Located in the Royal Centre, the superbly decorated walls of the Haza Rama Temple (also known as Ramachandra Temple) make it one of Hampi’s most impressive monuments. I would recommend making this temple one of your last visits on any itinerary you may have, it’s a great way to finish what will surely be a memorable few days for you in Hampi.
Make sure you walk around the outer walls of the compound, the carvings are simply amazing and the state of preservation here is probably the best you will see. Encircling the temple are processions of elephants, horses, soldiers, dancers and musicians, taking part in religious festivals as well as military parades. It’s easy to get lost in all the scenes, and hard to know where to look next, it feels like an almost never ending art gallery.
Built in the early 15th century, probably by Devaraya I, this was a private place of worship for the Vijayanagara kings. The location of the temple also signifies it’s importance, right at the very heart of the Royal Centre.
Inside the temple compound, the exterior of the temple is covered with relief carvings telling the story of Ramayana. The whole epic begins in the far right (north west) corner of the temple and proceeds in sequence clockwise.
Inside the temple are four brilliantly polished dolerite columns with relief carvings showing avitars of Vishnu (Rama being one of them), and other figures from Ramayana. Unfortunately there is no idol remaining in the sanctuary.
On leaving the temple you can’t help but revisit the carved perimeter wall. It’s a photographers delight, a delight for anyone in fact who has an ounce of appreciation for the effort the craftsman must have deployed in producing such a feast for the eyes.
I couldn’t have wished for a better way to conclude my tour of Hampi. On leaving the temple I explored a number of enclosures to the west of the temple before saying farewell to somewhere I know I will be returning to one day.
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