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Hemakuta Hill In Hampi

Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagara empire of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries AD. Hemakuta contains some of the early temples built by Vijayanagara rulers. It is dotted with many smaller temples with special features.

All the temples on Hemakuta hill have trikuta (three peaks), three vestibules, a common navaranga (mandapa) and an entrance porch. They are built of granite and do not exhibit any sculptural embellishment except a band of floral designs.

Navaranga has deva koshas (niches for gods), which are now empty but once contained images of gods and goddesses before the Muslim onslaught on Hampi. The center of the Navaranga has four pillars on a platform. The entrance porch is half open and contains kaksasana, stone benches, with small pillars. The most interesting part of these temples is the Shikhara, which belongs to Kadamba – Nagara style with stepped pyramidal variety. The sanctums are now empty.

One of the temples was built by Kampiladeva in 1325 AD, who installed three lingas in memory of his mother Marakiti, his father Mummadi Singeya Nayaka and Perundi Nayaka.

A little away from these temples are two temples, known as Prasanna Virupaksha and Prasanna Anjaneya, and many rock cut lingas. True to its name, the Hemakuta hill has Shiva temples and Shiva Lingas bearing close resemblance to the temple of Kalyana Chalukyas. Thus they provide an early base for the later temples of Vijayanagara. The fine Kadamba Nagara Shikharas of these temples make Hemakuta a unique place.

Jadeya Shankara Temple in the south is mentioned by poet Harihara. Queen Bukkayavve (of Harihara II) donated a lamp post to this temple in 1397 AD.