Tuesday Jun 18, 2024

Gadag Sri Mahalakshmi Sametha Sri Veeranarayana Temple- Karnataka

Address

Gadag Sri Mahalakshmi Sametha Sri Veeranarayana Temple, Hanuman Gardi, Agrahar, Gadag District, Karnataka 582101

Diety

Sri Veeranarayana Amman: Sri Mahalakshmi

Introduction

Veeranarayana Temple in Gadag city is a Vishnu temple known to have been built around c.1117 by the Hoysala Empire King Vishnuvardhana. Gadag city is the administrative headquarters of Gadag district in the state of Karnataka, India. The primary deity in temple is the god Narayana (also known as Vishnu), and Mother is called as Sri Mahalakshmi. The Veeranarayana temple is a protected monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Puranic Significance

History has it that Vishnuvardhana (originally known as Bitti Deva) was influenced by Ramanujacharya (or simply Ramanuja) when the saint cured a Hoysala princess of illness. Bitti Deva changed his name to “Vishnuvardhana”, gave up his original faith Jainism, and became a Srivaishnava (a follower of a stream of the Vaishnava ) and a devotee of Ramanujacharya. The king built five temples for the god Vishnu: the Veeranarayana temple at Gadag, the Nambinarayana temple at Tondanur, the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Kirtinarayana temple at Talakad and the Cheluvanarayana temple at Melkote. 34 medieval inscriptions have been discovered in Gadag, mostly within the premises of the two important temples in the town: the “Veeranarayana” and the “Trikuteshwara” temples. From these inscriptions there is ample evidence Gadag was a notable place of learning (maha-agrahara) administered by 72 mahajanas (maha meaning “important” and jana meanng “persons”) during ancient times. Legend has it that it was in this temple, at a particular pillar in the hall, that Kumara Vyasa accomplished the epic having received divine inspiration from his deity. An inscription of c.1539 inscribed during the rule of King Achyuta Deva Raya confirms a gift (Anandanidhi) given by the king to the temple.

Special Features

The temple overall reflects multiple architectural idioms – Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara. The entrance mahadwara (“main entrance”) and gopura (“tower”) are in the Vijayanagara style. This leads to a garuda stambha (lit, “eagle pillar”) in the courtyard and the ranga mantapa (“gathering hall”) which are in Hoysala style. The inner mantapa (hall adjoining the sanctum) is in the Chalukya style. The deity Veeranarayana (lit, “Brave Narayana”) is depicted in a standing position, holding the attributes Conch (shanka), Wheel (chakra), Club (gadha) and Lotus (padma) in his four hands. The attire on deity (dhoti) is worn in a veera kaccha (“warrior style”) giving the appearance of being “ready for battle”. The deity is flanked by his consort Lakshmi and companion Garuda the eagle.

Festivals

Vaikunta Ekadasi

Century/Period/Age

1117

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nearest Bus Station

Gadag

Nearest Railway Station

Gadag junction

Nearest Airport

Hubli (HBX)

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