Home   »   Art and Culture   »   Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha Temple Restoration Efforts by ASI

Context: A section of the pillars holding up the pavilion at Virupaksha temple collapsed recently following heavy rains.

Virupaksha Temple

  • Location: Hampi, Karnataka, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Known for its origins in the 7th century, the temple gained prominence during the Vijayanagara Empire (14th-17th centuries).
  • Built by: Lakkan Dandesha, a nayaka under the ruler Deva Raya II
  • Architectural Style: It is a prime example of Dravidian architecture, featuring grand gopurams (gateways), a shikhara above the sanctum sanctorum, intricate carvings, and sculptures depicting deities and mythological scenes.

Virupaksha Temple Restoration Efforts by ASI_4.1

  • Cultural Importance:
    • The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here as Virupaksha or Pampa pathi, the divine consort of the local deity Pampadevi, linked with the Tungabhadra River.
    • The temple was a centre for religious and cultural activities during the Vijayanagara Empire, serving not only as a spiritual hub but also a commercial centre where traders and devotees congregated.

Restoration Efforts by ASI

  • Scope: ASI manages 57 out of 95 nationally protected monuments at Hampi, with ongoing responsibilities for their maintenance and restoration.
  • Process:
    • Digital Documentation: All monuments were digitally documented before restoration.
    • Phases of Restoration: The restoration began in 2019 with the first phase completed in 2019-20 and the second in 2022-22. The pavilion was scheduled for future restoration but will now be prioritised.
    • Current Actions: Following the collapse, the entire pavilion will be dismantled for restoration.
  • A committee comprising senior archaeologists, conservationists, and engineers has been formed to assess damage and determine restoration needs.
  • The restoration of the pavilion is estimated to cost Rs 50 lakhs and take three to four months to complete.

Challenges in Restoration

  • Financial and Logistical: The restoration of historical monuments faces hurdles such as funding, logistics, and availability of skilled labour.
  • Material Specificity: Restoration requires the same type of stone originally used, adhering to traditional methods, which are time-consuming and resource-intensive.

Preservation Concerns

  • The constant use of the Virupaksha temple for worship has led to numerous additions and alterations, impacting its historical integrity.
  • Modern developments like shops, restaurants, and asphalting around the temple complex further compromise its setting.

Difference Between Nagara and Dravidian Style Temple Architecture

Feature Nagara Style Dravida Style
Region Northern and central regions of India. Southern regions of India.
Shape and Structure Curvilinear or conical shikhara, resembling a beehive, with multiple horizontal levels. Pyramidal shikhara with progressively smaller stories stacked one over the other, often creating a stepped pyramidal effect.
Mandapa Connected to the sanctum with a pillared hall that has a pyramidal or conical roof. Connected to the sanctum and has a flat-roofed assembly hall.
Pillars Usually square-shaped with plain or slightly decorated capitals. Often round or octagonal with more elaborate and intricately carved capitals.
Entrance Generally one main entrance with a porch leading to the sanctum. Multiple entrances, with the main entrance typically adorned with a monumental pyramidal tower or gopuram.
Sanctum (Garbhagriha) Square in shape and centrally located in the temple. Rectangular and usually positioned at the rear of the temple.
Examples Sun Temple in Konark, Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat, and the Osian Temple in Gujarat. Chennakesava Temple in Belur, Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu, Karnataka, and the Kesava Temple in Somanathapura, Karnataka.

Sharing is caring!

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *