Ganesh Temples on Hemakuta Hill in Hampi


After the Chakratirtha we went on to Hemakuta Hill, where Shiva is said to have done penance before marrying Parvati, to view two temples dedicated to Ganesh, the Elephant God.

Built in the 15th century, the Kadalekalu Ganesha is 4.5 meters (15 feet) tall, making it one of the largest statues of the god in this part of India. In its four huge hands, the deity carries a tusk, goad, noose, and bowl of sweetmeats respectively, but by far its most impressive feature is its massive belly. This apparently resembles a Bengal gram (chickpea) – called Kadalekalu in the local language. Hence the name of the temple.


The statue was carved out of a bolder from the northeastern slope of Hemakuta Hill, and is housed in simple yet elegant inner sanctum. Outside the sanctum is a charming pavilion featuring unusually tall and slender pillars decorated with highly ornate mythical themes.


From the pillared hall there were some wonderful views of the surrounding area, including Hampi Bazaar and Matanga Hill.


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