Vitthala temple – The most extravagant point of living ruins of Hampi.. an epicenter of Vijayanagar empire. One will be out of words to describe the beauty and legacy of the temple.
Vitthala is an aspect of Lord Vishnu, mainly worshipped in Maharashtra. Vitthala temple belongs to 15th century A.D. and has been blushed from time to time by kings of different times. Temple is located within a mighty campus. Gopuram – a grand entrance will give you a good feeling of what is expecting inside. Though this eastern entrance is damaged, gopuram is still standing in pride. On this entrance, one can many sculptures in good condition including dancers & musicians. Apsaras on both the sides of the entrance are just amazingly beautiful and elegantly carved.
With a small fee, you get entry in. Once entered inside, a first look of entire campus feel you with joy. Sabha mandapas, music mandapas and various other structures are well preserved.
In an open campus, predominant attraction of the temple amaze you – the Stone Chariot (Ratha). This wonderful chariot is become of icon of Hampi. Built on a rectangular platform, the chariot is actually a temple of Garuda built in the form of Ratha. Garuda, the Vahana of Lord Vishnu, was initially an idol in this shrine.
Currently, you can see couple of elephant idols are placed in front of the chariot. They are placed here later by archaeological team. Originally, there were two carved horses who were pulling the chariot. You can guess this by the remains of their tails which are visible behind. Though it looks like the entire chariot is carved out of one single rock, it is built of various blocks in fact. But the way carving is designed in such way that the joints are barely visible. The shrine looks strong with various pillars diligently placed around. Best part of the chariot is it’s wheels which are adorable.
Surely, the Chariot is place of choice for photography for all the visitors.
Next amazing point of Vitthala temple! The mandapa is world famous for its musical pillars. When tapp the pillars, they emit musical tones.
Now a days, musician halls are closed for visitors for protection purpose, but one can imagine the magic. Amazingly carved pillars, platform blocks and an open blue sky..perfect blend of mystique.
Main abode of Lord Vishnu is empty without it’s god. It’s said that Vitthala idol in Pandharpur belongs here. Pradakshina route of the shrine is dark but calm.
Vitthala Temple is surely a place one should must visit in his life. Hampi town have good residential facilities and various food options too.