About the empire
The Vijayanagar empire was founded in 1336 by Harihara and Bukka, two of five brothers who had served in the administrations of both Kakatiya and Kampili. In the wake of the rebellions against Tughluq rule in the Deccan, the Hindu Vijayanagar empire lasted for more than two centuries as the dominant power in south India. Urbanization and monetization of the economy were the two other significant developments of the period that brought all the peninsular kingdoms into highly competitive political and military activities in the race for supremacy. The empire's legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known being the group at Hampi. The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style.
Harihara Raya-I (1336-1356): Harihara-I, also called Hakka and Vira Harihara-I, was the founder of the Vijayanagara empire, which he ruled from 1336 to 1356 CE. In order to increase the resources of the state, he encouraged the farmers to cut down forests and bring this land under cultivation. An inscription dated 1346 regarding a grant to the Sringeri matha describes Harihara-I as the ruler of "whole country between the eastern and the western seas" and describes Vidya Nagara (that is, the city of learning) as his capital.
Bukka Raya-I (1356-1377): Bukka Raya-I was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Sangama Dynasty. Under Bukka Raya's 21-year reign the kingdom prospered and continued to expand as Bukka Raya conquered most of the kingdoms of southern India, continually expanding the territory of the empire. Even with the wars and internal conflicts, Bukka still managed to help support internal improvements for the city. Important works of literature were also written during his rule. He appointed the famous Telugu poet Nachana Soma as his court poet. Dozens of scholars lived under the guidance of Vidyaranya and Sayana. Under the patronage of Bukka and other early Vijayanagar kings, a group of scholars headed by Sayana produced commentaries on the Samhitas of the four Vedas and several of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas.
Harihara Raya-II (1377-1404): Harihara-II was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Sangama Dynasty. He patronised Kannada poet Madhura, a Jaina and important work on Vedas was completed during his time and earned the titles Vaidikamarga Sthapanacharya and Vedamarga Pravartaka. He ruled from the capital Vijayanagara now more popularly known as Hampi. What is believed to be the ruins of Harihara's palace is located among the Hampi ruins. Harihara-II took advantage of the death of Mujahid Bahmani in 1378 and extended his control into the northwest, controlling such ports as Goa, Chaul and Dabhol.
Virupaksha Raya (1404-1405): With the death of Harihara-II in 1404, the throne for the Vijayanagara Empire was disputed amongst his sons, Deva Raya-I, Bukka Raya-II and Virupaksha Raya. As his rule was only for a few months, Virupaksha's reign was not marked with any significant events or changes.
Bukka Raya-II (1405-1406): After the death of Harihara-II, the succession of the throne was disputed amongst and eventually changed hands between Harihara-II's three sons, Virupaksha Raya, Bukka Raya-II and Deva Raya-I. However similar to his brother before him, Bukka Raya-II only reigned for a short time period before he too was be overthrown by his brother Deva Raya-I who took the throne.
Deva Raya-I (1406-1422): Deva Raya-I was a king of the Vijayanagara Empire of the Sangama Dynasty. He modernized the Vijayanagara army by improving the cavalry, employed skilled archers of the Turkish clan and raised the fighting capacity of his bowmen and horses from Arabia and Persia. The credit for making the capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire one of the biggest cities in the 15th century goes to Deva Raya-I. He realized that the scarcity of water supply, both for drinking and for irrigation, was restricting the growth of the royal capital.
Ramachandra Raya (1422): Ramachandra Raya was an emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Sangama Dynasty. The eldest son of Deva Raya-I. He became ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire after his father's death in 1422. Throughout his reign there were no recorded significant changes in territory or major events.
Vira Vijaya Bukka Raya (1422-1424): Veera Vijaya Bukka Raya was the son of Deva Raya-I and succeeded his brother, Ramachandra Raya, in 1422 as the king of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Deva Raya-II (1424-1446): Deva Raya-II was the greatest of the Sangama dynasty rulers and was an able administrator, warrior and scholar. He authored well-known works in the Kannada language (Sobagina Sone and Amaruka) and in the Sanskrit language (Mahanataka Sudhanidhi). Deva Raya-II's rule was a high point in the development of Kannada literature when competition between Vaishnava and Veerashaiva writers was fierce and literary disputations between the two sects were common. Deva Raya-II's rule is the golden age in the history of South India and in particular, that of Karnataka and had tasted success in battle against the Bahamani Sultanate, forcing them to switch capitals to Bidar in c. 1426.
Mallikarjuna Raya (1446-1465): Mallikarjuna Raya succeeded his father Deva Raya-II and was generally a weak and corrupt ruler unlike his father. The Bahamani kingdoms took over much of the Vijayanagara Empire by 1450 and grew closer to the capital during his time.
Virupaksha Raya-II (1465-1485): In 1465, Virupaksha Raya-II succeeded his uncle, Mallikarjuna Raya. His reign, Virupaksha was faced with rebellious nobles and officers as well as multiple enemies who began to invade the weakened kingdom. Virupaksha became increasingly unpopular and ignited many of the empire's provinces to rebel, eventually leading up to Virupaksha's death in the hands of his own son, Praudharaya in 1485.
Praudha Raya (1485): Praudha Raya was a king of Vijayanagara Empire who ruled for a very short period of time but was overpowered and the control of the empire was taken over by his able commander Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya in 1485. He wrote the Ratiratnapradipika, a book on erotics.
Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya (1485-1491): Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya patron of the Madhwa saint Sripadaraya, he authored the Sanskrit word Rama Bhyudayam. He also patronised Kannada poet Kavi Linga. As king, Saluva Narasimha tried to expand the empire, though he continually faced difficulties caused from rebelling chieftains.
Thimma Bhupala (1491): Thimma Bhupala was the elder son of Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, the King of Vijayanagara Empire.
Narasimha Raya-II (1491-1505): Narasimha Raya-II was the third and last ruler of the Saluva dynasty, the second of the four dynasties to rule the Vijayanagara Empire.
Tuluva Narasa Nayaka (1491-1503): Tuluva Narasa Nayaka was the founder of the Tuluva dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire and the father of emperor Krishnadevaraya. He was called the rakshakarta (protector) and svami (Lord) and held the offices of the senadhipati (commander-in-chief), the mahapradhana (Prime Minister) and the karyakarta (agent) of the king. He successfully kept the Bahamani Sultans and the Gajapatis away from the kingdom and quelled many rebellions by unfaithful chieftains, trying to exert their independence.
Viranarasimha Raya (1503-1509): Vira Narasimha Raya became the king of Vijayanagar empire after the death of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka. Krishna Deva Raya was his younger half-brother. The Vijayanagar regent was supported by Aliya Rama Raya of the Aravidu family and his son Thimma. With their help, Adil Khan was defeated and pushed back, where Adoni and Kurnool area became a part of Vijayanagar Empire.
Krishna Deva Raya (1509-1529): Krishnadevaraya was the third ruler of the Tuluva Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire who reigned from 1509–1529. He became the dominant ruler of the peninsula of India by defeating the Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gajapatis of Odisha and was one of the most powerful Hindu rulers in India. Many Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit and Tamil poets enjoyed the patronage of the emperor. Emperor Krishna Deva Raya was fluent in many languages. Krishna Deva Raya was formally initiated into the Vaishnava Sampradaya by Tathacharya and respected all sects of Hinduism and lavished on the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, numerous objects of priceless value, ranging from diamond studded crowns to golden swords.
Achyuta Deva Raya (1529-1542): Achyuta Deva Raya was a ruler of a Vijayanagara Empire of South India who is the younger brother of Krishna Deva Raya, whom he succeeded in 1529. Achyuta Deva Raya is known for his vices and cruelty, there is enough evidence to prove that the king was indeed noteworthy in his own right and fought hard to keep the prosperity of the kingdom alive. He had been handpicked by Krishna Deva Raya himself as an able successor.
Sadashiva Raya (1542-1570): Sadasiva Raya, who was the nephew of Achyuta Raya became king according to the laws of Aliya Santana. Sadasiva Raya alone with his minister Rama Raya, who restored the Vijayanagara empire's power which had diminished after the rule of Krishna Deva Raya.The strategy was to play the Deccan Sultanates against each other by first allying with one and then another.
Aliya Rama Raya (1542-1565): Rama Raya known as "Aliya" was a Telugu statesman of the Vijayanagara Empire, the son-in-law of Emperor Krishna Deva Raya and the progenitor of the Aravidu dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire, the fourth and last dynasty of the empire.
Tirumala Deva Raya (1565-1572): Tirumala Deva Raya was the first Crowned King of the Vijayanagara Empire from the Aravidu Dynasty. He was the younger brother of Aliya Rama Raya and son-in-law of Krishna Deva Raya.
Sriranga-I (1572-1586): Sriranga Deva Raya was the eldest son of Tirumala Deva Raya and a king of Vijayanagara empire based at Penukonda. He carried the restoration of the Vijayanagara empire, but his reign was marred with repeated attacks and loss of territories from his Muslim neighbours. Sriranga Deva defeated Adil shah which helped his commanders defeat the Sultan’s army at that time.
Venkata-II (1586-1614): Venkatapati Raya was the younger brother of Sriranga Deva Raya and the ruler of Vijayanagara Empire. His reign of three decades saw a revival of the strength and prosperity of the empire. He dealt successfully with the Deccan sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda, the internal disorders, promoting economic revival in the country. He brought rebelling Nayakas of Tamil Nadu and parts of present-day Andhra Pradesh under control.
Sriranga-II (1614-1614): Sriranga Chika Raya was nominated in 1614 by King Venkata-II to succeed him as king of the Vijayanagara Empire in Southern India. Sriranga was supported by a faction headed by Yachama Naidu of Recherla Velama dynasty, one of the Venkata-II's loyal viceroys and commanders and Nayak of Venkatagiri, but was not favored by a set of nobles headed by Gobburi Jagga Raya, brother (or father) of Venkata-II’s favourite Queen Obayamma and ended his reign due to Coup and Murder.
Ramadeva (1617-1632): Vira Rama Deva Raya ascended the throne after a gruesome war in 1617 as the King of Vijayanagara Empire. After winning Toppur Battle, crowned Rama Deva as Rama Deva Raya, in early months of 1617 who was barely 15 years old when he ascended the throne.
Venkata-III (1632-1642): Peda Venkata Raya was the grandson of Aliya Rama Raya. The Nayaks of Gingee, Tanjore and Madurai declared support for Venkata-III to overthrow Timma Raja, the paternal uncle of Venkata-III who considered himself to have a better claim, seized the government at Vellore Fort, compelling Venkata-III to remain in his native Anekonda.
Sriranga-III (1642-1646): Sriranga-III was the last ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire, who came to power in 1642 following the death of his uncle Venkata-III. Many of his nobles like the Nayaka of Gingee and Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, the chieftain of Madras, had a dislike for him for his mischief in rebelling against the former King. Sriranga-III, now feeling strong enough to demand money from the Southern Nayaks, marched south. He granted site of Fort St. George (Madras) to British agents of East India Company in 1640's at Raja Mahal of Chandragiri fort, present day Tirupathi.
Extent of their empire and Patronage towards the Hindu religion
The kingdom’s expansion in the first century of its existence made it the first south Indian state to exercise enduring control over different linguistic and cultural regions, albeit with sub regional and local chiefly powers exercising authority as its agents and subordinates. Achyuta Raya followed Krishnadevaraya in 1530, and by Sadasiva Raya in 1542 while the real power lay with Aliya Rama Raya, the son-in-law of Krishnadevaraya, whose relationship with the Deccan Sultans who allied against him has been debated. The sudden capture and killing of Aliya Rama Raya in 1565 at the Battle of Talikota, against an alliance of the Deccan sultanates, after a seemingly easy victory for the Vijayanagara armies, created havoc and confusion in the Vijayanagara ranks, leading to a complete route.
Architecture style of the kings
Vijayanagar Empire ruled South India, from their regal capital at Vijayanagara, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in modern Karnataka, India. The empire were the inheritors of the rich traditions in art and architecture of the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Hoysalas and built temples, monuments, palaces and other structures across South India, with a largest concentration in its capital. Temple architecture received a new impetus and reached to new heights under the patronage of the Vijayanagar rulers. The most frequent design is one in which the shaft becomes either a central core or background for a group of statuary, of substantial proportion and carved practically on the ground. Important features of Vijayanagara style of temple and architecture were: monolithic pillars, ornate brackets, decoration on exterior side of the walls, etc. A large number of temples were built during Krishnadevaraya period which were dedicated to Lord Krishna and renovated several temples. The most important was the temple of Hazara Rama where royal family worships. Its most interesting features were the four finely polished black stone pillars which support the ‘Mandapa’. A number of temples were built during the medieval period in the South cities of Vellore, Kumbhakonam, Kalahsti, Srirangam, Conjeevaram and Virinchipuram were dotted with magnificent temples.
Key temples built/enhanced during Vijayanagara empire
The temples of Vijayanagara have revived many of the Hoysala period temples and the inscriptions revealed that the tower, prakara and mantapa were constructed by the commander Gundappa Nayaka of this period, which destroyed the Belur Chennakeshava temple. The kings of the era are also credited with having the magnificent temple of Pampa Virupaksha, an ancient and old temple of Vijayanagara. The construction of the Halebidu temple, the construction of the pavilions at Somanathapura temple was at this time. Apart from Kannada, these monarchs built towers of magnificent towers like Tirupati, Thadapatri, Kanchi and Srirangam. The inscriptions say that Krishnadevaraya was the 188-foot tower built to the Kamamba Ekambaranath (Kamakshi) temple. Vasantha mantapa and Pudu mantapa of the Meenakshi temple of Madurai have also been built by Krishnadevarayane. The inscriptions indicate that he had built a large tower for the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. In Kannada nadu, the Vijayanagara kings have shown that there are no temples dedicated to art and architecture.
Other famous temples in Karnataka: While the empire is well known for its monuments in the regal capital Vijayanagara (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), it also built temples in other regions of Karnataka including the coastal region (called Karavali) where the Vijayanagara idiom mingled with local styles. A List of these temples and their approximate time of construction is given in the article List of Vijayanagara era temples in Karnataka.
Famous temples in Andhra Pradesh: In Andhra Pradesh the empire built the Mallikarjuna Temple at Srisailam, Upper Narasimha Temple and Lower Narasimha Temple at Ahobilam, Veera Bhadra Temple at Lepakshi and Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati and others. In Tamil Nadu the empire built the Vijayaraghava Permal temple modeled after the famous temples at Tirupati with statues of Krishnadevaraya in Thayar Sanithi pillars facing each other.
SRI RANGANATHA SWAMY TEMPLE - Rangasthala, Thippanahalli, Karnataka, India
The main attraction of Rangasthala is the beautiful temple of Lord Ranganatha Swamy. The temple architecture is in Vijayanagar style and the garbhagriha of the temple appears similar to the form of a Bamboo Basket used in this village. Outside praharam and Gopuram etc were constructed by Vijayanagara Kings. The platforms have multiple tiers of mouldings with well-decorated friezes with decorations like floral, Kirtimukha shapes, geese, elephants and occasionally human figures.
GAURISHVARA TEMPLE - Yelandur, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, India
The Gaurishvara Temple was constructed by a local chief Singedepa Devabhupala of the Hadinadu chiefdom, a feudatory of the 16th century Vijayanagara Empire. The temple plan is simple with garbhagriha, a closed hall, an open hall supported by granite pillars and an unusual mahadwara which lacks the usual tower over it. This type of an entrance is called bale mantapa in a contemporary style with heavily decorated reliefs depicting scenes from the puranic stories and the epics.
VIJAYANARAYANA TEMPLE - Gundlupet, Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, India
The Vijayanarayana Temple dates back to the 10th century rule of the Western Ganga Dynasty and has received continuous patronage up to the 15th century Vijayanagara period. The temple consists of a sanctum, a vestibule that connects the sanctum to the navrang and an open hall. The entrance to the temple has an impressive row of yali pillars that depict warriors riding lions and the walls that rise from this have slender decorative pilasters. The open mantapa that has several ornate pillars appears to have modified the original north-south entrances that existed in the navrang.
SRI RANGANATHA SWAMY TEMPLE - Thirumale, Magadi, Karnataka, India
The sanctum of the Ranganatha temple was first consecrated in early 12th century by the Chola ruler and the temple has undergone renovations and expansion. Based on an inscription on a Garuda sthamba (Garuda pillar) in front of the temple, the tall decorative Gopurams (towers) were added by the famous Vijayanagara empire King Krishnadeva Raya in 1524 A.D.
SRI SOMESHWARA TEMPLE - Magadi, Karnataka, India
According to epigraphists and historians, the Someshwara temple was built by Kempe Gowda-II after coming to power in 1569 A.D with notable structures like spacious inner prakara with lofty towers and mantapas. Pillar decor includes motifs of dancing girls, soldiers, birds, and animals such as lions in relief.
SRI GUNJA NARASIMHA TEMPLE - Tirumakudal Narsipur, Karnataka, India
The temple dates back to about the 16th rule of the Vijayanagara empire and is built in typical dravidian style with an imposing gopura over the entrance gate. The temple is a large structure with a high gopura with four pillared mantapa where Lord Narasimha holds a berry stalk of Gunja plant between his thumb and forefinger. This temple was in the patronage of the Dalavoy of Mysore with an annual maintenance and records indicate the temple underwent repairs and embellishments during this time.
SOMESHWARA TEMPLE - Kolar, Karnataka, India
The Someshwara temple is an ornate 14th century Vijayanagara era Dravidian style construction with Hindu god Shiva as the presiding deity. The superstructure is built of brick and stucco with open mantapa has a central hall surrounded by a raised floor and several ornate pillars supporting the ceiling. Built by the Cholas who ruled this region in the 11th century who were then dethroned by the Chalukyas. The temple was later expanded by the Vijayanagara Empire and is a fine example of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. The carvings on the inner pillars of the temple have an international connection which depicts the importance and value of trade to the King.
SRINGERI SRI SHARADAMBA TEMPLE COMPLEX - Sringeri, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, India
Built around the Samadhi of Vidyatheertha, bears a slight resemblance to an old Chariot built combining the general features of Dravidian style with the Vijayanagara style. Standing on a richly sculpted plinth, this temple has six doorways, twelve pillars surrounding the mandapa with figures of the twelve signs of the zodiac is topped by a Yali with a rolling stone ball in its mouth. They are constructed in such an ingenious way that the rays of the sun fall on each pillar in the chronological order of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar.
SHIVA TEMPLE - Hemakuta hill, Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Hemakuta group of Temples belong to Vijayanagara period dates back to 9th to 14th century and hence, belong to the era before the Vijayanagara Empire was founded. These temples are often mistaken for Jain temples due to their architecture similarity which are built in the Trikutachala style of architecture. In this style of architecture, three shrines are placed in a perpendicular position to each other facing a common central hall. The temples have almost plain outer walls, except for the horizontal chain of floral motifs that provide some ornamentation to the walls.
GANAGITTI (JAIN) TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Ganagitti Temple is one of the earliest structures constructed during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire built by Iruguppa Dandanayaka during the reign of the Vijayanagara king Harihara II. It was consecrated in the year 1386 A.D with some design elements that are derived from the temples of the late Chalukya era. The temple is dedicated to Kunthunatha, the 17th Thirthankara of the Jaina faith. The superstructure is built in the form of a stepped pyramid that has six diminishing talas of plain horizontal slabs. A huge mana-stambha or column stands near the portico of the temple.
SAAVIRA KAMBADA BASADI - Mudabidri, Udupi, Karnataka, India
Saavira Kambada Basadi is a magnificent thousand pillar temple popularly known as Jain Kashi. The temple also has over 52 idols for worship, with the sanctum sanctorum having an idol of Parshwanatha which is 3.5 meters high. The temple was first designed in the year 1430 by the then local chief Devaraya Wodeyar the current design was introduced in the year 1962. From mythical animals to inspirations from Mother Nature – the carvings on these pillars seem to convey various stories and beautifully reflect the art and culture of ancient times.
SRI CHELUVANARAYANA SWAMY - Melukote, Mandya, Karnataka, India
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri, overlooking the Kaveri valley, temple is over 1000 years old which is evident by the engravings on the temple mentioned. The Temple is a masterwork of workmanship built in Dravidian Style of architecture. The temple has the most valuable collection of jewels given to the lord by Mysore king Raja Wodeyar.
BHOGA NANDEESHWARA TEMPLE - Nandi Village, Chikballapur, Karnataka, India
The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple was built in the 9th century. The first phase is believed to have been built by the Bana Queen Ratnavali and it underwent many additions and modifications, spread over the rule of Ganga dynasty, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pallavas and finally the Vijayanagara kings. dynasties. The outer wall and buildings were added by the Vijayanagar kings in the 13th century.
KURUDUMALE GANESHA TEMPLE - Kurudumale, Mulbagal, Karnataka, India
Kurudumale Ganesha Temple was originally under the rule of the Chola’s the temple area later came under the boundary of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. The influences of these dynasties are very evident in the architectural elements present in the temple. It was the mighty King Krishnadevaraya that built the temple. It is said that the huge Ganshea idol was placed in a field on the hill in Kurudumale and for very long was worshipped in an open field.
DODDA BASAVANA TEMPLE - Basavanagudi, Banglore, Karnataka, India
The temple is estimated to have been built in the year 1537 by a ruler named Kempe Gowda under the Vijayanagara empire in the Vijayanagara architectural style, hence the temple is heavily influenced by the Vijayanagara style, prevalent during the 1500’s. The idol of Nandi is carved from a single stone of granite, and features a Shivalingam behind it. Meanwhile, the Vimana is adorned by Shaiva motifs.
SRI SOMESHWARA TEMPLE - Halasuru, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Halasuru Someshwara Temple dates back to the Chola period, it is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and major additions or modifications were made during the late Vijayanagara Empire period under the rule of Hiriya Kempe Gowda-II. The main temple architecture is unique, with multiple pillars and scriptures inscribed on the walls. Strike these pillars when there is pin drop silence, they sound like guitar. Notable works of art include sculptures that depict King Ravana lifting Mount Kailash in a bid to appease the god Shiva, Durga slaying Mahishasura, images of the Nayanmar saints, depictions of the Girija Kalyana, the saptarishis.
GAVI GANGADHARESHWARA TEMPLE - Gavipuram, Banglore, Karnataka, India
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple also Gavipuram Cave Temple, an example of Indian rock-cut architecture famous for its mysterious stone discs in the forecourt and the exact planning allowing the sun to shine on shrines in certain time of the year. It was built in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda-I under the Vijayanagara empire in the Vijayanagara architectural style.
SRI YOGA NARASIMHA SWAMY TEMPLE - Melukote, Mandya, Karnataka, India
The majestic temple is dedicated to Narasimha in a seated position with the Yogapatta. The intricate carvings on the pillars and the overall structure of the temple offer a glimpse into the architectural style of the bygone era. The temple has a huge drum that was donated by Tipu Sultan, a beautiful bell that was donated by the Mysore Parakalamatha. During the rule of the erstwhile Wodeyar Kings of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had donated a gold crown to the temple deity.
SRI VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE - Hampi, Karnataka, India
Virupaksha temple was built by Lakkan Dandesha, a nayaka (chieftain) under the ruler Deva Raya II of the Vijayanagara Empire. The main temple consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall decorated with delicately carved pillars. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines and other structures surround the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 A.D. to mark his accession and also built the eastern gopuram.
Hazara Rama TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Hazara Rama Temple in Hampi is dedicated to Lord Rama, a hindu deity. It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of Vijayanagara and famous for the bas relics and panels depicting the story of Ramayana. The interior of the temple has ornately sculpted columns and an empty pedestal with three holes signifies that the temple once had idols of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita.
CHANDIKESHWARA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Chandikeshwara Temple in Hampi is a remarkable temple well known for its impressive Vijayanagara architecture. The most interesting part of the temple’s architecture is the richly carved pillars standing in the front hall. Each pillar has been crafted out of huge stones in an impressive manner depicting several themes from the Hindu mythology.
UDDHANA VIRABHADRA - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Uddana Veerabhadra temple is an ancient shrine in Hampi which has the largest statue of the demon king Veerabhadra, built during the Vijayanagara period. It was consecrated by Dalavayi Jangamayya in the year 1545 A.D and the presence of the Uddana Veerabhadra Temple in Hampi points towards the fact that during the Vijayanagara days the people of Hampi used to worship the Gods in their ferocious forms as well.
PATTABHIRAMA TEMPLE – Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Pattabhirama Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Rama and known for its intricate architecture. The main temple structure has axial mantapas, pillared walkway that runs along the inner side of the enclosure wall surrounding the courtyard. There are four towers on four sides of the temple complex that were built as gates of the temple. The Vijayanagara style of craftsmanship is easily visible in the walls and pillars of the temple.
VISHNU TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Vishnu Temple is a large and ruined granite structure dating back to Vijayanagara Empire. Unlike most Hindu temples, the temple tower is not decorated with a lot of carvings. Except for a few icons carved on the lintel and a Yali on the tower, there are relatively few images on the tower and walls. There is also a brick towered shrine next to this temple.
BALAKRISHNA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Krishna Temple in Hampi is dedicated to Lord Balakrishna, the form of Lord Krishna when he was an infant. This temple was built by the ruler Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara period in the year 1513 A.D. in honour of winning the battle and subsequent annexure of Utkala. The temple campus is adorned with pillared halls and is one of the rare temples which have epics inscribed on the tower walls. Interestingly this temple has been built in an Islamic style of architecture.
VIJAYA VITTALA TEMPLE - Hampi, Karnataka, India
The Vittala Temple is an ancient monument that is well-known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship dating back to the 15th century built during the reign of King Devaraya-II of the Vijayanagara Empire. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structures in Hampi. The iconic temple has amazing stone structures such as the incomparable stone chariot and the fascinating musical pillars. Several portions of the temple were expanded and enhanced during the reign of Krishnadevaraya.
CHATURMUKHA (JAIN) TEMPLE - Karkala, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, India
Chaturmukha Basadi was built in 1432 during the reign of Jain king Vir Pandyadeva by Immadi Bhairarasa Vodeya of the Santara dynasty. The Chaturmukha Basadi has 108 pillars with pillars on four sides of the entrance and constructed in the form of four faced hall, the roof of the basadi is flat with very big granite slabs. This basadi, completely made of carved granite rocks, is known as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya or Ratnatraya dhama from inscriptions.
KALLINA RATHA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Stone Chariot is the star jewel of Hampi which has that one spot which earns it galore and admiration. The chariot was built by King Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire during the 16th century, who got fascinated with the Konark Sun temple. Inspired by the Dravidian style of architecture, the chariot is a colossal structure which shows the skill of the earlier craftsmen and architects. There were sculptures of horses where presently elephants are seated and one can actually spot the hind legs and tails of the horses behind the elephants.
ACHYUTARAYA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Achyuta Raya Temple in Hampi was built in 1534 A.D is one of the major, splendid and awe-inspiring temples of Hampi depicting Vijayanagara architecture style of temples in its best and most improved form. On entering the inner court one can spot a chamber that is facing the porch leading to the central hall and the principal shrine of the temple is located in the centre of a pair of rectangular concentric enclosures. The statues and sculptures on the pillars reveal themes like lord Vishnu blessing an elephant, lord Krishna practising his flute while the calves are watching this scene with interest and infant Krishna dancing with a snake and holding it by the tail. There is a Mandapa which is a marriage hall of the Gods and the Goddesses for the yearly nuptials.
SASIVEKALU GANESHA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple is a huge statue of Lord Ganesha, carved out of a single block of rock which is about 8 feet tall. The inscription on the statue is as old as 1500 A.D and says that this statue was erected in memory of the king Narasimha-II, of the Vijayanagar Empire. A large mandapa is covering the statue at the top with a rough wall covering pillars around it. The Ganesha is seen in a half-lotus position with four arms. The right and left hand at the upper side holds a goad and a broken tusk.
PRASANNA VIRUPAKSHA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Prasanna Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest temples in Hampi built during the reign of Vijayanagara Empire dedicated to Prasanna Virupaksha, an avatar of Lord Shiva. Temple is located a few metres below the ground level and is at par with the present ground level while the main structure of the temple stands on a low lying area. The maha mantapa has pillared corridors that combine with the pillared mukha mantapa. Pillars are simple and austere in appearance, unlike the carved and engraved pillars found in most temples of Hampi.
YEDURU BASAVANNA (NANDI MONOLITH) TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
Eduru Basavanna is a huge sculpture of a monolithic bull known and admired for its astonishing size standing in Hampi for more than 500 years dating back to the time of the Vijayanagara Empire. It has been carved out of a single gigantic boulder and has been chiselled in a simple manner.The Lord Shiva's ride stands in a sheltered pavilion with big boulders and is believed to be the guard and protector of the city of Hampi.
UGRA NARASIMHA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Lakshmi Narasimha statue and the temple housing the statue were built in the year 1528 A.D during the rule of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire. The temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The statue of Narasimha has a finely chiselled broad chest and a well-defined mane adorned with a beautiful headgear and is seen seated in a cross-legged position and there is a lion-mask set above the hoods of Adishesha.
BADAVI LINGA TEMPLE - Hampi, Ballari, Karnataka, India
The Badavilinga Temple in Hampi has the largest monolithic Shiva Linga made of black stone in Hampi and has a three eye mark drawn on it in line carving depicting the three eyes of Lord Shiva. The inner walls of the shrine, surrounding the Shiva Linga, have also escaped any severe damage.
MONOLITH OF LORD GOMATESHWARA TEMPLE - Channarayapatna, Karnataka, India
The statue was built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya, it is a 57-foot (17 m) monolith (statue carved from a single piece of rock) situated above a hill in Shravanabelagola in standing position. The statue is built on an elevated platform on top of a rocky hill. It was consecrated on 13 February 1432 by Veera Pandya Bhair Arasa Wodeyar, scion of the Bhair Arasa dynasty, feudatory of the Vijayanagara Ruler.
PARSHWANATHA BASADI (JAIN) TEMPLE - Gerusoppa, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, India
The Chaturmukha Basti built completely out of granite, contains statues of four tirthankaras. The statues are well polished and the temple completely said to have been built by Chennabhairadevi, seems incomplete. The reign of Chennabhairadevi the Pepper Queen referred to as the golden age of the Salva Dynasty. There are other buildings, statues, stone-edicts in the adjoining areas that are now dilapidated.
SRI MOOKAMBIKA TEMPLE - Kollur, Kundapur, Karnataka, India
Mookambika Devi Temple is dedicated to Mookambika Devi, the only temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati in the form of Jyotir-Linga which combines both Shakti and Shiva and it is believed that the shrine of Mookambika Devi was installed by Adi Shankara. This was the state temple for the Nagara or Bednore Rajas and many jewels now adorning the idol are said to have been presented by them and by their overlords of Vijayanagara.
RAMESHWARA TEMPLE - Keladi, Shimoga, Karnataka, India
Keladi Rameshwara Temple was constructed in the Hoysala-Dravida style, the temple is magnificent with a number of unique features. The temple built by the ruler Chowdappa Nayaka has three main shrines, namely that of Rameshwara, Parvati and Veerabhadra. The specialty of the Parvati temple is its exquisite ceiling that is covered with intricate flower patterns carved from wood, of which no two are the same. The statue of Daksha Prajapati, featuring goat-head and the awe-inspiring carvings of ‘Vastu Purush’ are some of the rare examples of artistry found here.
IKKERI AGHORESHWARA TEMPLE - Ikkeri, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India
Aghoreshwara Temple is a magnificent 16th century temple dedicated to lord shiva. The Keladi Nayaka rulers of Ikkeri built these magnificent structures during their rule which mainly displayed Hoysala-Dravidian style of architecture, as was prevalent during those times. Granite was extensively used for constructing the structures and Intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings of the structures were a common feature of that period.