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Although a small village yet popular globally, Hampi in the southern Indian state of Karnataka is historically as well as a spiritually important location in India. The presence of several ancient temples at a single place making it a holy site. The reins of the Hampi temples and monuments which were built during the Vijayanagar Empire period in the Medieval Ages still exist since the 13th century. As a tourist, you find much to explore history and religion here. Besides knowing the golden history of this region, you come across many temples which are architectural wonders from the past era.

Visit Hampi to re-impose your faith and worship in the temples that still stand as a reminder of the great medieval era architectures. Located in the Tungabhadra River banks, Hampi village had been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1986, owing to its historical significance. Travelers to Hampi comprise visitors who are keen to explore the monuments, evaluate history and most importantly seeking to worship in the ancient temples. This historic village is rushed by the devotee cum tourists throughout the year.

Best Time To Visit Hampi

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Winter is usually the best season to travel to Hampi as the weather remains the most pleasant one to explore this area on foot during wintertime. Therefore, November to March remains an ideal time to travel to this location. As summers are usually extremely uncomfortable and harsh, it is not advisable to visit here during that time. All monuments and especially temples are located at certain distances from each other therefore travelers are supposed to walk to a considerable amount to visit all the sites. One should explore this region during the winter.

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Cultural Festivals In Hampi

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Those interested in experiencing local culture in-depth can plan a visit to Hampi around the time of the local festivals especially the annual Vijaya Utsav held in the November month. It is an ancient annual celebration that dates back to the period of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. One more notable festival here is Purandara Festival. It is celebrated during January/February month to honor Purandara who was a famous poet/musician from the medieval period.

‘Phalapuja Festival’ in December celebrates the marriage of Lord Virupaksha with Devi Pampa. Lord Virupaksha was the guardian deity of the town of Hampi. The ‘betrothal’ is also celebrated during March/April along with a chariot procession with much pomp and show. These celebrations are worth exploring here as tourists and devotees.

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Religious Significance Of Hampi

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Although there is a multitude of historical monuments in Hampi, it’s most famous and well-known that remain in the global limelight are beautifully built temples. Some most famous ones include Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Monkey Temple and Achyuta Raja Temple amongst others. The architectural beauty of all the temples equally describes the rich leaflets of Indian history. The mingling of the unique history of this region besides religious significance due to the presence of many ancient temples make it a location of global repute.

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16 Famous Hampi Temples 

Here is a comprehensive guide on the famous temples you must visit in Hampi. Take a plunge into the history and admire the carvings made on the pillars and walls of these temples. 

1. Virupaksha Temple

temple in Hampi

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Unarguably, most famous among all the monuments at Hampi village, Virupaksha Temple is also popular as the Pampapathi Temple. Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, this temple belongs to a set of ancient monuments named Pattadakal Temples that spread to almost all parts of Karnataka. These temples manifest a unique blend of Hindu and Jain architectural styles. This centuries-old temple has a recorded history of about a thousand years.

This temple is dedicated to Virupaksha, a divine form of Lord Shiva and the one who was also the guardian deity of Hampi. As the myth goes on, Pampa, daughter of Brahma did penance to gain the hand of Lord Shiva or Virupaksha here. There are three towers in the magnificent architecture of this temple.

Within the temple premises, smaller shrines are dating back to the 12th century. The walls of this temple are adorned with the carvings of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu as well as other popular mythological representations from the epic Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Location: River Rd, Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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2. Vitthala Temple

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The famous temple complex of Vitthala Temple is an iconic architecture in Hampi. Its beauty lies in the fact that it is shaped like a chariot. The intricate carvings of it which adorn its chariot shaped design appeal to all devotees and tourists. Right behind the chariot is the temple that has beautiful carvings over it.

Dedicated to Lord Vitthala or Lord Vishnu, this temple is visited by devotees throughout the year. Apart from the famous stone chariot, other smaller temples within the complex further appeal to the worshippers to explore the history of this region while worshipping here as devotees. It remains one of the must-visit locations in Hampi, Karnataka.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

Suggested Read: Hampi Utsav 2022: 10 Reasons You Must Be A Part Of The Festivities

3. Monkey Temple 

temple at the top of a hill

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As the name suggests, Monkey Temple or popularly known as the Yantradharaka Hanuman Temple houses the deity of Lord Hanuman. It is situated at the highest location, therefore, this temple has to be approached by climbing several stairs. Since this temple had been built at the top of the Anjanadri Hill, one needs to be physically fit to climb all the way up to visit there. It is believed that this place is the birthplace of Hanuman.

The natural beauty around it is another plus point for the worshippers to enjoy the serene atmosphere. It is said that the first idol of Hanuman had been installed by Sri Vyasaraja here who was a royal priest of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Non-worshiping travelers too keep flocking here to know about the region’s glorious past.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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4. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

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This temple is dedicated to Narsimha – an Avatar of the Lord Vishnu which is a part lion and part man beside the Goddess Lakshmi. The notable attraction here is the huge statue of ‘Narasimha’ seated upon the seven snakes. At the nearby location is an idol of Lakshmi. Worshippers keep flocking to this temple throughout the year.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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5. Achyutaraya Raja Temple

old building of a temple in Hampi

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This temple is another magnificent example of the Vijayanagara architecture in the Southern Indian region from ancient kingdoms. The temple is situated a little away from the rest more popular monuments of Hampi and in the valley of the Matanga Hills.

As Matanga Hills offer a beautiful view of the surrounding landscapes, visitors enjoy nature’s bounty while they worship here. It doesn’t attract too much footfall either as compared to rest structures. Temple’s deity, Lord Tiruvengalanatha is another form of Lord Vishnu which is worshipped by the devotees.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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6. Krishna Temple

temple in Hampi, Karnataka

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Krishna Temple in Hampi had is another most popular site for a spiritual tour to the place. Built-in the medieval era, it is situated in what used to be the Vaishnava Township centuries ago and which had been established to give them the same opportunity as the Saivas in the Virupaksha complex. It is believed that Krishnadevaraya had installed the idol of Krishna here that had been brought from one of the kingdoms he had defeated then. It was aimed at enlarging his ‘kshetra’ (field). The structure shows exquisite carvings and ornamentations. Worshippers and tourists find much to explore in and around this temple.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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7. Kadalekalu Ganesh

Kadalekalu Ganesh

Image Credit: Sid Mohanty for Wikimedia Commons

One of the important sites to visit in Hampi is Kadalekalu Ganesh Temples. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and one can find his 15 feet monolithic statue in the temple that interests the tourists. This huge statue is believed to be the biggest one in the whole world. The temple got its name as Kadalekalu as the stomach of the idol is carved like a Bengal gram which is otherwise known as Kadalekalu. The time to visit this temple from six in the morning to six in the evening.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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8. Hazara Rama Temple

Hazara Rama Temple

Image Credit: Dinesh Kannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

Dedicated to Lord Rama, Hazara Rama Temple is another religious site that attracts several tourists due to its intricate carvings. The origin of this temple can be traced back to the 15th century when this area belonged to Royal people. While taking a stroll through the temple complex, pay attention to the carved walls as they depict the narrations of Ramayana. You will see several avatars carved all over the walls of the temple which are a proof of the culture of India.

Location: Karnataka 583239

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9. Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

Image Credit: Dinesh Kannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

A visit to Hampi remains incomplete without visiting the Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex where you will see temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. This complex is in a secluded area and is wrapped by a fort. The Hampi temples here can be dated back to 9th to 14th century during the Vijayanagara Empire. All the temples here are made with stone walls on the hill top and are full of carvings which reflect the religious history of India. No wonder, it is one of the best places to visit in Hampi for history buffs.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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10. Sree Kodandarama Temple

carvings of hampi temple

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Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

Sree Kodandarama Temple is now one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites which is why it has grabbed the attention of tourists from all over the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama as it is believed that he killed Vali after which he crowned Sugriva as the king of Kishkhinda. It is also believed the idols of Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita were carved by Sugriva himself. Due to its religious significance and beautifully carved pillars, this temple must be visited at least once.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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11. Ganagitti Temple

Ganagitti Temple

Image Credit: Shivaji Desai for Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for Jain temples in the cluster of Hampi temples then you will not be disappointed. You can head to Ganagitti Temple which is a well-renowned Jain temple among the locals. Built during the reign of Iruguppa Dandanayaka, a Vijayanagara king Harihara II, this temple stands strong since 1386 AD. A large crowd of tourists head to this temple, making sure not to miss it one their Hampi tour.

Location: Karnataka 583239

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12. Pattabhirama Temple

Pattabhirama Temple

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Pattabhirama Temple is one of the less-famous Hampi temples which is dedicated to Lord Rama. The temple is as huge as the Vittala Temple and covers a large area of the land which is why it is the second largest temple in Hampi. It is adorned with a beautiful garden and has the largest temple marriage halls in the whole of Karnataka. If you are looking for less crowded places in Hampi then make sure that you visit this temple.

Location: Kamalapur, Karnataka 583215

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13. Saraswati Temple

Saraswati Temple

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Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the origin of this temple is dated back to the 13th century AD. The walls and pillars of this temple are also full of minute carvings that tell the tales of history. Its terracotta stucco figures and huge architecture attracts millions of visitors every year. Straight opposite to the temple you can witness a rock with a carving of the goddess. Some portions of the temple are destroyed in years and what is still left is amazing to witness at least in a lifetime.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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14. Chandikesvara Temple

Chandikesvara Temple

Image Credit: Dinesh Kannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

Chandikesvara Temple is one of the most iconic Hampi temples that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple depicts the Vijayanagara style of architecture which is the main reason for the tourist footfall. Each pillar of this temple has been carved in the most beautiful manner which depicts different themes from the Hindu mythology. For instance, the entrance of the temple is carved with images of Yali which is part horse, part elephant, and part lion. While exploring the temple, you will find that there are two shrines and both of them are devoid of any idols.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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15. Badavilinga Temple

Badavilinga Temple

Image Credit: Arun Varadaranjan for Wikimedia Commons

How can a trip to Hampi be complete without visiting the most famous Badavlinga Temple? ‘Badva’ means poor in the local language and Lingam represents Shiva. According to the legend, a poverty-stricken woman peasant commissioned the placement of this Shivalinga, hence the name of the temple. The linga has been carved out of a single boulder and it stands in a bed of water. This depicts the arrival of River Ganges on earth and that its flow is controlled by Lord Shiva.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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16. Ranganatha Temple

ranganatha temple

Image Credit: Michael Gunther for Wikimedia Commons

This Hampi temple is dedicated to the preserver of the universe, that is, Lord Vishnu which is why it is also famous as the Vishnu Temple. While exploring the insides of the temple, you will see several images of Vishnu resting on the snake Anantha. There are other pictures with his consorts and with Lord Brahma. As the insides are dimly lit, it is better to visit this temple in daylight. Moreover, the Chaturvimsati pillars of the temple are carved with 24 different forms of Lord Vishu.

Location: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

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How To Reach Hampi

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Hampi, as an important and popular historical location, is well connected by the Railways, Roadways, and Airways. The nearest town Hospet has located approximately 13 km from the Hampi historic site. It is the closest railway station to Hampi from where you can book a taxi or take a bus. Several buses ply from different routes to Hampi to connect it with all other locations.

The International Airport at Bengaluru metropolitan city is at a distance of 300 km from Hampi. However, one more airport namely, Belgaum Airport is a little closer at about 270 km. Since Bengaluru is a metropolitan city, it is well connected to all the major cities by air. You can take a bus or taxi for Hampi from even Bengaluru.

Hampi is well connected by road to the rest towns and cities of India. Buses and Taxis can readily be found to ferry you to the site in Hampi with ease.

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All Hampi temples have been preserved for centuries to retain the glory of the past. Considered a focus of historical study as a major tourist attraction besides its importance as a holy site, this area spreading over 26 square km conglomerating several old medieval ruins including ancient temples are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. For your vacation in Karnataka, do keep Hampi in your itinerary to ensure a memorable travel experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions Hampi Temples

Are Hampi temples exclusively meant for the believers of the Hindu religion?

Being the Hindu temples, they are holy to the Hindus who come and worship at this site but a large chunk of people following other faiths too arrive here. They explore the enchanting architectural richness of these medieval monuments as travelers and so do some of them worship here to showcase religious harmony.

When should I travel to Hampi?

Hampi can be traveled anytime throughout the year but it is better to avoid the summer season. September to April months is best suitable for a trip to Hampi.

What are the most popular temples of Hampi I must visit?

There are many temples in Hampi but the most famous ones include Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Monkey Temple and Achyuta Raja Temple which you must visit during a trip.

Is Hampi the birthplace of Hanuman?

There is a belief that Monkey Temple or popularly known as the Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple is the location where Hanuman took birth.

Can I join locals in Hampi to participate in their festivals?

The annual festivals like Vijaya Utsav in November and Purandara Festival in January/February and several others o local nature are worth exploring. They portray the cultural significance of the region. Tourists are encouraged to participate in them.

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Category: Hampi, Karnataka, Temples

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