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Krishna Temple, Hampi

Krishna Temple Overview

The Krishna Temple is situated in Hampi, to the north of the image of Narasimha. It has an inscription of Krishnadeva Raya, dated AD 1513 recording that an image of Bala-Krishna, which he had brought from a temple in Udayagire, was enshrined in a mandapa in this temple. This large and ornate east-facing temple-complex is built in typical Vijayanagara style. A large open 'prakara' with tall walls contains the Svami and Amman sancta and many subshrines. The major sanctum-group contain the natural typical arrangement of an open 'maha-mandapa', a 'ardha-mandapa' and a covered 'prakara' running round the 'garbha-griha' and 'antarala'. One of the pillars in the 'ardha-mandapa' is noteworthy, as all the ten incarnations of Vishnu including the rare form of Kalki are carved on it. Kalki is depicted as a seated figure with a horse's head. The 'garbha-griha' and 'antarala' have an ornate and well-finished exterior with fine bas-reliefs. The sanctum is a three-storeyed 'vimana' with a circular 'sikhara', much dilapidated. The Amman shrine is to the northwest of the Svami Sanctum, and both have 'sala sikharas'. The Krishna temple is interesting for the numerous sub-shrines it contains. One of these in the south has many stucco figures of Subhramanya shrine in a Krishna temple is rather unique. The three gopuras of the temple-east, south and north are much dilapidated. The large east 'gopuram' has only a part of its superstructure existing. Its west face contains many fine stucco figures of warriors with shields and spirited horses and elephants. This probably represents a war-scene connected with the Orissan campaign of Krishnadeva Raya.

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