This is most important part of the Hampi ruins and structures. This is a temple where prayers are offered and is a therefore a functioning temple. This temple is dedicated to God Shiva who resides here in the form of Virupaksha.
There is huge tower or Gopura (Entrance structure of a temple) which is about 165 feet tall in 11 tiers. This is an imposing structure which can be seen from far away in Hampi. This temple is located at the base of the Hemakuta Hill. This is the abode of Lord Virupaksha (another form of God Shiva – Virupaksha – the one with the oblique eyes) and his consort Pampadevi or Parvati. God Shiva was the presiding deity of the Vijaynagara Kings. It is believed that God Shiva was in penance here. Parvati wanted to marry Him and felt that the only way she could get Him would be thru penance. Hence she also sat in penance on the opposite side and when God Shiva came to know of this he agreed to marry Her. It is believed that the location of their marriage is the location of the Virupaksha temple.