File:15th-16th century Vitthala temple exterior view, Hampi Hindu monuments Karnataka.jpg
English: Vitthala temple complex is one of many quarters of the Vijayanagara Empire's old capital of Hampi. It consists of a shrine complex with an entrance gopurum, a major market with broad road and various water tanks and shrines along the way. This was a major Vaishnavism temple, with stone chariot shaped Garuda (Vishnu's vahana) shrine facing the main temple mandapa and grabha ghriya. The mandapa and the temple are all squares, wherein the main mandapa forms a star with overlaid squares.
In all four directions there are minor shrines, with pillared halls. The main and smaller shrines include Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism images. Mini reliefs show legends from Hindu texts such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Some reliefs show Kama scenes, others Artha and daily life of people doing yoga, dance, playing music, playing with babies, making meals, etc. Some panels are devoted to Alvar saints and to the Hindu philosopher Ramanuja. A trilingual stone inscription dated 1516 is in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. One of the minor shrines features 100 pillars.
The Vitthala temple complex, acccording to George Michell, shows evidence of systematic attempts at its destruction using fire and animal powered smashing.
Hampi ruins and monuments date to pre-17th century period of South Indian history, particularly those related to the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire era (14th-16th centuries). The site consists of numerous ruins and temples over a large area, the most visited and studied are those located near the Tungabhadra river.The town derives its name from the Pampa Devi Hindu mythology in Sanskrit, with Pampa morphing into Hampa in Kannada, then Hampi. The city served as capital of the Vijayanagara rulers, was pillaged, ruined and abandoned after Muslim armies of a Sultanate coalition attacked and defeated it. In the modern era, it serves as an archaeological site and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
|Author||Ms Sarah Welch|
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