The magnificent and awesome in every way gopura of the Virupaksha temple in Hampi almost seems to act as a navigational aid for the site. I still recall gasping at the sight of it. Nine stories, fifty three meters high, it towers over everything in the vicinity, almost providing a watchful shadow over the happening inside the temple.
A functional temple, unlike many of the architecturally gorgeous but plundered temples in Hampi, the Virupaksha is abuzz with activity early morning on - devotees make their way through the huge compound to seek their deities, rushing through the elaborately carved pillared halls, stopping in the courtyard to take the blessings of the resident temple elephant. All in all, absolutely wonderful.