Much of Vijayanagar is now in ruins, as when the rulers were defeated at the hands of the invaders at the battle of Talikota in the 16th century, most of the marvelous structures and edifices were systematically destroyed.
The Virupaksha or the Pampapathi temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi. It is fully intact, and it incorporates some earlier structures.The temple's history is uninterrupted from about the 7th century. The Virupaksha-Pampa sanctuary existed well before the Vijayanagara capital was located here. Inscriptions referring to Shiva date back to the 9th and 10th centuries. This temple in its current form has three towers, the eastern tower rises to a formidable height of 160 feet and is nine tiered. It was was renovated in the sixteenth century by Krishnadevaraya.
|The Eastern Gopuram & entrance gopuram viewed from inside the temple|
|Lion at the temple entrance way|
|A massive monolith|
|Exquisitely carved stone pillar|
|The temple bells|
|Latticed granite roofing|
|A Stone Stool|
|Our Group viewing the temple in inspired awe|
|Intricately carved massive stone urn|
|The temple elephant showering blessings on devotees|
|Carved pillars at the temple mandapam|
|Monumental multi tiered eastern Gopuram - beautifully embellished|
|Various views of the Eastern Gopuram - Above & Below|