Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 8 - Galageshwara @ Galaganatha

Bottomline: This unique temple was built in 11th century by Western Chalukya kings. Construction started during the reign of Someshwara II and ended during the reign of Vikramaditya VI. Located at a scenic place overlooking river Tungabhadra, the temple has simple interiors but it is the exteriors which catch the attention.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 7 - Siddheshwara @ Haveri

Bottomline: The exact year of construction of this temple has not been ascertained yet. Historians loosely estimate 11th century as the time of construction based on an epigraph dated to the reign of Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI has a mention to this temple.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 6 - Nagareshwara @ Bankapura

Bankapura, a place of historical importance is famous for Nagareshwara Temple and the Peacock Sanctuary. The temple and peacock sanctuary both are located within the fort area of the town. The fort which covers a large area of 139 acres is in absolute ruins. The name ‘Bankapura’ was derived from ‘Bankeya’, who was a renowned general of Rashtrakuta emperor Amoghavarsha I (Nripatunga).

Bankapura was ruled by Western Chalukyas initially. In AD1140 Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana made this place as the capital of his northern territories. It is also believed that Vishnuvardhana breathed his last here. Post AD1550 Muslim rulers took over this place until it was annexed by British in the year 1802.


  • The temple consists of Mukhamanatapa, Navaranga, Antarala and Garbhagruha (Sanctum).
  • This temple is also known as ‘Aruvattu Kambagala Gudi’ (Sixty Pillars Temple) after the sixty beautiful Chalukyan style pillars in the Mukhamantapa.
  • There is a beautiful carving of lotus in the middle ankana of the Mukhamantapa.
  • The Mukhamantapa can be entered from 3 sides and has Kakshasanas (seating arrangements) all across its border. One can find miniature Gopuras (towers) and delicately carved miniature sculptures all along the outer wall of the Mukhamantapa.
  • The temple was subject to attacks on its discovery and many sculptures have vanished including that of the main deity.
  • Navaranga is connected to Mukhamantapa via a beautiful Mantapa which has seating arrangements on either side. The 2 pillars in this Mantapa are full of rich carvings and are main attraction of this temple.
  • The door of Navaranga has beautifully carved five band decorations with attractive Gajalakshmi motif on the lintel.
  • Navaranga originally had 2 entrances on either side with beautiful Mantapas, now only one remains. We can find beautiful and crafty work on the right side entrance. The one on the left was severely damaged by muslim attackers and is now permanently closed by constructing a wall.

Bottomline: The Nagareshwara temple which stands below the ground level is a marvelous structure built in Western Chalukyan style. How it withstood the attacks of muslim marauders is a mystery. Popular belief is that the whole temple was buried under mud by the villagers before they left the town fearing muslim invasion. This in fact is also the reason why we find the temple below the ground level today.

Source: ASI

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 5 - Harihareshwara @ Harihara

The temple was built in the year 1224 by ‘Polalva’ a minister of Hoysala King Veera Narasimha II. It is believed that the consecration of Lord Harihara, a fusion of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu was carried out later in the year 1268 by ‘Soma’ who was a commander of Hoysala King Narasimha III.

The temple stands on the banks of river Tungabhadra and is affected to a great extent by encroachment. The road leading to the temple is very narrow and crowded.


  • The temple consists of an attractive Sabhamantapa, Navaranga, Antarala and Sanctum.
  • The Navaranga has 2 more entrances on either side. These entrances have attractive Mukhamantapa but remain closed always.
  • The Mukhamantapas on either side of Navaranga have attractive carvings on outer sides similar to those on the Sabhamantapa.
  • The doorjamb of Antarala is of Trishakha type consisting of perforated windows and a Gajalakshmi motif on the lintel.
  • The door of Sanctum has simple decorations.
  • The original Shikhara (Tower) has collapsed long back.

Bottomline: According to a legend, a demon named Guhasura once lived in these parts. He successfully appeased Lord Brahma and obtained a boon, by virtue of which, it would be impossible for either Hari(Vishnu) or Hara(Shiva) to kill him. In order to eliminate Guhasura, Vishnu and Shiva together took the form of Harihara and killed the demon.

Source: Wiki

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 4 - Someshwara @ Kodikoppa

This temple is 'whitewashed' in full by the devotees of Kodikoppa. Apart from that the temple is intact. Kodikoppa is referred to as ‘Kirunareyangal’ in the 2 inscriptions found here dated AD 1121 and AD 1144.

Colourfull Door!


  • It is a simple structure consisting of Mukhamantapa, Navaranga, Antarala, Garbhagruha (Sanctum) and a Shikhara (tower) of Kadamaba Nagara style.
  • The temple though now called Someshwara was also known as Brahmeshwara temple and also by the name of Mallikarjuna Temple.
  • Small Shivalinga is in the sanctum.
  • Door of Navaranga is of Panchashakha type consisting of various creeper designs which are now defaced due to the red and green paint.
  • Antrarala door consists of Jalandhras (perforated windows) on both sides and top.
  • There are six Devakoshthas (niches) in Navaranga and all are empty.

Trademark Western Chalukya Style Pillars
AD 1144 Inscription
Bottomline: There is no information regarding exact year of construction. But the mention in the AD 1144 inscription that one ‘Molleya Brahmaiah’ as the person who constructed this temple indicates that the temple was constructed some time before AD 1144.

Source: ASI

Monday, January 30, 2012

Temples of Karnataka 3 - Amrutheshwara @ Annigeri

Annigeri is historically an important place. Over 25 inscriptions have been found here. In these inscriptions Annigeri is referred to as ‘Anyatatakka’ and ‘Annigeri’ as well. Historians have learnt that this place was the capital city of Western Chalukyan king Someshwara IV and Kalachuri king Bijjala. The oldest inscription is dated to the year AD 750 to the time of Badami Chalukya King Keertiverma II.

Famous Kannada poet Pampa was born here in AD 902. Among the many old temples of Annigeri, Amrutheshwara Temple stands out. It was constructed during the reign of Western Chalukyan king Someshwara I in the year 1050.

  • This east facing temple consists of Mukhamantapa, Sabhamantapa, Navaranga, Antarala and Garbhagruha (Sanctum).
  • Temple has 2 Shikharas – one atop the Sanctum and the other a smaller one atop the Mukhamantapa.
  • The spacious Sabhamantapa which has doors on all 4 sides was a later addition.
  • The main entrance of the temple opens to Navaranga.
  • From Navaranga there are 2 openings on either side – one leading to Antarala on its way to Sanctum and the other opening into Sabhamantapa.
  • The main door of the temple is of Saptashakha type and the craftsmanship seen here is the main attraction of the temple.
  • The outer wall of the temple has typical Western Chalukya style work consisting of some Shikharas and Makaratoranas.

Bottom Line: No photography is allowed inside the temple. The villagers themselves raised objection when I took out the camera. The ASI guy who was occupied somewhere else rushed towards me after hearing the arguments and asked me not to take any photos. Though, when he and certain villagers are not present within the temple premises then nobody stops visitors from taking photos. I was there at the wrong time.

Source: ASI