Hampi in Karnataka is famous for the marvelous temples and architectural grandeur that has withstood the test of time with grace and pride. Even today if you visit the place, you will find rocks and remains of the grand Vijayanagara Empire. However, the crowning jewel of Hampi is the Virupaksha temple.
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The Virupaksha temple was built before 7th century AD on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. Every year in February, the temple witnesses a chariot festival of much grandeur.
The Virupaksha temple is often called the perfectly structured temple as it has two major architectural influences: North Indian Nagra style and Dravidian Vimana Shaili. It is said that this temple was influenced by none other than the Kailash Parvat which is considered to be the home of Lord Shiva.
On entering the temple there is a pillar (gopuram) that bears inscription on two languages. It tells the story of the Maharani Lokamahadevi.
One of the most striking features of this temple is the usage of mathematical concepts to build and decorate it. The temple has repeated patterns that demonstrate the concept of Fractals. The main shape of the temple is triangular. As you look up the temple top, the patterns divide and repeat themselves, just like you would see in a snowflake or some other natural wonders.
To imagine that in an age and time, when advanced computational technology was far beyond human grasp, the architects had created a structure that closely resembled the mathematical perfection of nature. Even more awe-inspiring is the fact that, not only are the fractals visible in the temple carvings and patterns, the temple layout and structure represents a complex square fractal too.
Inside the temple, there are many pillars that support this thousand-year-old architecture. Each pillar is decorated and hand-carved with stories that reflected the glory of the rulers and the society. Two particular pillars are very famous as they depict hand carved stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
The temple was built such that the Tungabhadra rivers used to flow along the terrace and then enter the kitchen where food was cooked for the Lord, thus enabling fresh water supply at all times.
The Virupaksha temple is about more than the history of the glorious Vijayanagar empire of 7th century Ad. It is a mathematical and scientific wonder that proves India’s advancement in those fields in those times. It is definitely a must see monument for all travel enthusiasts.
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