2002-03 | ASI, Bangalore
Status Appraisal report for Virupaksha Temple Hampi | Karnataka, India
The project was an initiation toward development of conservation plan for the temple of Virupaksha, one of the largest and the only worshiped temple in WHS of Hampi, Karnataka. Aimed at providing detailed condition assessment and analysis, as a basis of conservation strategies and planning to be adopted. The Virupaksha temple complex, which is an important pilgrimage center today, was the pre-eminent religious center during the pre-Vijayanagara and the Vijayanagara periods.    The temple complex has evolved into the present form over a period of 400 years. The temple complex portrays a series of architectural styles dating back to 9th century Rashtrakuta period. But the predominant style is of Vijayanagara period, which have combined local Deccan architecture (Garbha Griha) and the elaborate Tamil architecture (Gopura).
The Objectives were:
1. Study and document the condition of the temple complex to an accuracy of each building component.

2. Analyze the same and prepare a status appraisal report, before the implementation of any actual conservation program.

3. The specific task of assessing the status of Virupaksha temple complex had put forth challenges like updating the existing drawings, preparing proportionate sketches of elevations and sections, mapping the conditions, categorizing the typologies of problems, analyzing the same for critical problems and preparing guidelines for restoration.

4. A detailed literature survey was done as an initial step to gain a thorough understanding of Vijayanagara period, Hampi city, and site and its planning, physiographic and geology, architecture, materials and construction techniques.
Set of detailed digitized drawings was prepared with help of sketches and measurement taken on site; these were then utilized for analysis at different levels of information collected.

The plan of the temple complex was divided into different components on the basis of the different structure within the complex, which were further divided into grids along the columns for convenience of understanding the spaces and mapping of the problems. Each grid was further detailed to different building components like plinth, floor, column, masonry walls, beams and ceilings.

The method adopted for condition mapping included inventorying, pictorial and photographic documentation and chemical and physical tests for materials used in construction. Based on the assessment, detailed specifications for restoration works and quantifications for estimation and actual implementation of works was also worked out.

Images (left to right)

Elevation of the smaller entrance gateway

Plan of the Virupaksha temple complex

Section through main shrine