Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Monolithic Structure, Karnataka

Lakshmi Narasimha Statue, Hampi – A Magnificent Monolith!

What about another post from the land of ruins and rich history? I have always observed a thing that mostly all the flourished kingdom have a steep downfall with almost no trace of stories! One of them is Bhangarh Fort, the most haunted place in India, which I recently posted and the another one on my mind was the magnificent ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

I read about such places a lot and one fine day in 2015, me being a travelholic, made an instant plan to a road trip from Pune to Hampi! Yes, I am crazy! It is at a distance of around 550 KMs. I will continue the details in another post.   

Hampi, known for its archaeological significance, is an ancient village in the South India. It sprung up on the maps recently when NY Times ranked it second, among the 52 global destinations, on the must see places around the globe in 2019. As I mentioned in my Bhangarh Fort post, I am amazed by the ruins, old structures and mysterious history. Hampi has some of the giant monolith structures, monuments and beautiful temples like Virupaksha Temple, Vitthal Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Statue Temple, Hazara Rama Temple and more. Hampi was the capital then in 14th century.

Nanchi at Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Nanchi at Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

Today, this post is about one of the most imposing sculptures in Hampi – Lakshmi Narasimha Statue. Narasimha means half-man, half-lion. Located on the southern part of the Hemakunda Hills, Lakshmi Nararsimha Statue is the largest Monolith statue in Hampi. It was built in 1528 AD during the rule of Krishnadevaraya, one of the greatest ruler of Vijayanagar empire.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Monolithic Structure, Karnataka
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Monolithic Structure, Karnataka
Close-up of Lakshmi Narasimha Temple Face, Hampi, Karnataka
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple Face, Hampi, Karnataka

 WOW! When you see it; you feel it! It is so mesmerising that I could not stop myself from gazing it. I went into my virtual world of imagination as how was it made, the idea behind it’s creation and more. 

We reached the temple and luckily there was no one. We took photographs, sat for a while, admired the creation and nature around. The face of the Lakshmi Narasimha Statue was fierce while I can imagine how calm Lakshmi face would have been, if it was not destroyed in the battle. 

Lakshmi Narasimha Statue Face, Temple in Hampi, Karnataka
Lakshmi Narasimha Statue Face, Temple in Hampi, Karnataka
Information on ASI Board, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Information, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

The history of it can be summarized by the ASI Board.The Archaeological Survey of India board reads, “This magnificent monolithic Lakshmi Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu stands at a height of 6.7 mts. It is one of the finest examples of Vijayanagara sculptures. Narasimha is seated on the giant coils of Adishesha, the sacred guardian snake of Vishnu. It’s seven-hoods acting as a canopy arched by a Kirtimukha Torana in the front. 

The roof of the chamber enshrining the statue is missing which has lead to much weathering and damage to the monolithic sculpture.The four arms of the statue with it’s various attributes have been broken and the seated figure of his consort Lakshmi on his left lap is missing. The face too has been damaged which misled people into believing that it was the Ugranarsimha or Angered Narasimha. The presence of the right hand of the god’s embracing the lord at the back is proof of it being that of Lakshmi Narasimha.

The statue was consecrated by priest KrishnaBhatta at the behest of Krishnadevaraya in 1528 AD as per the lithic record nearby
.”

While looking at the monolith structure, I was wondering how creative and destructive a human mind can be at the same time.  

Statue of Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Statue of Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

29 thoughts on “Lakshmi Narasimha Statue, Hampi – A Magnificent Monolith!

  1. A lovely post yet again, Madam..!!
    You have beautifully described the Lakshmi Narasimha temple in great detail. Hampi is undoubtedly beautiful.. πŸ™‚
    There are a lot more temples and buildings to check out in Hampi. Did you check those out?
    Hampi undoubtedly is a treasure trove for archaeologists, historians and tourists alike. But sadly, it’s in the middle of nowhere with appalling lack of access facilities. A great deal of efforts are necessary to make tourists visit Hampi and see Indian Culture and History which extend way beyond the Taj Mahal.. Thank you for sharing.. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Abirbhav. I am glad you liked the post! 🌸 Hampi is beautiful. Yes, I checked all the temples and buildings which will be mentioned in my upcoming posts. I think the lack of development makes hampi what it is. Once the tourists start flocking, one can not get the essence of the place alike Taj Mahal. People will come only to click pictures. Right now, the real enthusiasts, historians, nature lovers, anyway visit Hampi because of their love for ruins. I won’t mind Hampi staying untouched. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, maybe you are right about the crowds part and the selfie happy tourists. As much cringeworthy that is, we must admit that a major part of our tourism related revenues come from them. Plus Hampi is a masterpiece of Indian History and Culture. Of course, there are places like Lothal (been there, check my blog), or Sinhagadh Fort or Konark Temple which will fascinate archaeologists and be devoid of crowds.
        Why I say so is because Hampi has a lot more to offer. But a place like Konark Temple has just one temple in that area.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. Hampi has so much to offer. I still feel the historical places have more importance than revenue. But I am not the one managing, so yeah let’s hope selfie happy tourist or crowds become more responsible and respect the culture. πŸ™‚ And not only in this area, I wish future should be responsible and sustainable tourism. What say?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are very much right Madam.. The selfie happy tourists are quite cringeworthy and crowd around almost anything in a popular tourist destination. Responsibility grows from within, which sadly, takes a hell lot of time. Hence, the need of legislation arises.
        Hampi though suffers from an opposite effect called “undertourism”. This is not bad for tourists, but bad for India as people will not know that there exist places like Hampi and one can go see that instead of crowding around Taj Mahal.
        Have written a couple of articles touching upon the menace of over tourism. And I personally try to make plans to save my trips from the menace of overtourism. Do check those out and let me know about your expert opinions?

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  2. My daughter visited Hampi this February and came back with wonderful stories about how mesmerising this place is . Your photograph is stunning ! It makes me want to visit right away!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Hampi is a wonderful place. Even after visiting once, I want to visit once more. I will be posting my experiences from Hampi in upcoming posts. Stay tuned and thank you for dropping by Unishta! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very informative post once again, Nanchi.

    You never disappoint me with your wonderful pictures and way of describing things. And yes, I can understand why do you call yourself crazy when it comes to travelling. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this temple is in Hampi and that is also one of my favourite places. Do visit whenever you get a chance! πŸ™‚ Thank you for dropping by, Arv! πŸ™‚ What is your routine during lockdown?

      Like

      1. Same here. Balancing between family time, household work and travel posts. It is just the 4th day of lockdown and feels like eternity. πŸ˜› So, thinking of using it creatively and write long pending posts….:)

        Liked by 1 person

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