Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hoysala: Mallikarjuna Temple Basaralu Mandya

               Basaralu  is a village of Mandya district, famous for the Mailkarjuna  temple  and viragals (hero stones) .We inquired about the temple and did not get any positive response . It was quite surprising to know that most of the locals were unaware of the existence of such a temple. Finally ,one person asked  us if we were looking out for the Shiva temple and directed us towards the same.We reached a temple named Kala Bhairava Temple (which was not the one we were looking for)  which had  viragals on one of its sides and a Peepal tree, surrounded by hero stones. 
Kala bhairava temple
   The specialty of this temple is the festival of fire crossing, called "Bhairava Konda", held on a Monday prior to Ugadi Festival (mostly in March). One more attraction during this festival is " Kiccha Masti "  ritual performed in memory of Masti . There are 7 viragals found near  the Peepal tree and 2 viragals opposite to the tree .
Ashes of  the fire crossing
Old entrance
Peepal tree
      We tried to get  information on Malikarjuna Temple . Luckily, we got directions to this temple from an old man who was confident about this place.We imagined this temple to be just like the temple we visited. But, this place offered us something we had never imagined about . It is sad but true, that places like these are much less talked about and appreciated . Places like these are a pride to our state . It is a true representation of our rich culture and heritage  and a fine example of architecture of  the olden days . The skill and patience involved in building such masterpieces is just unimaginable . We were blown away by its beauty . The sculptures were created with great finesse and technique . The figures are close to perfection with every little detail being highlighted .
Malikarjuna Temple
   This temple was built by Harihara nayaka. He was Dandanayaka (in charge of armies) under the Hoysala  King Imadi Narashima . The temple was built in the year 1235 AD for deity  in the  name of his father "Malikarjuna"  and a kalyani (Tank) in the name of his mother "Gujjave". 
Gujjave Kere and Mantap
          The temple has beautiful Dravidian Shikhara on its main garbhagriha, which houses a "Balahari Shivalinga"  and a beautiful lotus on the ceiling . The two small garbhagrihas facing each other, housed a "Naga Nagini"  sculpture in one  and the "Surya Deva" (Sun god) in the other. The vestibule has the symbol of Hoysala , Sala killing a lion .
Shikhara and Hoysala Emblem
           There is a Bhairava sculpture in the garbhagriha of Chandikeshwara temple in the other corner of the temple complex . There is a twenty feet tall pillar opposite to  the temple. The base of the temple has pattikas in the ascending order of elephants , horses with riders , Hoysala emblem , sculptures of Puranic episodes ,crocodiles and swans which is very similar to most of the Hoysala temples . 
Chandikeshwara temple
Bhairava Sculpture
Base of the temple
     On the walls, one can see  sculptures of  Samudra Manthana  (Churning of sea ) , Shanmuga , Kalinga Mardana ,Keshav , Shiva-Parvathi  riding Nandi , Ugranarashima killing Hiranyakashipu ,Hayagreva (god with horse head)  , Dancing Lakshminarashima , Yoganarashima ,Abhayanarashima ,Lakshminaryana ,Surya Dev , Shiva wearing elephant skin , Harihara , Vishnu , Vamana , Bali Chakravarthi , Ganesha , Durgi with 18 arms , Nataraja , Bhairava , Vishnu riding Garuda ,Rati-Manmatha,Lord Brahma with his consort , 22 armed Shiva killing Andakasura , and many more, which were beyond our skill of identification .All these sculptures are beautiful , they are smaller and simpler than those found in other famous Hoysala temple ,but often not less in Sculptural quality .
Kalinga Mardana and Keshav
Lord Shiva Paravathi riding Nandi
Ugranarashima Killing Hiranyakashipu
Lakshmi Narayana 
16 hand Durgi
Lord Brahma  with his consort
16 armed Shiva Killing Andakasura
     Actually the first thing one notice after entering the Ardha Mantap is its Ceiling . Beautifully carved with Ashtadikpalas ( 8 deities protecting the eight quarters/directions of world ). East is represented by Indira on Airavata (White Elephant ) , South East by Agni on Mesha (Male Goat), South by Yama on Mahisha (Male buffalo) , South West by Nirurti on Nara (Man), West by Varuna on Makara (the Crocodile),North west by Vayu on Mruga (Deer) , North by Kubera on Ashwa (Horse) and North east by Ishana on Vrishbha (Bull).
Ashtadikpalas on the ceiling
The information board
    Direction from Bangalore : Bangalore - Mandya (SH17)95 kms- right turn towards Chikka  Mandya (7kms )-left turn toward Basaralu (23 kms) . Total Distance : about  130 kms .

Place maintained by ASI .Temple and surrounding are extreme well maintained.Keys with the neighboring house. No photography allowed inside the temple .
Trip date : 23 Oct 2010 . 
Places to visit near by : Nagamangala, Adichunchanagiri, Melukote, Mandya,Shravanabelagola , Chikka Mandya and so on .
References used : 
1 Publications of Government of Karnataka on Mandya .
2  About Ashtadikpalas from Hindu blog


  1. Terrific captures and a fascinating post! I'll look forward to seeing/reading more. Thanks for your visit!


  2. Beautiful temple with amazing carvings. Next time I am in that area, I am not going to miss this for sure.

  3. very nice
    key in neighbour's house - interesting!