Hampi chronicles: Hemakuta Hill – the Granite abode of Gods ๐ŸŒ…

We are on a trail covering the sacred centre of Vijayanagar and after starting with the Virupaksha temple ๐Ÿ‘‰Hampi chronicles: Charmed by the colonettes at Virupaksha temple ๐Ÿ›•, the next destination is the Hemakuta hill situated right next to and above the Virupaksha temple complex.

The entrance to the temples on the Hemakuta hill is a huge quadrilateral structure with a tall doorway, seen above

The entrance to the Hemakuta hill is a majestic quadrilateral structure with a tall doorway, opening from the east. From the Hemakuta hill, you can see the hills of boulders and the green river bank framing the city of Vijayanagar.

Situated on the Hemakuta hill are small temple structures, none of them are being used for worship, but what is significant about them is that they date back to pre-Vijayanagar period. There are about 30 temples like structures; for some structures, it’s just the pillars, while others have the pillars and a roof that are still standing and still few retain their whole.

Rows of shrines on the Hemakuta hill in Hampi

The temples are made wholly of granite, the base, walls pillars and even the ceiling. And amidst these old temples, there is an interesting find or rather reading displayed. There are records here of temple built by Kampila kings who ruled from the northern bank of the Tungabhadra in the 14th century and from where the story of Hakka and Bukka, the founders of the Vijayanagar empire begin ๐Ÿ‘‰Hampi chronicles: The curse that saved a temple โš”๏ธ.

The temples are made wholly of granite, the base, walls pillars and even the ceiling – on Hemakuta hill, Hampi
Inside one of the temples, granite pillars and granite roof

Further up the Hemakuta hill is marked a sunset point.

It’s scorching hot to walk on the granite hill
The view west from Hemakuta hill – more ruins visible, boulders strewn about, greenery beyond

Stepping out from the Hemakuta hill, a path along the side leads to a pillared structure which houses a monumental statue of Ganesha. It’s a huge monolith (the pic does not justify it’s size), it’s sitting in this calm and dark sanctuary and there is even space around it for circumambulation. The sculpture is a spectacular work of art !! It’s called Kadalekalu (gram) Ganesha. The trunk of Ganesha reached out to nuzzle a rice cake held in the right hand. It’s a peaceful place.

Kadalekalu (gram) Ganesha in Hampi
A carving of Anjaneya (Hanuman) with one arm raised in defiance at the Kadalekalu (gram) Ganesha pavilion

It’s not just the monolith that you begin to admire, all the pillars of the structure have beautiful carvings and in good condition.

Leaving you with some pics of the sculptures seen on the pillars of Ganesha’s pavilion.

Till next post, take care !!

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