Sunday, July 27, 2014
Harihareshavara temple -Harihara
Karnataka is land of monuments the various dynasties that ruled here were great patrons of art and architecture. As a result of their efforts Harihara has been dotted with beautiful temple in Davangere district. The Harihareshavara temple built in 12th century by Polava, a commander and minister of Hoysala Empire king Vira Narasimha-II, here Lord Vishnu and Shiva are worshipped in the combined Harihara form, the deity is also known as Shanarnarayana and Shambhu. The place is also known as Dakshina Kashi.
The deity being a fusion of the two lords, the right vertical half is of Lord Shiva and the left vertical half is of Lord Vishnu. On the right side of the Harihara idol is carved Shiva’s Trishul and Hari styled as an ascetic and on the left side Vishnu is carved with the discus and head is curved with a crown. This marvellous stone carved temple is visited by both Vaishnavaites and Shaivites.
God had to take this form because the places from Uchchangi Durga in the east Govinahalu in the south, Madanur in the west and Airani in the north were under the control of the demon Guhasura and the place was known as Guharanya. The demon had a boon from Lord Brahma that no human and no god or Shiva or Vishnu kills him. This gave him the power and evil mind to harass people living around the place.
When the people complained to the gods about devil Guhasura, the gods in turn approached Cishnu and Shiva for a solution. Vishnu and Shiva came together in a new Avatara/farm called Harihara and killed demon Guhasura. Here onwards this place came to be known as Harihara. The place on earth where god took this form is near Kadalur, at the confluence of the rivers Haridra and Tungabhadra.
The striking feature of the temple is the symmetrical big hall with beautiful lathe turned shining stone pillars supporting the roof. The roof has projections and recesses adding charm to the temple. The ceiling also carved with different flowers like lotuses and lilies.
A microscopic image of Goddess Lakshmi represented on the lintel of the doorway testifies the architectural proficiency and inimitable craftsmanship of the Hoysala artists. South side of the temple is Vamana avatar with his foot raised high to measure the world. Shiva and Ganesh idols are carved on the south wall. Many inscriptions written in Kannada are on display in the temple premises.
The outer walls of the temple are rich in extensions, cells and carvings, and the outer end of the roof is supported by half pillars resting on the walls of the hall. The ceiling has exquisite artistic carvings on it and is held up by the pillars. The temple is made of soapstone whose original tower is missing and has been replaced by today’s tower of brick and mortar.
Every year the Car festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm with many people thronging the place. During Nagapanchami the Karnika is chanted by priest of Yelavatti Hanumantappa temple on the banks of the Tungabhadra. The priest of this temple visits Harihareshavara temple on this day and gets the impressions of the lord. This ritual of getting the impression and chanting the Karnika has been going on for the last 200 years, for prosperity of our country.