Saturday, November 26, 2011


Balligavvi a ancient town in Shikaripura Taluk its known for its ancient monuments. also well known as Dakshina Kedara. I visited Kedaresvara Templ few years back This temple is an excellent example of a trikuta (triple towers) temple in a transitional Western Chalukya-Hoysala architecture Its the oldest example of such a combinational style in Karnataka. This town had 54 temples and few Basadies of which only a few survived today.
The word Balli in Kannada refers to creepers grown in forests or gardens. Gavi means cave. In ancient times Balligavi backed up as an University for learning with numerous schools with the earliest being the Jaina basadis. The availability of water in plenty with lakes and rivers surrounding the area was an ideal learning atmosphere. This area is generally blessed with abundant rainfall due to western ghats.
The dancing queen Shantala Devi too hailed from Balligavi along with famous architects and sculptors of the Hoysala era, Malloja, Dasoajja, Nadoja, Siddoja etc originated from Balligavi. It will be safe to assume there was a school for sculpting too in Balligavi patronized by the Kadambas, Chalukyas and Hoysala royals. Akkamma Maha Devi too was married to a merchant hailing from Balligavi.
Balligavi complex contains the main kedareswar temple complex , with surrounding temple edifices from Badami Chalukyan era. ( 685-86 AD) They seem to have been moved from neighboring land in lieu of their crumbling structure. The statues adorning the facade are missing. The Hoysala symbol of Sala slaying tiger is embedded by Hoysalas subsequently 1060 AD, by King Vijayaditya.
The temple faces east and has a stepped entrance on three sides. The entrance on the sides is a Western Chalukya idiom. The central shrine has a Linga made from black marble (Krishnashila). The shrine to the south has a linga called Brahma and the shrine to the north has a statue of Janardhana.
The temples outside plan is in "staggered-square" style with many projections and recesses which is a Hoysala design. The outer walls of the open mandapa (hall) have carvings of women wearing fine jewellery. Two Hoysala emblems were added in 1060 CE by .Hoysala Vinayaditya The superstructure (tower) of the vimana are very well decorated with sculptures of Tandaveshwara, Varaha, Uma Narasimha, Bhairava etc and the sukanasi of all three towers still exist.
The western shrine is the oldest dating from the 7th or 8th century. Attached to the vestibule that connects the shrines is a well designed open mantapa with two rows of pillars. The outer row of pillars are 16 faced while the inner row of pillars are lathe turned with bell shaped mouldings, a style popular with both Western Chalukys and Hoysalas.
The ceiling of the mantapa is flat and the inner ceiling is well carved with lotuses in them. The central ceiling has the carving of Tandaveshwara (dancing Shiva) with eight dikpalakas (guards). The entrance to the shrine which faces east has a Nandhi the bull and a celestial attendant of Shiva.

1 comment:

malati said...

beautiful temple;;;; nice photography... shilegalu sngeetava hadide.....good work rakesh....