Virupaksha Temple

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Overview:

A portion of the Virupaksha temple in Karnataka collapsed following torrential rains recently.

About Virupaksha Temple:

  • It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Lord Shiva.
  • Location:
    • It is located in Hampi, in the Vijayanagara district of Karnataka.
    • It is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • It is situated on the southern bank of the Tungabhadra River.
  • According to history, this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD and is one of India's oldest functioning temples.
  • Originally a small, humble shrine, it was expanded to its present magnificence during the reign of the Vijayanagara kings, though additions to its temple were also made by the Chalukyan and Hoysala eras.
  • Architecture:
    • It is built in South Indian architecture style.
    • Hampi's only continuously functioning temple, it includes a sanctum sanctorum,pillared halls–the most elaborate one consisting of 100 pillarsantechambers, grand gopurams, and a number of smaller shrines, along with a temple kitchen and administrative offices.
    • It has three gopurams; the eastern gopuram is the largest (nine storeys and 50 meters tall); the other two are the smaller gopurams on the inner east and inner northern sides of the temple complex.
    • Beautiful sculptures of many Hindu Gods adorn the outer faces of the gopurams.
    • Apart from these, builders utilized physics principles such as Rectilinear Light Theory and the pinhole camera effect, along with mathematical concepts like fractals, geometry, complex mathematics, and the Fibonacci number sequence, to construct the temple.
    • The most interesting part of the structure is the inverted pinhole image of its tower present on the inner wall

Q1: What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

A World Heritage Site (WHS) is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by UNESCO under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. These sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.

Source: Portion of Hampi’s Virupaksha temple collapses: What is its history and the threats it faces today?