The temple was built by Lakkan Dandesha, a chieftain under the ruler Deva Raya II also known as Prauda Deva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Virupaksha or Pampapati Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi, and had been considered the most sacred sanctuary over the centuries. It is intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampadevi who is associated with the Tungabhadra River.
The main temple consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. It is decorated with delicately carved pillars.
The temple’s history is uninterrupted from about the 7th century. The Virupaksha-Pampa sanctuary existed well before the Vijayanagara capital was located here. Inscriptions referring to Shiva date back to the 9th and 10th centuries.