Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Muktheshvara Temple, Chaudadanpura

The east facing Muktheshvara Temple is one of the important monuments built by the Kalyana Chalukyas. Malla or Mallugi a feudatory of the Guttarasas of Jatacholavamsha datable to 1115-1120 AD., the temple was renovated by the Kalamukha Saint Sivadeva the Guru of Guttarasa in 1225 AD. According to an inscription o 112 AD, the architect of this temple was Ravoja.  Chaudadanpura would have been an important pilgrimage site in the medieval times however at present it is reduced just to a small village.
A local tradition assigns the present name, Chaudadanpura, to 12th century CE. As per the legend Shivadeva Wodeyar, who was living here, donated this place to Chaudayya who was a great devotee of Shiva and belonged to the community of boatmen. As the place was donated to him hence it was called as Chaudayyadanpura.
This temple consists of a Garbhagriha, an Antarala, and a Navaranga with two Mukhamanddapas in front. The sanctum has indented plan enshrines a Linga installed on a high pedestal. Navaranga has two doorways of which the eastern one is ornate. While the south an open porch with Kakshasana. The Navaranga has two Devakosthas. The doorways and Navaranga are flanked by elephant balustrade.
Mahishamardini is installed in one Kostha and another is found with a sculpture o Ganesh. Apart from these are the sculptures of Saptamatrikas, Parvathi and Surya with seven hooded serpent above. The centre of the Navaranga is embellished with four polished pillars.
The main attraction of this temple is the Adhisthana. The Upana moulding with relief of creeper scrolls and the Jagati has frieze of peacocks. The eastern entrance of Navaranga is flanked with the Dvarapalaka images, as well as sculptures of a devotee, A Shivayogi, female door guardians on south entrance. Ganesh, Maheshvara, Dancers, Yaksha, Virabhadra, Sarasvathi, Vishnu, Venugopala and Surya are among the noteworthy sculptures. Garbhagriha supports a tall Kadambanagara tower having loose sculptures of a nude Nagini, Ganesh,Surya,Kama,Yaksha etc.
There are few other shrines in the complex however none has any considerable style or architecture. All are small in proportion with their major features already lost. All are made up on a single cell having a Shivalingas inside. A permanent shed has been recently constructed where all the stele inscriptions are put at single place.
There is no proper foundation inscription about this temple. The earliest inscription found here talks about construction of a Shiva temple by Attiraja during the reign of the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI. This inscription is not dated however the event would have taken place in between 1105 and 1115 CE. As the place mentioned in that inscription is Muktikhstera hence it is not very certain whether the temple mentioned in the inscription was the main temple or a subsidiary shrine
Another inscription dated in 1225 CE mentions that Shivadeva repaired a dilapidated temple from its base to top till finial. If this was the same temple built by Attiraja, was it possible that within 100 years it had to be repaired in such a large scale.
Chaudadanpura is located in Haveri district of Karnataka. From Ranebennur, take Guttal Road (SH57), you need to cross Devaragudda cross & Honnatti village. After travelling about 21 km, there is a small bus stop at the left, this is actually a bus stop for Chaudayyadanapura. Take right just after this bus stop & go for about 3 km, you reach the destination