"Aghalaya" houses a magnificent Malleswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated in between Melkote and Shravana Belagola. Though we had a chance to visit this temple before, we were not allowed to see the temple at that time as there was some trouble in the village. Also, we were just beginning to learn about Hoysala temples and so we did not realize completely what we had missed. Recently, we had a second chance to explore this unique and unusual Trikuta Hoysala temple at Aghalaya and so we did.
|The Malleshwara Temple, Aghalaya|
|Trikuta (Three Chambers)|
Aghalaya means destruction of sins (Agha = Sin, Laya = Destroy). Nothing much is know about the temple's history, except that it was built by the Hoysalas during the12th Century. This temple covers a large area compared to many other Hoysala temples. It is a Trikuta temple, having three Chambers or Gribhagriha, all facing East. It is similar to the Govindanahalli temple (which is a Panchakuta temple, having five chambers). The interiors and exteriors set a good example of the Hoysala architecture. Another interesting feature was that though the outer carvings were of Lord Vishnu, the deity worshiped in the temple was Lord Shiva.
|Lord Shiva , Goddess Parvathi and Lord Ganesha|
|Decorative Work on the Pillar Top|
|Naga Stones and Perforated Window|
|Lord Vishnu's various forms and the Garuda-I|
|Lord Vishnu's various forms and the Garuda-II|
|First Three of the Dashavataras|
|Art Work on the Outer Wall|
|Renovated portion v/s Original|
Like many other temples around this region, this temple was renovated by the Govt of Karnataka with the help of the Dharmasthala Trust. The priest here was a very gentle and kind person.