Lakshmi takes a bath. Hampi, India
Virupaksha Temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Amos Libby wrote :
Towering over the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the interior of India’s southern Karnataka state, this temple has been a site of worship for 1,300 years.
Originally a shrine to Lord Shiva as Virupaksha and his divine consort Pampa, the temple reached its architectural zenith under the kings of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Virupaksha Temple is not only an active spiritual center but an architectural wonder.
Aside from the dizzying towers and shrines, the temple’s walls, pillars, panels, and columns are decorated with beautiful carvings depicting episodes from Lord Shiva’s life, different scenes from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and scenes from Lord Krishna’s childhood. Cosmic dancers and musicians, deities, queens, kings, demons, and symbolic animals: all are carved into the temple’s countless granite pillars (more pics included in next post).
You can even see the main gopuram’s (temple tower) inverted image in one of the rooms in the temple. The designers of the temple built in a mechanism through which the shadow of the tower falls upside down onto the wall through a lens-like hole structure (camera obscura or pinhole camera effect).
The Virupaksha Temple is filled with the buzz of pilgrims, the chattering of monkeys, the lowing of resident cows, and the trumpet of the temple elephant who lives here but there is still a pervading sense of peace within its walls. One could spend days here.
(via Instagram: Amos Libby)