Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Galaganatha" - The Pyramidal Temple

     "Galaganatha", a small sleepy village on the banks of the river Tungabhadra of  Haveri district is well known for its 'Galaganatha' or the 'Galageshwara' Temple built by the Kalyana Chalukyas. The temple is situated at the holy confluence of rivers Varada and Tungabhadra. A notable and distinguishing feature of this temple is its heavy pyramidal base and the strong curtains walls built around the temple in order to protect the temple from river floods. One has to appreciate the architectural skill of the Chalukyas, since this temple has been standing in its place for almost more than a thousand years, whereas the entire village was washed out due to continuous floods. The new village came up a  little further from the temple.
The Galaganatha Temple
       There is another temple to the left of the Galageshwara temple known as the Malleshwara temple, built during the period of the Rashtrakutas. The main temple of Galaganatha is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of  a Linga. Inside the garbagriha is a pacha-linga idol symbolizing the confluence of the five rivers viz., the Tunga, Bhadra, Kumadvathi, Varada and Dharma. There are beautiful carvings of Lords Vishnu, Bhairava, Surya, Shiva, and of Goddesses Mahishasuramardini, Kali, etc., inside the temple.
The Malleshwara Temple
Galaganatha Linga
River Goddess
Pancha Lingas
Beautiful Carvings depicting War Scenes
 March Towards a War
Lovely Door Frame
Nicely Polished Pillars
 Skillfully Formed Pillar
        There is a ruined mantap inside the temple complex where some sculptures are kept. Its believed that there are about 101 Shiva Lingas around the temple and on the banks of river. 
The Ruined Mantap
Nandi Kambha
Some of the 101 Lingas
Hero Stone and A Linga
Rear View of the Pyramidal Temple
The temple priest is a kind gentleman and shared various stories related to this temple. According to him, the temple was built by the great legendary Sculptor Jakanachari, out of a single rock.  He continued to say that the linga here is a Sparsha Linga, which is underneath the present visible Linga and is considered very powerful. In the earlier days, when people kept iron near the Sparsha Linga and prayed to god, it turned into gold. As people started to misuse this power, the king decided to cover the same with a structure called 'Galaga'. Hence, the deity here came to be known as Galaganatha or Galageshwara and in due course the village too became popular for this temple and came to be known as Galaganatha .

Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore-NH4-Tumkur-Chitradurga-Davangere-Ranebennur- Right Turn towards Guttal-Right Turn towards Havana-Left Turn to reach Galaganatha
Distance from Bangalore: About 350 kms
Places to Visit Around: Choudayyadanapura, Kuruvatti, Haveri, Ranebennur, Harihara and many more


  1. I love seeing the pictures of these places that I am sure would never be able to visit. Thanks for sharing..Very well covered.!

  2. Another superb and fascinating post and awesome captures! The carvings are incredible, I'm amazed! Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty and history of your country! Hope you have a wonderful week!


  3. Quite an unusual structure...nice one!

  4. Thanks for the route info.. I had been to Haveri a few months ago.. But many locals didn't seem to know the directions to Galagantha.. so dropped this place...

  5. Wonderful architecture. Where do you search for such places?

  6. What a majestic place it is, I cant help but wonder what it would have been then... It is a magnificent piece of architecture which must have
    been a real wonder in those days.

  7. I wanted to visit this place from long time, in fact Haveri is full of ancient temples built during kadambas and chalukyan reign. i hope Dhiraj you have covered the rest of places and looking forward for your first hand experience Kudos

  8. This is on my research list, but did not know the grandness of this unique structure. So majestic ad so different. Well I should be here shorthy

  9. nice pictures.... lot of idols in the place and overall the place looks a little bit low maintained...

    wonderful places of architecture and our government doesn't maintain them...

  10. hi tgs

    wonderful information with excellent photos

    nice research on historical sites

    and also thanks to your valuable comment about my new post


  11. its real treasure
    photos are so good feel i am standing their.

    Happy Diwali

  12. WOW! The carvings look quite intricate. I should visit this temple. Adding it to my to-visit list.

  13. Beautiful pictures and a nice description. Seems like an interesting place and very near to Bangaore. Will try to visit it sometime.

  14. Awesome pictures!! Great descriptions. I think I will visit this temple some day!

  15. Beautiful images accompanied by wonderful explanations

  16. wonderful snaps ! and very nice description ...

  17. Any special significance of twin Nandis? I have not seen anything like that before. Thanks for a virtual tour of the temple.

  18. Beautiful depiction and fabulous sculpture:)

  19. Thanks for the history. Keep going

  20.'re two separate nandis kept by the side of each other..that's it:-)

  21. Nice post. I had missed it but happy could see it now.seeing panchangam for the first time. Tnx