Buses from Hospet terminate near this temple. The magnificent tower is visible from a distance. The tower is 165 ft high, the breadth is 150 ft and the length 120 ft. It has eleven storeys. It is called “Bistappaya Tower”. It is not known who built it or when it was built. It was renovated many times. It was also renovated by Krishbadevaraya in 1510. The premises are paved with stone. The compound is 210 ft long and breadth of the inner area is 135 ft. In the middle there is a canal through which the water of the Tungabhadra flows. The canal is covered with stones. There are rooms for pilgrims in the premises. On the right side is the phalapuja mantapa, also called Kalyana mantapa. There is also a well.
The Temple has two towers and two compounds. The second one is the Raya tower. Krishnadevaraya built it at the time of his coronation. On crossing this you will be in the second compound where there is a flag post and a lamp post. On the left there are temples of Pataleshwara, Muktinarasimha and Suryanarayana. On the right side there are temples of Laxminarasimha and Mahishasura Mardini.
The temple in front of the tower gate is that of Lard Virupaksha. Lord Virupaksha is also called Pampapati. This L the oldest temple in hampi. The pillars were cutout with the help of a sort of lathe machine. It is an ancient temple of the Hoysala period. Some parts of this temple were built by Harihara the first. Krishnadevaraya built a stage for public assembly.
There are steps for the entrance to the temple on eastern, southern and northern sides. The temple has a Navaranga (Middle Hall), Shukanasi and Garbhagudi (Inner Sanctum). The deity is Lord Virupaxa, According to mythology a girl called Pampadevi did penance for Shiva who married her so that their son could destroy the demons here. Shiva remained here in the form of Linga. hence the name Pampapathi, and there by Pampakshetra or Hampi. To its north you will find two temples ; one for Pampadevi and the other for Bhuvaneshwari. On the right side there are Navagrahas (nine planets). The tower in the north is called the tower of Kanakagiri. In this tower there are idols of Ratnagarbha Ganapati and Devi. On the right there are empty temples.
On the back side of the temple there are steps. If you go up and turn to your right you will see a dark chamber. There is a hole in its eastern wall. The light that comes through this hole falls on the western wall where the shadow of tower appears upside down. Further up the steps you can see the temple of Vidyaranya. The door to the south leads a pond called “Loka Pawana Teertha”.
The road iniomt of the temple is the royal road flanked by hotels and shops. The road is about one Kilometers long. Up ahead is the Matunga Hill with pandals carved out in chalukya style. The statue of bull infront of the temple is called “EduruBasava” in Kannada.