Hampi exploration is always tiring, even for the fittest. So, get some energy booster, and get ready to explore the ancient temples of Hemakuta Hill in Hampi!
Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the history and mythology of Hemakuta Hill. Legend has it that Lord Shiva performed penance on this very hill before marrying a local girl named Pampa or Parvati. His devotion pleased the gods, and it rained gold on the hill, hence the name Hemakuta, meaning “golden hill” in Sanskrit.
But that’s not all! Hemakuta Hill is also where Lord Shiva burned Kama, the God of lust, for distracting him from his penance. Kama’s wife pleaded with Shiva for her husband’s life, and he relented, but only in character, not as a physical being. So, Hemakuta Hill became a deeply revered place for Lord Shiva, and many temples were built on the hill to worship him.
The architecture of the temples is quite distinct from the typical Vijayanagara style found in many other temples in Hampi, with their compact triple chambered structures and pyramid-like roofs made from granite. You might mistake them for Jain temples, but they’re not! The outer walls are almost plain, except for the horizontal chain of floral motifs that provide some ornamentation.
There are over 35 temples on the Hemakuta Hill, with the largest and most elaborately decorated ones situated on the northern side. You can also find the ancient Virupaksha Temple, also known as the Mula Virupaksha Temple, which represents a style of architecture that was popular before the Vijayanagara style came into being. And there’s even a small pond in the courtyard of the temple!
Now, let’s talk about the present condition of the temples. Some are in total ruins, while some are in better condition. But fear not, the Archaeological Survey of India is working on renovating these temples to bring back their lost glory. Despite their condition, the Hemakuta group of temples remain one of the major attractions in Hampi.
So, there you have it – a brief journey through time and history at the Hemakuta group of temples in Hampi. Don’t miss out on this fascinating and peaceful spot on the hilltop, where you can connect with ancient mythology and admire the beauty of these temples.