Photo Diary of Vitthala Temple

One of the most spectacular monuments in Hampi is the Vitthala temple complex. It is the largest and stands out. I have visited Vitthala temple twice and both the times I have found new things to see and explore. Vitthala temple is surely a must visit when in Hampi. In this post, I would like to showcase some of the most beautiful photographic points in the Vitthala temple complex.

Did you know that the Group of monuments in Hampi is declared as one of the UNESCO sites in India?

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About Vitthala Temple

The Vitthala temple is one of the largest temples of Vijayanagara Empire, built under the patronage of Devaraya II during the 15th century and substantial portions of the structures were added during the Krishnadevaraya’s reign. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Vitthala, the Vitthala temple is also called as Vijaya Vitthala Temple. Famous for its Shone Chariot and Musical Pillars, the Vitthala temple is located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River.

Vitthala Temple complex
Panoramic views of Vitthala Temple complex

According to legend, the Vitthala temple was originally built for Vitthala but when the complex was completed, he found the complex to be very grand for him and hence chose to return to his simple home in Pandharpura.

Architecture of Vitthala Temple

The Vitthala temple complex is the finest example of the Dravidian architecture style. Every corner and pillar is decorated in the complex. The main temple is in a large rectangular complex. Unfortunately, the temple complex has been damaged by the Mughal emperors in 1565.

The main highlights of the complex are the stone chariot and the musical pillars. The pillars have some of the fine carvings of mystical and mythological creatures.

Entrance of Vitthala Temple
Entrance of Vitthala Temple

Photo Diary of Vitthala temple

The Stone Chariot

Dedicated to Lord Garuda, the Stone Chariot is built in Dravidian style and has carvings depicting mythological battle scenes. It is believed that the King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara Empire was impressed with the Sun temple of Konark and wanted to create something similar in Hampi and hence ordered to build the Stone Chariot.

  • The Stone Chariot is printed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on INR 50 note.

The Musical Pillars

One of the most famous structures in Vitthala temple complex are these amazing musical pillars. There are 56 musical pillars and each pillar is 3.6 metres in height. These pillars are designed as musical instruments and every pillar has seven minor pillars that make sounds of music.

Every sound coming out of these pillars varies in sound quality and noise when tapped gently with a thumb. Sa, Re, Ga, Ma are the four musical note from Indian classical music and the others being Pa, Da, and Ni.

  • Unfortunately, this section of the complex is closed for public as people have tried to destroy the pillars trying to play music from these pillars.
The musical pillars at Vitthala temple
The musical pillars

Vitthala bazaar

The Vitthala bazaar is the market that was used at that time to set up local markets and is right in front of the Vitthala temple. It is believed that the vendors at the markets used to sell precious gems and jewels. The ruins of the bazaar are still intact and one can see the pillars and platforms.

Vitthala bazaar at Vitthala temple
Vitthala bazaar

Yali, mythological creature

Yali is a mythical creature portrayed as part lion, part elephant and part horse. Also known as Vyalas, Yalis are supposed to be protectors of the temple and the tiny humans showcase that they have to fight the mighty forces of nature.

Old tree

There is an old temple in the complex that is said to be around 500 years old. The old tree provides a dramatic effect and makes for a very good photograph.

Old Tree in Vitthala Temple

Sculptures

The temple has spectacular carvings and sculptures. Each sculpture is so detailed and beautifully made. The sculptures includes many mythological characters, scenes and representations from religious stories.

Vitthala Temple
One of the Sculptures

Visitor Information

  • Timings: The temple is open between 8:30 AM and 5 PM every day.
  • Admission fee: INR 40 for three monuments (Vitthala temple, Archaeological museum and Lotus temple) for Indian nationals.
  • The Vitthala temple complex is of religious significance and hence dress appropriately and respect the locals.
  • The distance between entrance of the Vitthala temple and the gate is around 1 kilometre, and there are carts that pick and drop visitors for INR 20. The amazing thing was these carts are managed and driven only by women. That is surely pretty cool.
Carts at Vitthala temple

Guide details

I hired a government affiliated guide in Vitthala temple and he was really very good. He was knowledgeable and decent. And he took some of the best pictures in the complex.

  • Name of the guide: Rajesh.
  • Contact number: +91 94816 09329.
  • Cost: Around INR 500.

Ensure to check for their government identification cards before hiring the guide.

Guide at Vitthala Temple
Guide Rajesh

How to get to Vitthala temple?

The best way to travel in Hampi is by an auto rickshaw. Even though not so economical, the easiest way to travel is by hiring the autos.

  • One can hire a motor bike too from just one place.
  • Note that only yellow board vehicles are allowed inside Hampi.

Auto driver details

I met so many auto drivers who were very good and safe. Below is the auto driver whom I traveled with for all the days I was in Hampi.

  • Auto driver name: Anil Kumar.
  • Contact number: +91 93808 74964.
  • Auto cost me around INR 1200 per day.
Auto driver in Hampi
Auto driver in Hampi

Closing Notes

The Vitthala temple is one of the most beautiful temples I have ever seen. It is a place to be if you are a history and architecture buff as there are plenty of structures and sculptures that have remarkable craftsmanship.

Have you been to Vitthala temple? Which structure was your favourite? Let me know in the comments section below.

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PIN for later reference - Photo Diary of Vitthala Temple
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