Thursday, August 6, 2020

Sri Panchalingeshwara Swamy Temple, Bettahalli, Magadi

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations", so do the wrong ones too! Many a time leading to unknown beautiful destinations!
Information Board 
We were headed for a trek towards Hulikal near Kuduru in Magadi taluk of Ramanagar district. Little did we know that missing the turn that would take a deviation from Kuduru towards Hulikal would lead us to such a beautiful lesser known temple. Still unaware about the turn missed, we drove about 5 km ahead and reached a village named Bettahalli. Only then did we realize we were heading in the wrong direction and decided to make a U-turn. While driving back, a sign board directing towards Sri Panchalingeshwara temple caught our attention and as usual, we were curious to go ahead and explore! And so we did. At the outset, the temple looked new, but we ensured that we explore its interiors. Words are not enough to describe the great work being carried out by Shri Dhramasthala Manjunatha Trust in renovating/restoring beautiful but forgotten historical temples. Kudos to the team for their continuous and self-less support in preserving our rich heritage and history.
Temple Inauguration Details
Never judge a book by its cover. True to this, as we stepped in we found this temple that seemed new from its outlook to be an ancient historical temple indeed! It underwent restoration only to preserve most of its originality. The temple is believed to have been built in 7th Century  by the Cholas, although there are no evidences pointing towards the same. No inscriptions of any kind have been found here. The temple architecture and murtis inside resemble the Chola style of architecture though this place was under the rule of Gangas during the 7th Century. This makes it difficult to assign the period of its construction. However, it can be safely confirmed that the temple was built/renovated by the Cholas sometime during the 11th Century, owing to its stye of architecture.
The Navaranga
Sri Panchalingeshwara temple at Bettahalli is a Panchakuta temple  dedicated to Pancha (5) Shiva Lingas namely - Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy, Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy, Sri Pathaleshwara Swamy, Sri Vaidyanatheshwara Swamy and Sri  Arkeshwara Swamy. There are 4 devakosthas in the Navaranga of the temple housing Sri Umamaheshwara Swamy, Sri Veerabhadra Swamy, Sri Durga Parameshwari, Sri Ganapathi and Sri Shanumuga.
Lord Arkeshwara
Lord Mahabaleshwara
Lord Mallikarjuna
Lord Pathaleshwara
Lord Vaidyanatheshwara
The murti of Sri Umamaheshwara looks very beautiful and the divine couple are depicted to be seated on their Vrishabha vahana. The lady caretaker was more than happy to give us details about the renovation of this temple and the annual jatre/fair held here. It was quite interesting when she also informed us that during restoration, the entire temple was dismantled but somehow they were unable to dismantle the Nandi murti placed in the Navaranga. Therefore they had to cover the murti and proceed with the restoration work. We spent  sometime going around the temple and later we moved towards Hulikal as per our original plan.
Lord Nandi
Sri Umamaheshwara seated atop Vrishaba
Dwarapalakas at the Entrance

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