Purandaradasa's earthly abode

Purandaradasa's earthly abode

Adjacent to the famous Vijaya Vitthala Temple in Hampi, along the Tungabhadra River, is the abode of Purandaradasa, one of the pioneers of Bhakti Movement in
Karnataka.

It is believed that the prominent composer gave up all his wealth in 1525, when he was 40 years old. He travelled the entire Vijayanagara empire,

composing songs in praise of the Lord. His well-versed devotional compositions had earned him accolades and the respect of the people as well as the king.

He spent his last years in this mantapa dedicated to him by King Krishna-
devaraya, until his death in 1564. While the saint was in the capital, he used to sing at Krishnadevaraya’s durbar. He also sang every evening on a platform meant for concerts, in the Vittala Temple

premises, along with other musicians.
 It is believed that Purandaradasa’s songs mocked the king’s administrative faults but Krishnadevaraya, a loyal

devotee, showered gifts on the saint for his words of wisdom and appreciated him for guiding him in the right path!
The words ‘Sri Purandaradasara

Mantapa’ have been chiseled, in Kannada, on a stone at the entrance. Inside the
mantapa, on one of the stone pillars, the image of the saint playing tamburi (a string instrument) has been carved.

Devotees worship the saint at the pillar by performing puja. The structure is
situated in a low-lying region; when the river swells, water enters into the
mantapa.

The mantapa has a ceiling supported by stone pillars. Most of the structures in Hampi are left with only pillars and roofs. The walls, supposedly made of wood, have been deteriorating over the centuries. An open frontyard is laid out before the mantapa with a stone dais. On the centre of the roof stands a small prism-shaped, stepped vimana with a flag hoisted atop.

Keeping aside the history, the mantapa is a cool and serene place to relax. Seated on the stone floor, facing the river, the
visitors can dip their feet in the cold

flowing waters. The view of the hillocks and boulders across the river and the
ruins of a 15-16th century bridge make for a rare and scenic sight. The stone
pillars of the bridge stand robustly even today, making one wonder about the
technological advances of the time.
The mantapa is located less than a

kilometre away from the Vitthala Temple. The temple can be reached by foot or by electric cars. Other vehicles are not
allowed here as their emissions have been causing deterioration of the structures.
Maya B

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