We started climbing the beautiful Hemakuta hill after lunch on day 1.
Sasivekalu Ganesha is the first site. Carved out of a huge rock in situ and the temple built around it later (like many other monoliths in Hampi), the statue is awe-inspiring. The half lotus pose seems a natural result of the huge stomach, with a snake being used as a belt to keep it from bursting. While the left hand has suffered some damage, a walk around the statue throws up a surprise. The statue has a female form hugging it from behind, supposed to be Laxmi, Ganesh's mother.
The Hemakuta hill boasts of many pre and early Vijayanagar structures built on granite that slopes down to the Virupaksha temple in the north. An early Vijaynagar inscription describes Bukka's capital as "the great nagari named Vijaya, situated in the Hemkuta"
The two storied entrance creates a beautiful possibility providing a prime spot for a sweeping vista of this spot. If I were to go there again, I would carry a pillow and a tripod.
The triple shrined temple on Hemakuta, attested epigraphically in the 12th century, is an example of the early Sagama architecture. In those days, a temple would be built to perpetuate the memory of a deceased. The temple name would be derived by appending "Ishwara" to the name of the deceased.
This temple is built by Kampilaraya in memory of his father, mother and grandfather
Virupaksha temple seen from the triple shrined temple.
The triple shrined temple has huge jugs filled with cold water that we emptied over ourselves trying to beat the heat. I suggest Hemakuta is best visited in the morning as the rock heats up quickly and cools down very slow.
I also recommend that one starts at the top of the Hemakuta hill and climb down towards Virpaksha temple rather than the other way around.