Showing posts with label Bagalkot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bagalkot. Show all posts

Sri Basaveshwara Temple, Hallur, Bagalkot

Sri Basaveshwara Temple, Hallur, Bagalkot
Sri Basaveshwara Temple, Hallur
'Sri Basaveshwara Temple' is another beautiful temple located in the village of Hallur. After visiting the Melgudi Jain temple, we proceeded towards the Basaveshwara temple located in the center of the village. It was good to find this temple live with daily worship of the deity. I was startled by fact that not many people were aware of this wonderful temple including the locals, and also the person who accompanied me. He was thankful to me for bringing him along to this beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Basavanna (Nandi). We inquired the priest about the temple's history, but he was only aware about the temple being at least 1300 years old.
Hallur Basaveshwara Temple
Full View of Sri Hallur Basaveshwara Temple
Chola Temple in Karnataka
Nandi Mandapa
As per the pre-independence Bombay Gazetteer (Bijapur was a part of Bombay State), this temple was built during 9th century by the Cholas. However  the book 'Temples of Karnataka' mentions this temple being built by the Rashtrakutas during the same period. Nevertheless to me, the temple seemed to exhibit more of the later Badami Chalukyan architecture. The original name of this temple was 'Vishvesvara Swamy Temple' which over time got transformed to Basaveshwara Temple. The temple consists of garbhagriha, an antarala, a sabhamandapa, mukhamandapa, Nandi mandapa and a prakara with a Rajagopuram. There are two colorful life-size sculptures of Shaiva dwarapalas guarding the entrance of the sabhamandapa. The Nandi mandapa houses a big and beautiful murti of Lord Basavanna.
Lord Basaveshwara, Nandi
Lord Basaveshwara
Life Sized Shaiva Dwarapala
Shaiva Dwarapala
Dravidian Shikara
Historical Temple near Bagalkot
The external walls of this temple are plain and decorated with pilasters. The lower potion of the walls carry carvings of various gods and goddesses like Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Varaha, Narasimha, Durga, and Mahishasuramardini to name a few, with most of them being in a damaged state. There are many houses around this temple, thus cramping the temple space. Though this temple is well maintained with prayers being offered and pujas being performed on a daily basis, it surely deserves more publicity to attract devotees seeking blessings of the Lord. The annual jatra is held during the months of December - January in reverence of the Lord. Also, the festival of Mahashivarathri is celebrated here in a grand manner.
Inscription Stone Slab
Bhu Varaha Swamy carved on temple wall
Bhu Varaha Swamy
Forms of Shiva
Ardhanareshwara and Gajasurasamhara Murti
Places to Visit Around Hallur: Kudala Sangama, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Banashankari, Bewoor, Mahakoota, Shivyogi Mandir, Gudur and many such.  
How to reach Hallur: Hallur is located of f the Bagalkot - Kudala Sangama State Highway and is about 18 km from Bagalkot. 
Accommodation: There are no options for accommodation at Hallur. It is better to treat Bagalkot as the base which offers various options to suit one's budget. 
1. Book on 'Temples of Karnataka' by Dr K M Suresh
2. Bombay Gazetteer of Bijapur

Related Posts
1. Top 100 Lesser Known Temples of Karnataka 
2. Melguti Jain Temple, Aihole
3. A Chola Temple in the Heartland of Karnataka, Bethuru - Davanagere 

P.S: Nothing changes except our web address! We are moved from to

Melgudi Jain/Jaina Temple, Hallur, Bagalkot

'Hallur' is a nondescript village located in the district of Bagalkot, off the Bagalkot - Kudala Sangama highway and can undoubtedly be considered as unusual and unique. Bagalkot, the Badami Chalukyan heart land is home to numerous temples built by the Cholas and Rashtrakutas around the 8th and 9th centuries AD. During one of my visits to Bagalkot, I got an opportunity of visiting the ancient temples of Hallur town. It was fascinating! The two prominent historic temples among them are those dedicated to Lord Basaveshwara built in 8th century by the Cholas and a Jain temple (popularly called Melgudi Jaina temple) built in 9th century by the Rashtrakutas. Hallur is located about 18 km from Bagalkot. Reaching this place was an easy task and as we reached, both the temples were easily visible.
Melgudi Jain Temple, Hallur
First Look of Melgudi Jain Temple, Hallur
Melgudi Jain Temple, Hallur, Bagalkot
Melgudi Jain Temple, Hallur, Bagalkot
We chose to visit the Melgudi Jaina temple at first which is located atop a small hillock, thus giving it the name Melgudi. The temple is built on similar lines with the Meguti Temple at Aihole (7th century, Badami Chalukyas) with the only difference being that the navaranga here is a closed one. The Melgudi Jain temple was built around 870 AD during the reign of the most famous Rashtrakuta king, Amoghavarsha. This beautiful sandstone temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala and a navaranga/sabhamandapa, with an interesting stone ladder leading to the first storey that housing a small garbhagriha. The garbhagriha is originally believed to have consisted of a murti of a Jaina Tirthankara. However the temple now enshrines a Shiva Linga and Nandi along with a damaged inscription at its entrance which probably carried details of the installation of the same. The temple having been dedicated originally to a Jaina Tirthankara even now houses a murti of the same which is  kept in the sabhamandapa. But with no details with regards to why and when the original Jain temple was converted into a Shiva temple, the temple's history still remains a mystery. However, the  inscriptions may have carried information regarding the same, but it sadly remains damaged.
Inside the Garbhagriha
Typical Rashtrakutas Ceilings
Three Lotus Carving on the Central Ceiling
Murti of Jaina Tirthankara in the Navaranga
I climbed the small stone ladder that opens to the first storey only to find an empty garbhagriha. Being awestruck witnessing this small gudi (temple), I could only imagine as to how grand it would have been back then, during its full glory. That said, I strongly believe that my imagination would any day fall short of its true glory. After coming back to reality, I got down the ladder and decided to explore the external features of this temple. There are a total of 8 life-size carvings of various Jaina Tirthankaras on the outer walls of the temple. There are different kinds of Jalis (perforated stone windows) fixed in the outer walls. The details of the kutas (miniature shrine motifs), salas (oblong members with a wagon shaped roof), panjaras (shallow niches formed by pilasters) and makara toranas  are unfinished.
Small Gudi on the First Storey
A Jali Window/ Perforated Stone window of Rashtrakuta period
Jali Window
Life Sized Jain Tirthankaras are Carved on the Outer walls
Life-size Jaina Tirthankaras are Carved on the Outer Walls 
Historic Temple to visit near Bagalkot
Another View of the Melgudi Jain Temple
Detailing on the Outer walls
While closely observing the outer walls, I was dumbstruck to sight prehistoric kind of carvings on them! They were quite intriguing! Although I was able to identify many carvings such as those of the bulls, people and scenes of hunting, I have never witnessed something like this before and was unable to believe my eyes. The carvings here were pretty much similar to the ones at Sanganakallu. On further visual investigation as to whether these carvings belonged to the prehistoric period or not, I tried to trace the carving between two stones of the wall and found them to be discontinuous. Thus revealing that the carvings were made much before this temple was built. Sadly, a few insensitive idiots have tried to disfigure these carvings by their senseless graffiti. Thanks to god that some of these carvings have remained intact. I was unable to find much of literature/details about this temple. Once I was back in Bangalore from this trip, I re-looked at all the photographs taken by us during our previous visits to Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole. On careful observation and with a keen eye for detail, I found one of the pictures of Pattadakal having similar carvings of bulls and the only feeling I got was 'Wow'! Probably back then in October 2010, we were not versed with the prehistoric times and hence did not go ahead with the search for such carvings around with interest. However, may be during our next visit to this place, we would end up finding more about these carvings and many such! It is truly mysterious to have found such carvings on the temple walls and to further ascertain whether they are really prehistoric or not is very difficult at present. However the same can be achieved and confirmed by a thorough  and proper investigation and documentation. 
Southern Wall of the Temple
Prehistoric carving on Historic temple
Carving of a Bull
Proof of All the Vandalism and Ever Vanishing Evidences of Our  History
Bull Carving from Pattadakal
 To be continued...

ASI Museum , Aihole

            The 'Archeological survey of India' (ASI) is the most important organization dealing with archeological researches and responsible for protection of India's rich history and heritage. There are 41 ASI museums all over India. One of the museums is located inside the main enclosure of Aihole,  opposite to the famous Durga Temple. The museum houses many stone sculptures that were found in and around Aihole. The museum has an open air gallery exhibiting the various master pieces (mostly idols of various gods and goddesses and hero stones) of the Chalukyan era. The inside of the museum displays stone sculptures, artefacts and photographs of pre-historic findings and of the Chalukyan period giving information about the place of find and its approximate period.
Varuna (Rain God) on Makara (Crocodile)
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Lajja Devi - Fertility Goddess (in the centre)
Intricately Carved Pillar

Beheaded Mohini
Lord Vishnu with his Consorts
 Pillar Base
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Lord Ganesha
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Hero Stone
Looks like ET
    Photography is limited to the open air gallery. The entrance fee to the museum  is as low as it can get with only Rs 2 per head. It proves a worthy place to get a quick insight into the history of Aihole and its significance during various periods including the pre historic period.
1 ASI .

Meguti Temple, Aihole

   "Meguti Jain Temple" is another remarkable temple of its kind. Located in Aihole on the Megutigudda, this temple exhibits Dravidian style of architecture. The temple stands on a hill and thus named as "Megana Basadi", meaning the The Upper Temple, which in course of time was corrupted to Megudi or Meguti.
    The temple has a pillared hall in the front, and an antarala  and a sanctum in the back. On its outer walls is the famous Aihole inscription dated back to the 6th century (634 AD) which gives records of the temple construction by Ravikeerti, the commander and minister of Pulikeshin II. This temple has resemblance to the Lad Khan temple .
Meguti Temple
Magnificent Entrance
Door Frame
Jain Tirthankaras
Upper Structure
Hero Stone
Hero Stones
Fort Walls
Related Posts:
1. Melgudi Jain temple, Hallur
2. Jain temple complex, Budhi Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh
3. 100 lesser known Temples of Karnataka