Showing posts with label Temples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Temples. Show all posts

Sri Hoysaleshwara Temple Thenginghatta

The grand temple of Lord Hoysaleshwara at Tenginaghatta/Thenginaghatta, built during the reign of the Hoysala kings is today in disarray. Tenginaghatta is a small village located off the Kikkeri – Madapura road in Mandya District. Most of the Hoysala temples were built by their Army General, merchants and other commoners with very little or no intervention of the Royal family, states S.Shettar in one of his books titled ‘Somanathapura’. An inscription found at the temple premises mentions that this temple and a lake nearby were constructed by ‘Hadavala Kavana’, the son of ‘Hadavala Kolliayya’ during the saka year of 1055 corresponding to 1133 CE, under the Hoysala King Narasimhadeva I. However, since the year captured in the inscription does not correspond to the period ruled by King Narasimhadeva I (1143-1171 CE), we can conclude that there is some discrepancy either in the date etched on the inscription or recalibrating it to the Gregorian calendar. The inscription further states that ‘Bammoja’, the son of Haloja of Kikkeri sculpted this temple and the charge for protection and maintenance of the temple was given to ‘Besataya-savanta’ and’ Kote-savanta’. Further, a donation of 2 salages with10 kolagas of wet land and 2 salages with 14 Kolagas of dry land were given to the upkeep of the temple. The sculptor also received a grant of 1 salage with 10 Kolagas of wet land and 15 Kolagas of dry land. The inscription also mentions that any person who destroys this grant will incur various sins and will be re-born as ‘krimi’ or ‘a worm’ which will live for 60,000 years. 
Shri Hoysaleshwara Temple, Theniginghatta
Buried Stone Inscription giving details of the construction of the Temple
There are four Veeragallus or Hero-stones of which 2 have inscriptions etched on them. The first Veeragallu here is dedicated to ‘Hiriya Hadavala’, son of Kolliayya and the brother of the person who built the Hoysaleshwara temple. There are also details of territories captured by the Hoysala Kings – Talakadu, Gangavadi, Nonambavadi, Kongu, Nangeli, Uchchangi, Banavasi, Hanugallu and Halasuge under the rule of King Narasimhadeva I and the Hero has been equated to Partha (Arjuna) due his extraordinary archery skills in the undated inscription on this Veeragallu. The second Veeragallu is dedicated to ‘Hadavala Kavana’. Though the inscription is not very clear, it gives minor details about the hero responsible for temple construction of Tenginaghatta. There is another inscription related to Tenginaghatta at the Panchalingeshwara temple of Govindanahalli. This inscription is dated saka 1159, corresponding to 1236 CE and was installed under the reign of Hoysala King Someshwara. It also gives details about the donation of 11 villages along with Tenginaghatta to the king’s Ministers Bogayya and Murari Mallayya, who further donate the same to various Brahmans for upkeep. Govindanahalli is located about 3 km from Tenginaghatta and probably was a part of the 11 villages.
Veeragallus - Hero-Stones
Veeragallu Dedicated to Hadavala Kavana
 The Hoysaleshwara temple is a small and beautiful structure. It consists of a garbhagriha, an open antarala, a navaranga and a damaged mukhamandapa. Unlike major Hoysala temples, the ceiling height of this temple is very low measuring about 7 ft. The garbhagriha houses a Shiva linga and the antarala houses a sapthamatrika murti and a beautiful murti of Hara-Gauri. Hara-Gauri murti sadly remains damaged with the head of the Lord Shiva missing. On the platform/peetha of the murti are sculptures of Lord Ganesha, Nandi, and a Monitor Lizard. Lord Shanmuga seems missing on this peetha, probably indicating this to be a Ganapathi Anugraha murti. The navaranga has 9 ankanas and the central ceiling/bhuvananeshwari houses a beautiful and unique carving of the lotus bud surrounded by 8 lions. The navaranga is supported by 4 lathe turned bell shaped pillars. There is a Bhairava murti and Ganesha murti in the Navaranga. The doorframe of garbhagriha and navaranga are of Pancha shaka without any dwarapalas. The mukhamandapa is completely damaged with only its pillars remaining.
Damaged Mukhamandapa
Four Lathe turned Pillars Supporting the Central Ceiling of Navaranga
Lord Hoysaleshwara
Hara Guari Murti
Monitor Lizard and Lord Ganapathi

Sofit Carvings
The external wall of the temple is very simple with carvings of pilasters on it. The wall has been damaged badly with a need for urgent restoration. Although the damaged shikhara of this temple has been identified by many scholars as Kadamba nagari or Phamsana, it closely resembles the Dravidian (Outthareya Vimana) styled shikhara of Lord Janardhana temple at Kikkeri. There is also a small ruined temple dedicated to Kshetrapala right in the front of this temple. The structure is completely damaged with only the murti of Kshetrapala standing tall. A little further from this temple is a beautiful lake which was constructed along with this temple. This temple is located outside the village. In village there is a temple dedicated to Lord Anjaneya Swamy, probably belonging to a later period. Overall, this place is rustic and transports one to the erstwhile glory of the land once ruled by the mighty Hoysalas. 
Exterior View of the Temple
Details of Remaining Dravidian Shikhara
Lake built by Hadavala Kavana
Lord Anjaneya Swamy


1. Ephigraphia Carnatica Vol 6 (1977) Revised
2. Mandya Jilleya Hoysala Devalayagalu – Dr.Shobha
3. Somanathapura – S.Shettar
6. Mandya Jilleya DevalayagaLu; Ondu Sameekshe – Thyloor Venkata Krishna
7. District Gazetteer of Mandya 2009
8. Annual Report of ASI – 1914-1915

Ambajidurga/chintamani Fort

Caution: An entry to this hill is strictly restricted and a board instructing the same has been put up in order to prevent people venturing into this hill. Updated: As per the comments by Umesh Sir and Sudhakar, the restrictions have been removed and people can visit this place.

Good Morning Ambajidurga
          Ambajidurga, the second fort we were on a look out for, between Kaivara and Chintamani, seemed so near yet so far way. Ambajidurga is situated atop a hill adjacent to the very well known cave temple of kailashgiri and the temple authorities have banned the entry to this hill fort owing to the unfortunate incidents that have taken place here a few years ago. long back, during our visit to Kailashgiri, we had inquired about Ambajidurga and temple authorities  simply denied its presence and refused to give any information, only saying that Ambajidurga was another name given to Kailashgiri. When we told them that the fortification on the neighboring hill was clearly visible and insisted on details about the fort, they replied that there was no route to the hill and no one can go there. So we did not bother much about it, and thought we will explore this place when the time is right. This day was not too far from the day that we conquered Rehmangarh! We were much eager to conquer Ambajidurga. We reached the spot from where the hill base from where fortification was clearly visible. An old lady who stopped by told us about the route to the hill top and gave us directions. We were glad that a route to the hill top existed and went ahead following her directions. The hill was gigantic and we looked too small in comparison to its massive size.
First tier of the Fort
Lord Hanuman Temple and The Fort Wall
Broken Gateway Arch
   Overnight rains had made the path slippery, but that didn’t matter much to us as we were engrossed in the thought of reaching the fort. Our initial climb was a little tricky as after reaching a certain point, we realized we were heading in a wrong direction. We halted and to changed our course of climb and headed in the right direction. After a few minutes of trek, we reached the first tier of the fort on the first hill (or the lower hill) and rested here for a while. Later, a short walk lead us to the  top of the first hill which was an open plain land having a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and a few fort ruins. We were able to view the fortification on the upper hill but found no specific route. After investigating, we finally decided to make our own path and succeeded in our venture within no time.  We were at the fort entrance, and had a bird’s eye view of the surroundings including the now dwarfed fort of Rehmangarh.
Fort Entrance and Rehmangarh

Water Tank
Lord Shiva Temple
  The hill rises to about 4400 ft above mean sea level and was initially fortified by the local Palegars, which was then rebuilt by Tippu and finally fell into the hands of the British. There is a small temple atop the hill dedicated to Lord Shiva and a few ruined structures and water tanks. We were quite happy for having explored this fort too. We spent some time at the top and started to descend slowly and carefully down the hill. Our descent was a little tiring but calm, until we heard a person standing at the hill base shouting and signaling us to come down quickly. Initially, we thought of him to be a shepherd boy   calling out to his cattle, but later realized he was indeed waiting for us! Once we reached the base, he literally started shouting at us asking whose permission we had taken in order to go to the fort and my wife retaliated saying, we had inquired and only at the old lady’s suggestions, we decided to climb as she had not warned us about any restrictions. While he forced us to accompany him to the temple authorities, we insisted him on showing his identity card and if he did, we would surely go with him. Somewhere, we thought he was boasting about himself being a guard to the hill we had just explored. He argued saying there was a big board put up right at the entry point which strictly restricted any further entry. Truly, we were not aware of such a board. There was an exchange of words between him and us, and on demanding him to show where the board was put up, he took us a little away from where we started our trek and alas! There was the board! We told him that we had taken the path present much before this board and therefore had missed seeing it. We also questioned him about his absence during the time of our entry at the starting point. If he were to be a guard, he should have done his duty and cautioned us. We would have not ventured further at all. Finally a person associated with the Kailashgiri temple management who by chance had come to pick him, spoke to us and warned us in a rough tone saying that the place we had just ventured was really not safe and we shouldn’t have gone so far. On saying that we were not really aware of the board as it was put up in a wrong place and  since we had already made a safe return, there was no use of telling us now not to have ventured. There was an exchange of words again. It was slightly upsetting as this was the first time we had encountered such a rude behavior. Though our conversation ended sourly, we were quite happy that we had already explored the fort before they came and realized we would have missed so much, just in case destiny had taken us on the route towards that board! 
Lord Hanuman
 Mt Kailashgiri

Dwarfed Rehmangarh
Kissing the Clouds
     This was our dual-fort-adventure that ended with destiny being on our side. With both the regions being popular tourist spots, it’s quite hard to believe the fact that these hills are actually unsafe. We personally did not feel so, but who knows. Many places in Kolar district are considered unsafe, including the Antharagange hills.