Friday, June 24, 2011
When I visited the incomparable temple of Lord Gangadhareshwara located in Turuvekere, I was wondering why this grand temple is being ignored by the public and remains almost unknown to most of the people. The temple is very artistic and the temple complex is beautiful and attractive. This temple built by Mahadandanayaka Somanna and the exact date of its construction has not been ascertained.
When we reached the Gangadhareshwara temple, the temple was closed so we could only view the architecture and sculptures from the outer side. The entrance is dominated by a huge and attractive Nandi which is around 7-8 feet in height sculpted from locally available Blackstone, well known as Turuvekere Kallu, the lifelike image with finely carved beads, bells and garlands has retained its brilliance. The sculpture of the sacred bull Nandi is being polished to such an extent that one can see the reflection in it. Also, the idol is very much intact and not being ruined anywhere.
Gangadhareshwara temple has a Shiva Idol with serpent hoods carved in a single piece of stone and is considered an example of fine sculpting. The unique difference here, the Shiva Idol is carved with Ganga sitting on top of his head and one can see fountains of water being flowing in the form Prabhavali. It is the only temple which is having such depiction of Ganga and Shiva being together. Also, the Uthsava Murthy made out of Bronze is having an extra eye on the right foot, which also is a unique in nature.
The eastern door has some wonderful features. The large Grey bell which is around 2 feet in diameter hanging from the ceiling is hew out of stone, but when struck gives a clear metallic note. Just below the bell is the carving of Bedara Kannappa offering his eyes to Lord Shiva .The pillars have soldiers riding rampant lions and the images of Ganapathy, Bedara Kannappa and those of Girija kalyana are all chiseled into them.