an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself and Kali as his consort. In the later incarnation Sati becomes Parvathi (Pampa) and remarries Shiva.
Hampi ruins have left behind ample evidences of the existence of this cult (who worship gods in it’s furious forms) as against the sober gods of Vaishnavites (those worship various incarnations of Lord Vishnu). Probably the Veerabhadra Temple, also called Muddu Veeranna in the local tongue, has a history as old as the Virupaksha Temple on the bank of the river.
The 3.6 meter high monolithic idol of Uddana Veerabhadra is the main deity here. The idol is carved with four arms holding an arrow, sword, bow and shield, depicting the warrior nature. A tiny idol of Daksha too is placed nearby. The twin superimposed Linga (called Sarvanga Linga ) installed at this temple is unusual for its form .The priests of this temple are of Lingayath community (a deviation from the tradition – the Brahmin community)
This whitewashed temple is located near the main road midway between the Sacred Center and the Royal Center. About half kilometer southward of the Krishna Temple, you can see this temple practically facing the road and the main road passes between the temple compound and the tall monolithic lamppost in front of it. The main road in fact takes a sharp bend around the temple before proceeding further south. Just under the lamppost you can spot a Sati Stone, the memorial of wives who killed themselves after their warrior husband’s death in battle. Also you can see a tiny shrine dedicated to Hanuman next to the lamppost.
Opposite to Uddana Veerabhadra Temple is the Chandikesvara Temple.