Restoring the glory of Virupaksha temple

At long last...

Rejuvenation: Virupaksha temple at Virupakshi village in Mulbagal taluk. DH photo

The Department of Archaeology has undertaken renovation at a cost of Rs 50 lakh at the temple that dates back to the period of the glorious Vijayanagara period.

The dilapidated walls of the compound and the stone walls are being restored. A yatri nivas will be built on a site measuring 100:120 ft in front of the temple.

The temple was built by chieftain Lakkana Dandesha of Muluvai province under the rule Devaraya II of Vijayanagar dynasty. With the Dravida style of architecture, it has three entrances with an ornate facade in the main entrance.

It is the second only temple in the State, after Mahabhaleshwar temple in Gokarna, to have two idols of shiva - one is believed to be worshipped by Atri Maharshi, and ‘atma linga’ which is believed to be offered by Lord Shiva himself.

On its north-east side, temple for Parvati has been built and another is of four-armed Durgi seated on a lion.

Besides, vasantotsava and kalyana mantapa, heroic and ‘mahasati’ stones are also found in the temple. The Indian step-well in the shape of a clock on the right side of the temple is another attraction.

Inscriptions

An inscription dated 1481 BC is found on the base of the second shrine of the temple.

The inscription provides details of an officer under Devaraya’s rule, Heggadedeva belonging to ‘Vishnu’ gotra having contributed to construction of the temples, compound, a gold ‘kalasa’, ‘pushkarani’, ‘agrahara mantapa’, and a mutt for devotees.

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