Virupaksha is a fierce form of Shiva. As per Hindu scriptures, Shiva took the Virupaksha form after the death of Mata Sati at Daksha Yajna. The death of Sati, produced inconceivable pain in Shiva – pangs of separation and loneliness. The pain soon gave way to unimaginable anger.
Soon fire emanated from his eyes. Anger turned Shiva into Virupaksha, the savage malignant eyed one.
Virupaksha was the family deity of Vijayanagara’s first dynasty. He was worshipped for peace, prosperity and for success in wars.
Prasanna Virupaksha (a kind and benevolent form) was also worshipped in the Vijayanagara kingdom.
The most famous temple dedicated to Virupaksha form of Shiva is located at Hampi near the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka.
Virupaksha Vrat is observed in Paush month in some regions for early cure from diseases.