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Underground Temple
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Underground Temple

Underground Temple



Plan of Underground Temple

Plan of Underground Temple



Underground Temple This core of this east-facing temple, dedicated, according to an inscription, to the god Virupaksha, was one of the first built in the Royal Centre. It probably served as the principal shrine worshiped by the royal family. This is indicated by its location west and south walled palace compounds and by its episodic and somewhat chaotic expansion through the addition of several colonnaded halls, sub-shrines and a large gateway. Sited in a small valley opening to the west, debris from earthen-walled structures on the sides of the valley partly inundated the complex after the abandonment of the city. Even after it was cleared by archaeologists, the temple’s somewhat austere interior is sometimes picturesquely flooded with water from nearby agricultural fields.

The labyrinthine complex is entered through a 15th-century gateway that, like the entrance gopura on Hemakuta Hill, lacks a brick tower. A smaller gate leads into the walled compound which was once entirely roofed. The central axis leads past the remains of altars and bases for pillars, to an enclosed hall. This abuts an inner hall which leads to the original shrine, now empty. Surmounted by pyramidal tower resembling 14th-century shrines on Hemakuta Hill, the sanctuary is surrounded by a circumambulatory passage on three sides. Shrines with single and double chambers abut the inner and outer enclosed halls and are placed in the outer corridors. A large east facing shrine is located to the south of the walled compound. For a description of the complex, see Michell 1990 Architectural Inventory of the Urban Core, pp. 258-265, in Bibliography.

 

 

Last updated February 9, 2014 - ©2014 Vijayanagara Research Project