“I call architecture Frozen Music!”
Tucked in the quaint village of Doddagaddavalli, district Hassan of Karnataka lies a yet-undiscovered Hoysala Dynasty jewel, the “Lakshmi Devi temple”.
Built by King Vishnuvardhan of the mighty Hoysala Empire in c. 1114 C.E., this temple has its uniqueness in housing four deities in four separate shrines with a common prayer hall or mantapa. Such temple structures are known as “chatuskuta”, where “chatuh” means four and “kuta” means shrines.
As the temple does not have a “Jagati” or an ornate plinth, a feature common to Hoysala style of architecture, this temple is regarded to be an earliest known temple built during the Hoysala rule. The entire temple structure boasts the Karnataka Dravid style of temple architecture with beautiful craved bas-reliefs on the temple walls, pilasters and the typical ‘Kadamba Shikaras’ topped with a ‘kalasa’ or a ‘stupi’.
The temple is said to be commissioned by a rich merchant named Kullahana Rahuta and his wife Sahaja Devi and is built in steatite or soapstone.
This Lakshmi Devi temple, as the name suggests, is primarily a Lakshmi temple – dedicated to the consort of Lord Vishnu. Her shrine stands out from the rest three [of Kali (Durga), Bhootnath (Shiva) and Vishnu] by its beautifully decorated “vimana” or “shikara” (superstructure). The temple complex also houses a fifth separate shrine of Bhairava (an avatar of Lord Shiva) along with other four other minor deities stationed at four cardinal directions.
The Hoysala Dynasty symbol, the sculpture of a legendary warrior “Sala” fighting a lion, sits proudly atop the vimanas of this eternal beauty.
Sharing with you a picture one of the minor shrines Glowing against the beautiful sunset.
PS: For the people who think why I keep visiting Karnataka always… this is the reason why – It’s just beautiful! This state is home to most of the places on my bucket list. Because beauty is immortal in art and music!
© 2017 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
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