Hampi’s grandeurs are many and have multiple aspects to boast about, be it for its richness in culture or for its preservation of heritage at Vijaya Vittala and Virupaksha temples; or be it the Lotus Mahal and Elephants’ shelters which make for good visits. However, for a taste of meditativeness that can only arise from a place of a certain energy, one has to look no further than the Yantroddharaka Hanuman temple, located roughly about two kilometres from the Virupaksha temple. It is the only Hanuman temple where Lord Hanuman appears in a meditative state. This Hanuman is said to have been consecrated during the 15th century, by Sri Vyasa, a saint and scholar who propagated the Dwaitha philosophy.
What is interesting is how it appears as if Hanuman has been caged, in this consecration. There is a story behind this.
Sri Vyasa, a saint of the time is said to have meditated for long periods at a spot close to where the temple stands today. Legend goes, that Madhwacharya appeared in Sri Vyasa’s dreams and instructed him to consecrate a Hanuman statue at the spot where the temple stands. Vyasa at first, dismissed the dream as his imagination. But the dreams persisted. Also, Vyasa had been having visuals of a Hanuman during his meditation on a particular rock. He took this as a sign, and decided to do something about it. The next time he got the visual, during his meditation, he drew a picture of Lord Hanuman on that rock using charcoal, performed the necessary rituals for consecration, and completed the task. However, post completion of the rituals, the picture was erased, and a live monkey was seen jumping out of the rock on which the consecration had been performed.
Sri Vyasa repeated the consecration process the next day. At completion, the picture got erased and a live monkey jumped out of the rock even on day two. This went on for twelve days in total. By then, Vyasa was frustrated. He felt defeated and sat down for meditation yet again. It is said that the idea of caging the Hanuman by using a Vayu Yantra, occurred to him during this meditation, again as if through a divine messenger. This time, he drew the picture of Lord Hanuman, and caged him in a six-cornered star, and surrounded it by twelve monkeys, each one holding the tail of the previous one, to form a closed circle. This consecration holds the Hanuman in place, and this Hanuman is in a sitting position in Padmasana.
This place is open to all, and the energy it exudes is almost tangible, for meditators and non-meditators alike. Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, it is a serene spot with a vibe that is calming to the nerves and soothing to the mind, away from the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced life!
Opposite the temple, during the summer season (between March and June), there is an option to avail yourself a coracle that will take you across the meditation spot frequented by Vyasa, a Lakshmi temple dedicated to the Goddess of wealth, and a Sun temple, all belonging to the bygone era of the 15th century. It is one not to be missed, for it includes going just under a small cave right ahead of the meditation spot, where the coolness is in stark contrast to the outside sun, which every traveller will relish, as much as the vibes inside of the temple!