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Railings of Virupaksa Temple with beautiful rails and handrails

Rails, Railings, Handrails,

Railings of Virupaksa Temple

©Kathleen Cohen

Virupaksa Shiva Temple

San Jose WorldArt


Railings of the temple depict the demon of ignorance Nataraja spitting fire as Shiva battles him in a great dance.

The railings are carved of stone and feature spiraling fire coming from the dragon Nataraja. The rails are actually low setting into the stairs and are for nothing else but imagery.   At current, the main temple consists of a sanctum with rails, three ante chambers, a pillared corridor and an open pillared hall. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines with railings and other structures surround the temple.   The nine-tiered eastern entry, which is the greatest at 50 meters, is well-proportioned and includes some earlier components. It has a brick superstructure and a stone platform. It gives access to the outer court comprising many sub-shrines with handrails.   The smaller sized eastern entrance leads to the inner court with its numerous smaller shrines with rails.   A narrow channel of the Tungabhadra River flows along the temple’s terrace and then descends to the temple-kitchen and out through the outer court.   Krishnadevaraya, one of the famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire was a major patron of this temple. The most ornate of all structures in the temple, the central pillared hall is believed to be his addition to this temple, as is the gateway tower giving access to the inner courtyard of the temple. Inscriptions on a stone plaque installed next to the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 AD. If you should ever visit this temple site you should take a gander at its various railings.