Hampi Hopping, Sacred Center: Massive Monolithic Sculptures

Hampi has a few examples of massive sculptures that have been cut out of the ubiquitous granite boulders that form such an integral part of this landscape. We have already seen the large Nandi sculpture located at the base of Matanga Hill, at the end of Hampi Bazaar. The better known examples are found either on Hemakuta Hill or at its southern base near the Krishna Temple. The most famous is the Narasimha statue, followed by two Ganesh statues.

The Kadalekalu Ganesha is a huge 4.5m high sculpture housed in its own room/temple/mandap at the top of Hemakuta Hill. The sculpture dominates the room it is located in, and we can see that the dimensions of the building are unusual because of the size of the statue it houses and the fact that they did not construct a full temple around the sculpture, but instead just a protective room and pavilion.

Temple/mandap built for the Kadalekalu Ganesha

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Kadalekalu Ganesha

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The Sasivekalu Ganesha is located at the southern base of Hemakuta Hill, and is smaller at 2.4m high.

Sasivekalu Ganesha

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The famous Narasimha statue, which was originally a Lakshmi-Narasimha statue but the Lakshmi figure is now missing, is 6.7m high and was created in the first half of the 16th c AD. It is located south of the Krishna Temple.

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Next to the Narasimha statue is a large linga housed in a room without a full roof. The room was flooded with water when I visited, possibly with water from the nearby irrigated fields.

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