Hampi - Hazara Rama Temple (Ballari - Karnataka)

My next stop from Zenana Enclosure, was Hazara Rama Temple and it rendered me speechless the moment I saw it!!! Even before I went in, the sculptural beauty was just mesmerizing! 
The entire outer wall is filled with 5 rows of sculptures depicting the various warriors including soldiers on elephants, on horses, soldiers on foot etc as well as dancers, musicians and Krishna Leela etc.

The Sanctum Sanctorum is closed today! I was informed that it has 3 empty slots on a pedestal which should have been Rama, Lakshmana and Sita! Like most of the temples in Hampi, this too was vandalized and sanctum sanctorum defaced in 1565 after Deccan Muslim confederacy. Since the sanctum sanctorum is empty, the temple is not under worship, wearing footwear is allowed in here!

In the Ardha Mandapa, are 4 pillars made of black stone filled with intricate relief sculptures on all sides in 3 levels including Lakshmi Hayagriva, Kalki, Rama Lakshmana Sita, Vinayaka, Hanuman etc. Most of these relief sculptures also have their faces destroyed!


Just outside, on the outer circumambulation passage, on the outer walls of the ardhamandapa, are where the icing on the cake rests – Ramayana panels, tons of them!!!! It begins at Putrakameshi Yaga, Dasaratha giving the holy food to his 3 wives, Ahalya moksha (Agalikai moksham), Rama breaking the bow during swayamvara, the fight between Vaali & Sugreva, Rama’s arrow passing through 7 oak trees to attack Vaali, Maarisan the deer appearing to Sita, the fight between Rama & Maarisa, Hanuman wrapping his tail to form a seat taller than Ravana, Sita in Ashokavana, Hanuman meeting Sita in Ashokavana, and war between Rama and Ravana and many more!
There are 4 panels just dedicated to the Shravan episode, which essentially is the beginning or the root cause for the entire Ramayana to happen! There are also some other reliefs including an infant Krishna, Kaliyamardhan (Kalinga Nardhanam), Nandagopala, Yoga Narasimha, Gajendra Moksham etc. 
There are some inscriptions as well. The earliest inscription is a Sanskrit verse that says it was built by Devaraya, but it is not clear which of 2 Devaraya is it, but mostly assumed as Devaraya II who ruled from 1422-46 CE.

There is a separate shrine for the Devi (Amman) and that too has some scenes of Ramayan on its outer wall. The goshtam (smaller shrines on the outer wall) on both are empty. The Kumba Panjaram (vessel shaped divisional pillars on wall) is very ornate and fluted as well! Notice the tiny bootha gana in the tiny space lifting the upper section of the Kumba Panjaram?!!! There is a bottom frieze of miniatures in the Devi Shrine’s outer wall depicting both dancers & Gods!
There is a separate Kalyana Mandapa (which is almost crumbling, but kept intact somehow by ASI) whose inner walls are again filled with the same panels of Ramayana. The Pushpa Podhigai (floral bud shaped detailing on corbels atop pillars) is more intact here than the Ardha Mandapa. 

Some special scenes here that was missing there include 3 people carrying Lord Siva’s super heavy bow for Sita’s swayamvara (which Rama eventually breaks into 2 singlehandedly trying the knot it and wins Sita’s hand!), Lakshmana wounded and laying on Rama’s lap in the war (which eventually leads Hanuman to carry the entire Sanjeevani mountain and fly back), Oarsman Guhan riding a boat with Rama, Sita & Lakshmana etc!


To Get There:

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

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

36 comments:

  1. I really like the wall with the sculptures of the soldiers on elephants and the dancers and musicians. I love how intricate the carvings are. However, I am sad that some of the temples have been vandalized and some of the sculptures' faces have been destroyed. I wish that people took more care of these artworks, preserved them, and respected them. Nevertheless, I think everything is still beautiful and captivating!

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  2. I wish I knew more about the stories because I think this place is really interesting and full of history. It looks beautiful though and the carvings are gorgeous. It's just a shame that it's been vandalized. :(

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  3. The details of the Hazara Rama Temple are amazing, a lot of handwork in the old days. It is amazing how the story of Ramayana is translated in stone. This building looks very intact compared to other temples in the world.

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  4. I can't believe how well preserved these etchings are! I'm also pretty impressed by your vocabulary. I had no idea what a frieze is...

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  5. Nice to read about the temple. Beautiful pics.

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  6. Sculptures and walls like these, with intricate designs on them absolutely fascinate me. Especially the really really old ones, it's hard to imagine how they were created in the past with so few tools and equipment compared to today. This looks like a wonderful place to photograph and is so full of information! seems like you had the whole place to yourself too which is always a plus!

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  7. I have visited Hampi a couple of times but somehow missed exploring the Hazara Rama temple. It really enrages me how the beautiful structures have been vandalized but then there is nothing we can do about it than to imagine how majestic these monuments would have been in their heydays. Loved the virtual tour of the temple.

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  8. I never quit seeing the endless posts about India and just like this one they are all about places I never have been made aware of. I bookmark all of them and yours as well for the next trip I make there. The panels are amazing and I loved the photo of the black stone reliefs. The only sad thing is the fact that so many places like this have been the target of vandals. Thanks for another spot to put on my India list.

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  9. Such amazing detail in the carvings. Can you imagine the hours of workmanship that went into creating them? Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.

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  10. Everyone seems to be going to Hampi...I seem like the only one who has missed out on such a lovely place! I guess will be too hot to go there in the summer months, but in October for sure ! I just got back from Modhera in Gujarat and the carvings look so similar...they are so intricate...hats off to the artisans!

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  11. That's so impressive, I love the ancient temples and always wonder how this attention to detail was accomplished in the times without electricity and modern technology... Is there anyway of knowing what the Sanskrit inscription says? Would love to know...

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  12. Hampi is like a huge bucket list. We have to go back to visit it. The old monuments and all are irresistible! Amazing pictures!

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  13. It's so sad about the defacing of the sculptures. They are so beautiful and detailed. Just imagine the time it took for them to handcraft every little element.

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  14. Based from your posts that I've read, I just realized that Hampi has a lot of historical places. The temple looks amazing! The details and the decors are intricately done. :-)

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  15. I would be speechless too if I had seen it. The embossed details on the wall is amazing. It is a true work of art plus the fact that they had extreme uniformity in detail just leaves me in awe!

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  16. Wow this is so interesting! I love history and wall scriptures and sculptures always intrique me so much especially incredibly intricate ones like these. Its crazy to think these were made in days way before technology yet they are so perfect.

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  17. That is truly stunning. I love the elephant carvings, so intricate and detailed. It's amazing to think how long structures like this have survived, clearly built to last and thank goodness it was!

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  18. Too bad Sanctum Sanctorum was closed! But I still think that you're still lucky to be able to visit and see historical places like this. I hope they'll be able to preserve this temple for a very long time.

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  19. India seems to have so much to offer in the historical aspect! Those columns don't look too sturdy haha.

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  20. Another beautiful and historic building from Hampi. This place seems to be a very interesting and rich destination to consider when planning a trip to India.

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  21. There's so many stories written on their wall. It really show how rich the heritage is at the temple.

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  22. The Hazara Rama Temple reminded me of the temple I saw in Pattaya. The carvings was gorgeous and memorable. Your photos don't do justice because it must be really detailed if observed up close~

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  23. This is so cool! The carvings are incredible. I would love to see them in person some day

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  24. I also love the detailed carvings on the wall. Just amazing, considering the tools they had at their disposal way back!

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  25. What intriguing history! I loved the intricacy of the carvings. I personally like to think about what it was like to watch someone etching those and how long it must have took each day!

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  26. These are so amazing. The details of the carvings is just beautiful. I cannot imagine the hardwork and creativity that would have gone to get this output.

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  27. You know I always find these carvings on the pillar and especially on their gates very fascinating. Their work depicts so much about the ancient time.

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  28. Wow!! I love how detailed every element is. The carvings are so intricate!

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  29. What a beautiful carvings and those sculptors look magnificent! Hazara Rama Temple gives a perfect vibes of the ancient Indian architecture!

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  30. Visiting temples always never failed to amaze me. The sculptures are impressive!

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  31. What an interesting place to visit! I'm particularly drawn to the outer wall and the Sanctum Sanctorum - love the intricate details. Truly masterful works of art!

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  32. This is really an amazing place! Especially the hotels, Good ambience, spacious and neat clean rooms. Courteous staff. Good variety in Buffett bf. Separate veg restaurant with separate kitchen.

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  33. It's too bad that some of the sculptures have been defaced but they don't look too bad considering how ancient they are. It's cool how you can follow the history and all the conflicts through time looking at the carvings.

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  34. There is so much detail on those 5 walls, I really appreciate the time and effort someone has put into that! I wonder what has happened to the guys who sculpted it all? Great pictures as always!

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  35. India gets more fascinating the more I read. I only got to explore Rajesthan when I went for 3 weeks and clearly that isn't nearly enough time. I love the ornate elephant carvings and find the temples just incredible telling their own stories through the walls. Beautiful.

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  36. I just love this and always marvel at the beauty and creativity of the architecture. Would be a not only amazing place to visit but lots to learn too

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