Hampi - Achyuta Raya & Varaha Temple (Ballari - Karntaka)

Just opposite to Virupaksha Temple, a small hike beside the monolith Nandi, takes you to a point from where the top view of Achyuta Raya Temple is visible! Its just spectacular bordered by the hills behind it and the coconut trees around it! As the name denotes, it was built during the reign on Achyuta Raya (1530-42) who was the younger brother and successor of Krishna Deva Raya. 

Like all other temples in Hampi, this too is devastated and slippers can be worn within the premises! The deity inside must have been of Thiruvengalanatha according to the inscriptions here and its a north facing sanctum sanctorum. 

Unlike the temples of Tamil Nadu, here almost all the temples had their Gopuram built of bricks than granite which must have been easier to destroy. 
On either sides, along the walls are 2 roofed corridors! However in several places the roof is gone! The pillars, however, are just impeccable! It did remind me of Kanchi Kailasanatha temple's Simha thoon (lion pillars). Esp the complexity of carving out a section in a pillar that makes 1 pillar look like 2 is just awesome! Yes, each and every pillar is 1 piece of granite from its base to the roof. 

The much more complicated Simha Thoon in which the lion was in the size of the pillar itself, in the Maha Mandapa just reminded me too much of the Pallavas! Ofcourse, Kanchipuram also came under the Vijayanagara empire and inspiration could have been taken from here!
In front of it is the Achyuta Raya bazaar which is called today as the Courtesan's Street or Soolai Bazaar! At the end of it, is the Varaha Temple which I didn't get in. Though its called Varaha (a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu) Temple, it was most probably a Siva Temple according to ASI.

At the entrance of Varaha Temple, on the walls of either sides are the Kodippen (the girl holding the creeper plant!). But what caught my attention all the more was the wild boar with the inverted sword on both sides. That's the logo of Vijayanagara empire!!! Remember spotting it at Unamancheri temple?!!!

My complete (all posts of) Hampi Travelogue: Zenana Enclosure, Hazara Rama Temple, Royal Enclosure, Achyuta Raya & Varaha Temples, Virupaksha Temple, Vittala Temple, Monolith Sculptures, Riverside ruins, Malyavanta Hills & other temples, Anegundi Pre-Historic Rock Art, Discoveries & Musings 


To Get There:
From Bangalore: 343km via NH48 & NH50
From Hyderabad: 373km via NH44
From Goa: 316km via NH67
From Pattadakkal (another UNESCO site): 135km via NH50
From Orange County Resort: 9km
Map of all important sites: hampi.in


These sites are covered in The Tungabhadra Trek organized as a guided tour by Orange County Resort.
Each trail costs Rs.1000/- per head as a group.
If you want it exclusive just for you it costs Rs.4000/- for 2 trails (+ Rs.1000/- incl vehicle).
If you want a guide for yourself for the whole day it costs Rs.8000/-

Otherwise, KSTDC certified guides (they carry an ID card mentioning the same) can be hired at the Tourism Office or Ticket Office located in the premises of Virupaksha Temple, Sasivekalu Ganesha and Vittala Temple. The prices are Rs.1200 for 2-3hrs and Rs.1700 for 5-6hrs for upto 3 persons. For a larger group, the price would be higher. Also they are highly adaptable to your requirements / interest area etc and they could also meet you at your hotel and begin from there!
Ph no: of Prakash, one of the certified guides: +91 94820 61626

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

33 comments:

  1. This place looks very nice. And it's surrounded by beautiful nature and views. Perfect! Would love to visit it someday.

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  2. I vow to God almighty that I shall visit this hauntingly beautiful place one day. I have become so sick of the graves and tombs of Delhi, really...

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  3. I've never heard of this place before but it looks Amazing!! Thank you for writing this post :)

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  4. wow those temples are one of the most beautiful I ever seen! I would love to visit it one day! I have never heard about that place before so I am really glad I found this post !

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  5. Those temples are simply amazing. I honestly had never heard of these places before, so I'm so glad for your post - I've added some knowledge and some more "must visit" places to my list - thank you!

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  6. Hampi has a mystical aura. Till few years ago, not many Indians or foreigners knew about it. I am glad, thanks to writers and photographers such as you, it is now in limelight. It’s an incredible place. Its sheer beauty silenced me for hours.

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  7. This looks like a great site to visit. I love to visit old temples and its always great to be able to see the detail that is still there. Maybe I will be able to visit when I finally get to India.

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  8. I am really sad I didn't get a chance to visit Hampi when I was in India. We were staying in Bangalore and got really sick so we had to change our plans. I definitely wanted to see these sights! Thanks for giving different options regarding how to get there.

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  9. Thank you for writing about Hampi! I've never heard of this place before, but I'm astounded by how intricate the carvings on the pillars are. The lion -- wow! I love visiting temples whenever I travel, so I will definitely add this to my India itinerary. PS: Your pictures are wonderful!

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  10. There are so many places you can go in Hampi and keep your shoes on, that makes it so easy! Again I am impressed with the architecture at Hampi, you must have made so many shots here! Hampi must be huge, how many days do you recommend here?

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  11. The carvings in stone from the temples are so perfect, it makes you wonder how talented the builders were and how much time they've spent on each piece. It's a shame that the temples are in such a bad shape but it's good that they are protected by making visitors take their shoes off when stepping inside. Hampi looks such a peaceful place to visit.

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  12. The carvings are truly amazing. Must have taken a long time to do though!

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  13. These temples looks so beautiful. Lovely pictures you shared. Thanks for sharing it.

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  14. These temples look so beautiful! I've heard amazing things about this area actually, and this just makes me want to go even more. Can't wait to go one day!

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  15. Hampi is truly stunning and you have taken me back in time

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  16. This looks very similar to the ruins of Ayutthaya in Thailand. I bet this has a long, rich history that tells so much about India and the people.

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  17. I love heritage attractions like this. It would be nice to see the temples up close and appreciate the stories behind the walls.

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  18. Hampi seems like such an impressive destination. I've enjoyed reading all your posts on the subject. There's just something so dramatic about those ancient and crumbling ruins. They really take one back in time, don't they?

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  19. Hampi had been in my mind for long. Thanks for the wonderful guide.

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  20. Another beautiful ancient building in Hampi. If you are tempting us to go visit there, it is definitely working!

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  21. Another impressive archaeological site! I love these ancient towns, and you have a lot of info - I visited India but it makes me sad to know how many temples I missed. At least I'll know what to see next time :)

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  22. The ornate architecture of the temples is certainly striking! Love finding ancient towns in my travels.

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  23. Very beautiful temple, and the details on the stone are just incredible! I love archaeological sites, and your explanation on the history of this place was very informative. Thanks for the great post!

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  24. Those pillars in the temple are just so lovely. Your travelogues about Hampi are making me want to head there right now. As it is I am in love with the place.

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  25. Hampi has been eluding me since what I can say "eons". What a fabulous place! and such stunning pictures! I am a big fan of Indian temple architecture, so this is a definite must visit :)

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  26. I've visited this place before and I was in awe of the granite slab pillars with the intricate carvings on them. Such a piece of amazing art. One of the many stunning historical sites in Hampi

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  27. Seems like alot of temples in Asia look similar. I have seen temples in Cambodia and Bali that look similar to these. Its great that the architecture is consistent. I like temples and the art and detail of this is truely fanscinating

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  28. What an amazing views, surrounded by the hills and the temple, and the temple its self is incredible - still so intricate and detailed after years of damage. It must have been amazing to see up close!

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  29. I am truly glad I got to read this, really wanna jump now to see this temples. It is actually my first time to hear this place and I got fascinated especially the photos! Must check schedule now.

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  30. Would it be possible for you to create a panorama photo to showcase the grandeur of the temple? You are right in saying how run-down and neglected this temple looked! I wonder if anyone wants to do filming here, who should they ask?

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  31. These photos gave me goosebumps! When I visit such ruins / half-ruins, I often wonder how the people in that glorious time would be...How must be their lives and so on...Who knows even we were one of them...

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  32. Off late I am seeing lot of people visiting Hampi. Guess it's becoming really popular. You covered all the important points with relevant pictures. It's good to know that there are KSTDC certified guides available. I would love to hike around the temple.

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  33. I love your photos and information about this beautiful place. It always amazes me that in ancient times they had sophisticated building skills.

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