Tuesday Jun 25, 2024

Hole Alur Arakeshvara Temple – Karnataka

Address

Hole Alur Arakeshvara Temple – Karnataka

Hole Alur,  Chamarajanagar Town

Chamarajanagar district,

Karnataka 571117

Moolavar

Arakeshvara

Introduction

                                  Arakeshvara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Hole Alur village near Chamarajanagar Town in Chamarajanagar district, Karnataka state, India. Here the presiding deity is called as Arakeshvara. The Temple is situated on Chamarajanagar to Yelandur route via Kannegala.

Puranic Significance 

The temple was constructed by King Butuga II of Western Ganga Dynasty around 949 A.D to celebrate his victory over the Cholas of Thanjavur in the historically important battle of Thakkolam. Alur is also called as Southern Ayyavole (Aihole) in the inscriptions.

Special features

This east-facing temple is enclosed within a compound wall and features an entrance gate. In front of the temple, there is a four-pillared mandapa housing the Nandi, facing the sanctum. The pillars of this mandapa are round and adorned with bas-reliefs depicting various scenes, including battle scenes, deities, mythical characters, demi-gods, and episodes from epics.The base on which the temple stands, known as the adhisthana, is characterized by a simple set of moldings. The Sanctum Sanctorum comprises the Sanctum, Ardha Mandapa, and Navaranga. The entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum is embellished with a carving of a dancing celestial maiden (apsara) surrounded by volutes of scrolls (creeper leaf) extending over the door jamb and lintel.

On either side of the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum, there are two tall rectangular vertical slabs divided into four panels. These relief friezes depict male drummers, known as Dola Nritya. In the top panel, rustic male dancers appear to be dancing to the music played by a musician’s ensemble, featuring instruments such as the drum, violin, rudra veena, flute, and kanjira.

The pillars in the Navaranga also bear similar reliefs as those found in the pillars of the Nandi Mandapa. These pillars are round in shape. The ceiling of the Navaranga features a panel depicting the Ashtadikpalakas, the guardians of the eight directions, with their respective vahanas (mounts), and Nataraja at its center. Idols of Saptamatrikas, a group of seven mother goddesses, can also be seen in the Navaranga.

In the temple, you can find sculptures dating back to the 10th century Ganga period, including Mahishasura Mardini, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Parvathy, Vinayagas (Ganesha idols), Hero Stones, Sati Stones, Ravaleeswara, Dakshinamurthy, Naga Idols, a headless idol, Hayagriva, architectural fragments, and an inscriptional slab. Many of these sculptures may have been brought from the surrounding area.

The presiding deity of the temple is known as Arakeshvara and is housed in the sanctum in the form of a Lingam. Notably, there is no Vimana (tower) over the sanctum. The temple’s Dvarapalas, guardian deities, can be seen guarding the sanctum, adding to the temple’s cultural and historical significance.

Century/Period

949 A.D

Managed By

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Nearest Bus Station

Kagalvadi

Nearest Railway Station

Chamarajanagar Station

Nearest Airport

Mysuru

Location on Map

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