'Hale (Old) Kurugodu' was earlier a village of Kurugodu during the rule of Sindhs, which later got shifted from here to the east, in its current location. This place today stands a mute spectator to its history and the events that took place here. There are many temples here, most of which are in ruins today. It is hard to imagine the grandeur of this town in the bygone era. The majestic hill fort, the grand temples and cave temples here serve as a testimony to what a small yet significant dynasty could achieve in a short time. There are more than 10 temples built during their period that have survived the test of time, significant among them are,
1. Chikka Basavanna Temple: This temple is located about 2 km from the main village and is dedicated to Lord Basavanna (Nandi). This murti of Basavanna is facing Lord Shiva, located on the hill of Kurugodu. This temple was built in 12th century, with only garbhagriha and a part of the Navaranga remaining today. This temple is located in a calm and serene location and we spent quite a good time here.
2. Sri Veerabhadra Cave Temple: Sri Veerabhadra cave temple is located in the interiors of the hills. We had to drive across a few quarry vehicle routes to reach these isolated caves. There are 2 caves here, one dedicated to Sri Veerabhadra with Sri Daksha Maharaja and the other to Lord Shiva. There is a Kannada inscription in front of these caves.
3. Jain Cave Temple: A small cave probably dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras and remains incomplete due to change of rule here. These carving date to 9th - 10th Century, before Kurugodu Sindhs taking over this place.
4. Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple: Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple was built by Kurugodu Sindhs in the 12th century. It is now in a ruined state with all the vandalizing done by our generation. The temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala and an open sabhamandapa.
5. Sri Sangameshwara Temple: Sri Sangameshwara temple is the grandest of all the surviving temples here. This huge temple was built in the 13th century, with later additions by the Vijayanagara kings in 16th century. This temple consists of garbhagriha, an antarala, a pradakshinapatha, an open 60 pillared mahamandapa and a mukhamandapa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. It was good to see that this temple was live and people were performing pujas and offering prayers here.
|Chikka Basavanna Temple, Kurugodu|
|Lord Veerabhadra Swamy With Daksha Maharaja|
|Cave Temple, Kurugodu|
|Inscriptions in front of Veerabhadra Swamy Cave Temple|
|Incomplete Carvings of Jain Tirthankaras|
|Sri Mallikarjuna swamy temple, Kurugodu|
|Sri Sangameshwara Temple, Kurugodu|
|Srisaila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Kurugodu|
|Sri Siddeshwara Temple, Kurugodu|
8. Sri Rachamalleshwara Temple: Sri Rachamalleshwara temple is a trikuta temple built in 1177 AD by the Kurugodu Sindhs. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, housing Lingas in all its three garbhagrihas and are named Gavareshwara, Mallikarjuna and Muddeshwara. The temple was renamed as Rachamalleshwara due to the belief that the strongest of the Kurugodu Sindhs, Chief Rachamalla transformed into a Shiva Linga post his death, here in the temple. It is a pity that this temple today is in ruins.
|Sri Rachamalleshwara Temple, Kurugodu|
9. Murugudi Temple Complex: This temple complex comprises of 4 temples, all of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. Two out of these temples are live with regular worships, while the other two are in ruins. The main temple here consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala, a sabhamandapa and a mukhamandapa.
|North Temple, Murugudi Complex|
|South Temple, Murugudi Complex|
To be continued...