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This temple was built by the king (Krishnadevaraya) in 1513 AD to celebrate the conquest of the eastern kingdom of Udayagiri or Utkala (in the present day Orissa state). The main idol installed in the temple was the figure of Balakrishna (Lord Krishna as infant). This idol is now displayed in the state museum at Chennai. A huge slab installed inside the courtyard of the temple states the story of this temple and the conquest of Ulkala. This is one of the few temples where the epic stories carved on the walls of the tower. This is fairly an intact specimen of a Vijayanagara era temple.
How to Get to the Krishna Temple
The Krishna Temple is in Hampi and there are daily busies operating from Bangalore and other nearby areas to connect to Hampi. The nearest rail head to Hampi is in the town of Hospet and the nearest domestic airport is at Bellary in Karnataka.
This is one of the must see sites in Hampi. The carvings are especially spectacular with the Yalis (the mythical lion) on the pillars and the entrances to the temple hall flanged with impressive carvings of elephant balustrades. Many small shrines and pillared halls adorn the campus. The temple kitchen is located at the south east of the main shrine. The main tower at the east is an impressive sight with numerous carvings on it (now the tower is under restoration work). You can see the carvings of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu in this temple.
Layout of the Temple
The main road to Hampi passes through the temple campus. You can spot a small pavilion with a rectangular stone container in front of the temple across the road. This was used to store grains for the ritual purpose in the temple festivals. The position and design of the vessel suggests devotees used to donate food grain as offering at the temple. The main temple hall Further east outside the temple you can see a long hall like structure. On the right (south) of it are the banana plantations. The left area is mostly a rocky landscape.
This was actually the high street (the chariot street) once led to the temple called the Krishna Bazaar. The long pavilions were shops in the market street. If you walk along these long structures, you would reach the impressive temple pond called Kalyani , with structures around and at the middle of the tank. The temple tank is now not in use. The nearby agricultural places use water from the tank. The chariot street mentioned in fact terminates at a series of wide steps in front of the main temple campus, probably the only such chariot street in Hampi. Near the west gate of the temple campus you can spot a narrow passage leading to a large rectangular building. Made in Islamic style architecture this was probably a granary attached to the temple. A narrow flight of steps just behind the granary can give you access to the top for a vantage view.