Showing posts with label Bellary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bellary. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Lost Chalukyan Town of Ambali, Bellary

      'Ambali', a small village in Hagaribommanahalli taluk of Bellary district that seemed unusually busy with the harvesting of onions, is home to a very beautiful Chalukyan temple dedicated to Lord Kalleswara (Shiva, Ishvara) built during the 10th century. Ambali is located off the Kottur - Hadagali main road, about 10 km from Kottur towards Hadagali. After travelling a few kilometers from Kottur, we decided to inquire about the directions and realized we were heading away from our destination and had traveled quite far. Hereon, following the right directions we reached Ambali in quite some time. 
The Harvest
Cheerful Posers
       The Kalleswara temple belonging to the Chalukyan era is beautiful and stands tall with pride. The temple is simple in its appearance with fine interiors. The temple facing east consists of a garbagriha, antarala, natya-mantapa and mukha-mantapas on the north, south and east directions respectively.
Kalleshwara Temple Ambali
The Kalleshwara Temple 
  The garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) houses a Shivalinga and has an ornate pancha (five) shaka (jamb) door frame decorated with lozenges, creepers, musicians, dancers, birds, lions and elephants. The door jambs have dwarapalakas attended by Rati and Manmatha. The lintel of the garbagriha has a well sculpted Gajalakshmi with elephants on either side. The threshold of the door in front has a decorated moon-stone or semi-circular stone slab (chandrashila).
Lord Kalleshwara 
Garbagriha Door Frame
Lintel Carvings
Decorated Moon-stone
       The antarala door way is intriguing with lozenge flower decorated perforated screens. The door jambs have sculptures of dwarapalakas. The lintel of the antarala (sukhanasi/vestibule) has a beautiful carving of Nataraja (dancing shiva) who is watched by goddess Parvati and attendants who include Lords Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi along with Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati, and the ashtadikpalakas (guardians of the eight cardinal directions) mounted on their respective vahanas (vehicles/mounts) on either sides. This depiction ends with stylized makaras (crocodile with florid tail) at the ends of the lintel. The exterior walls of the sanctum houses mouldings or friezes consisting of a miniature lions (simha), elephants and makaras with strings of pearl tassels in combination. There are three finely carved miniature shikaras on the three walls of the Garbagriha. The moulded adisthana (basement or plinth) has indentations up to the walls which resolve into manch-bandha pattern whose projections carry niches. These are treated with dravida turrets raised on slender pilasters. The turrets (vertical projecting towers) are crowned with kirtimukha (glory-faced) makara torana. The shikaras above garbagriha is comparatively plain and of Dravidian style.
Makara Frieze 

 The natya-mantapa situated at the center has four lathe pillars with sculpted bases similar to the ones in many other Chalukyan temples. The mukha-mantapas have a Jagati (platform/stone bench) on which are present a set of pillars circular in shape and are lathe turned while the others set on ground along its periphery have dissimilar distinct shapes and are skillfully executed. The ceiling of the mantapa has a lotus motif.
The Dravidian Shikara 
Miniature Shikara
Pillars of Mukha-Mantapa

This temple comes alive and is very well maintained. There is a lady care taker appointed by the ASI who does her job wholeheartedly and it definitely shows off. The garden surrounding this temple gives an increased aesthetic value of the environs. The locals take pride in the beauty and history of this temple.     
ASI Information Board 

References :
1. ASI
2. Temples of Karnataka - Book by KM Suresh 

Friday, June 3, 2022

Kurugodu Sri Dodda Basaveshwara Temple and Panchamukhi Veerabhadraswami Temple

Sri Dodda Basaveshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Sri Dodda Basaveshwara Temple, Kurugodu
'Sri Dodda Basaveshwara Temple' of Kurugodu is the most revered of all temples here. One of its kind murti of lord Panchamukhi Veerabhadraswami is found here and is considered to be the most unique. After visiting various temples of Hale Kurugodu, we reached the Dodda Basaveshwara temple around noon. After seeking blessings of the Lord, we were served with Anna Prasadam  which happens here on a daily basis to all the devotees during the noon time. This temple is believed to have been constructed during the rule of the Vijayanagara kings. The temple complex is quite big, with a recently constructed Shikara and is dedicated to Lord Nandi or Basavanna, the vahana of Lord Shiva. The murti of Lord Basavanna is about 12 ft tall.The recent findings have revealed that the 'Bhavana Sangama', father of Harihara and Bukka (founders of the great Vijayanagara empire) belonged to Kurugodu.
Sri Dodda Basaveshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Nandi Pillar at the Entrance of Dodda Basaveshwara Temple
History of Kurugodu
Information About Kurugodu
Hereon, we visited the Panchamukhi Veerabhadraswami temple which is located in the by-lanes of Kurugodu town.  This temple is completely renovated into a new structure. We visited the Sahasralinga complex besides the Veerabhadraswami temple. Though the main temple remained closed, we were able to have the darshana of the Lord, thanks to the grilled door . The Lord looked  divine with five faces and 12 hands, with Daksha Mahaprabhu standing besides him. It is rather an unusual depiction of the Lord Veerabhadraswami. There is a small murti of Lord Ganesha in the same garbhagriha. This temple is hardly known to many outside the town of Kurugodu.
Sahasralinga, Kurugodu
Rare and Unique Murti of Panchamukhi Veerabhadraswami, Kurugodu
Rare and Unique Murti of Panchamukhi Veerabhadraswami
How to Reach Kurugodu: Kurugodu is about 30 km from Ballari/Bellary. Take NH150A which connects Siriguppa to Bellary and then  take a  right turn at Dammur cross to reach Kurugodu. 
Accommodation: There are not many options available for accommodation in Kurugodu. However,  the best would be to find a stay in Bellary overnight. Our usual place of halt is Hotel Ashoka Residency with an affordable budget.
Places to Visit Around Kurugodu: Sandur, Kudatini, Sanganakallu, Bellary, Hampi, Nittur, Sirigeri, Siriguppa, Kenchanagudda, Kampli, Hirebenakal, Gudekote and many such. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Unique and Rare Chalukyan Temple, Angur/Angoor, Ballari

Sri Kalleshwara swamy temple, Angur
Sri Kalleshwara Swamy Temple, Angur

Angur/Angoor, a small nondescript village on the banks of the river Tungabhadra is home to an obscure and rare Chalukyan temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Reaching this temple in Angoor was as difficult as reaching the village itself. During our road trip of exploring the hidden gems on the banks of river Tungabhadra, we made a point to visit this temple dedicated to Sri Kalleshwara Swamy. We had to do some off-roading to reach this village from Magala and some search to reach the temple. To our shock and surprise, we found the entrance to this temple being locked for eternity. After inquiring with a few locals, we were advised to jump over the gate and enter if we wished to see the temple. I was a bit skeptical in doing so but with no option left, I forced myself and jumped over the gate to gain entry into this temple. However, it was only later that I found out about the conversion of one portion of the fence into a makeshift gate for the care taker's to entry into the temple premises.
Nine Banded Chalukyan Door Jamb
Beautifully Executed Seven Banded Door Jamb
Unique and Rare Chalukyan Temple
Note the Kirtimukha on the Vestibule of the Temple
Sri Kalleshwara Swamy Temple is a south facing trikuta temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga, and Lords Janardhana and Surya built during 11th century by the Kalyani Chalukyas. Though not very impressive from outside as compared to the other temples built by Kalyani Chalukyas in the neighborhood, this temple has the distinction of being very unique owing to the presence of rare murtis of Lord Alingana Chandrashekaramurti, Daksha Mahaprabhu with his consort Prastuti and the god and goddess of eternal love, Rathi-Manmatha. The sheer presence of these murtis are itself very rare and their occurrence together is extremely significant. Daksha Mahaprabhu or Daksha Prajapati is one of the many Manasaputras (wish born sons) of Lord Brahma and is the father of Rathi (goddess of love) and Sati (one of the wives of Lord Shiva).  As per vedic beliefs, Daksha Mahaprabhu was allotted the work of developing/expanding the universe by Lord Brahma. Daksha Mahaprabhu is depicted with a Ram (male goat) head most commonly alongside with Lord Veerabhadra. There are very few temples dedicated to the love-god couple Rathi-Manmatha, but hardly any  dedicated to Daksha Mahaprabhu. Even the occurrence of Alingana Chandrashekaramurti is quite interesting since Lord Shiva is rarely worshipped in this form.
Lord Kalleshwara Swamy
Lord Kalleshwara Swamy
Lord Surya
Lord Surya
Lord Janaradhana
Lord Janardhana
Alingana Chandrashekaramurti
Beautiful and Rare Murti of Alingana Chandrashekaramurti
Rathi-Manmatha God and Goddess of Love
Lord Daksha Mahaprabhu with Consort Prastuti
Sri Kalleshwara Swamy Temple is thus very unique and must have been built to please these Lords in order to increase the population. These beautiful murtis along with those of Lord Ganesha, Goddesses of Saptamatrikas and Mahishasura Mardini, and Nandi are seen in the sabhamandapa. All the doors of this temple are finely carved. The door jambs of the garbhagriha consists of five sakhas (bands) decorated with various  flowers, creepers, animals, and musicians and that of the Mukhamandapa  consists of seven sakhas decorated with (1) lozenges (2) creeper-scrolls (3) flying mithunas (4) pilasters (5) square flowers (6) ropes and (7) petals. The outer wall is plain with the kapota having padma moulding on its underside and a curved top with semi circular designs. Above this is a plain course, a simple moulded course with blocks with another kapota having a sloping top and dentil projections carved with figures. The figures carved here include those of Lords Veenadhari Shiva, Bhairava,  Ganesha, Madhava, Narasimha, Goddess Saraswathi, the Ashtadikpalas, dancers, musicians, and others. While the history behind the construction of such a temple still  remains a mystery, deciphering the same will definitely add a lot more value to the current and future generations.  It is sad that this temple today is in oblivion and remains locked. Though the ASI has done a significant job of restoring this temple, it has failed to maintain and give it the respect it deserves.
Five Banded door frame Chalukyan style
5 banded Door Frame of Garbhagriha
Nandi Murti
Veenadhari Shiva
Mahishasura Mardini in Chalukyan Architecture
Mahishasura Mardini
Places to Visit Around Angur: Hampi, Galaganatha, Chaudayyadanapura, Bellary, Sanganakallu, Haveri, Haralahalli, Magala, Ambali, Rangapura, Kurugodu, Gudekote, Bagali, Nilgunda, Havanur, Harihara, Kuruvatti and many such.

1. A book " Temples of Karnataka" by Dr K M Suresh

Related Posts
1. Top 100 Lesser Known Temples of Karnataka 
2. Sri Kalleshwara Swamy Temple, Hire Hadagali
3. Sri Galageshwara temple, Galaganatha

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Temples of Hale Kurugodu, Ballari

'Hale (Old) Kurugodu' was earlier a village of Kurugodu during the rule of Sindhs, which later got shifted from here to the east, in its current location. This place today stands a mute spectator to its history and the events that took place here. There are many temples here, most of which are in ruins today. It is hard to imagine the grandeur of this town in the bygone era. The majestic hill fort, the grand temples and cave temples here serve as a testimony to what a small yet significant dynasty could achieve in a short time. There are more than 10 temples built during their period that have survived the test of time, significant among them are,
1. Chikka Basavanna Temple: This temple is located about 2 km from the main village and is dedicated to Lord Basavanna (Nandi). This murti of Basavanna is facing  Lord Shiva, located on the hill of Kurugodu. This temple was built in 12th century, with only garbhagriha and a part of the Navaranga remaining today. This temple is located in a calm and serene location and we spent quite a good time here.
Chikka Basavanna Temple, Kurugodu
Chikka Basavanna Temple, Kurugodu
2. Sri Veerabhadra Cave Temple: Sri Veerabhadra cave temple is located in the interiors of  the hills. We had to drive across a few quarry vehicle routes to reach these isolated caves. There are 2 caves here, one dedicated to Sri Veerabhadra with Sri Daksha Maharaja and the other to Lord Shiva. There is a Kannada  inscription in front of these caves.
Lord Veerabhadra Swamy With Daksha Maharaja
Lord Veerabhadra Swamy With Daksha Maharaja
Cave Temple, Kurugodu
Inscriptions in front of  Veerabhadra Swamy Cave Temple, Kurugodu
Inscriptions in front of  Veerabhadra Swamy Cave Temple
 3. Jain Cave Temple: A small cave probably dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras and remains incomplete due to change of rule here. These carving date to 9th - 10th Century, before Kurugodu Sindhs taking over this place.
Jain cave, Kurugodu
Incomplete Carvings of Jain Tirthankaras
4. Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple: Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy temple was built by Kurugodu Sindhs in the 12th century. It is now in a ruined state with all the vandalizing done by our generation. The temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala and an open sabhamandapa.
Sri Mallikarjuna swamy temple, Kurugodu
Sri Mallikarjuna swamy temple, Kurugodu
5. Sri Sangameshwara Temple: Sri Sangameshwara temple is the grandest of all the surviving temples here. This huge temple was built in the 13th century, with later additions by the Vijayanagara kings in 16th century. This temple consists of garbhagriha, an antarala, a pradakshinapatha, an open 60 pillared mahamandapa and a mukhamandapa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. It was good to see that this temple was live and people were performing pujas and offering prayers here. 
Sri Sangameshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Sri Sangameshwara Temple, Kurugodu
6. Srisaila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple: Srisaila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple was built in 12th century by the Kurugodu Sindhs. This temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala, a sabhamandapa and  a mukhamandapa. There is a beautiful pillar in front of this temple. 
Srisaila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Kurugodu
Srisaila Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Kurugodu
7. Sri Siddeshwara Temple: Sri Siddeshwara temple is close to Kurugodu town, probably hinting this to be the earliest village site. We found many pieces of pots and stone tools. This was a Jaina temple, but later converted into a Shiva temple during the 12th century by Kurugodu Sindhs. The temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala, a sabhamandapa and a mukhamandapa.
Sri Siddeshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Sri Siddeshwara Temple, Kurugodu
8. Sri Rachamalleshwara Temple: Sri Rachamalleshwara temple is a trikuta temple built  in 1177 AD by the Kurugodu Sindhs. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, housing Lingas in all its three garbhagrihas and are named Gavareshwara, Mallikarjuna and Muddeshwara. The temple was renamed as Rachamalleshwara due to the belief that the strongest of the Kurugodu Sindhs, Chief Rachamalla transformed into a Shiva Linga post his death, here in the temple. It is a pity that this temple today is in ruins. 
Sri Rachamalleshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Sri Rachamalleshwara Temple, Kurugodu
Lord Rachamalleshwara
9. Murugudi Temple Complex: This temple complex comprises of 4 temples, all of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. Two out of these temples are live with regular worships, while the other two are in ruins. The main temple here consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala, a sabhamandapa and a mukhamandapa. 
North Temple, Murugudi Complex
South Temple, Murugudi Complex
10. Dodda Ganeshana Bande: There are two stone carvings of Lord Ganesha here, one of which is 10 ft tall and  the other is 20 ft. The carving of the 20 ft Dodda Ganesha was amazingly beautiful!
Dodda Ganesha, Kurugodu
Dodda Ganesha

To be continued...