Much as I wasn’t inclined towards temples (quite unusual for me, I know!), our driver encouraged us to visit the Pampa Sarovar, and I agreed, simply because there was no climbing involved, and the story of Pampa was intimately linked to that of Hampi. In my post on the Virupaksha temple, I had mentioned the story of Goddess Parvati, who, as Pampa Devi, meditated on Lord Shiva, and married him at the place where the Virupaksha temple stands today. The Pampa Sarovar is believed to be the place where Pampa Devi meditated. There is a small pond here filled with lotuses, which is the highlight of the place…
The pond is in an area surrounded by boulder covered hillocks and would once have been a great place to set up an ashram. No wonder it is also believed to be the ashram of Sabari, of the Ramayana. (To read the story of Sabari, click here.) There are numerous small shrines all around the pond, which, are unfortunately in terrible shape. There are remnants of ancient pillars covered in cement and marble, which leaves little trace of their original beauty. The main shrine has a lingam of Lord Shiva with an image of Pampa Devi on one side.
It was lunchtime when we visited the temple, and it was full of people since there was a ‘parayan’ – reading of sacred texts – in progress and the people were just being served lunch. It was interesting to see foreigners not just sitting and eating from banana leaves, but also serving the others. Shankar wanted me to take some pics, but I refused to take pics while people were eating! At least they deserve that much of privacy! The rest of the temple was in such a bad shape that we rushed out from there before I could feel any worse.
For a much better, as well as detailed description of the temple and the stories associated with it, click on the link below.
Incidentally, Pampa Sarovar is believed to be one of the four ‘sarovars’ or ponds created by Lord Brahma himself. The other three are believed to be Manasarovar (yes, the one near Mount Kailash), Narayan Sarovar in Gujarat, and Pushkar in Rajasthan.