Unkal is an area in the Hubli-Dharwad municipality in Karnataka, It is on old Pune - Bangalore highway NH4, about 3 km north from Hubli city centre. Chandramouleshwar Temple is very near to Unkal circle and Unkal Lake (on Old NH4 Between Hubli and Dharwad).
Chandramouleshwar Temple at Unkal, Hubballi
Chandramouleshwar Temple at Unkal ( Probably historical name was Unukallu), the Chalukya architectural monument located in the suburbs of Hubbali, it is one of the good example of the Chalukya Architecture.
Chandramouleshwar is an exquisite 900 year old temple from the Badami Chalukyan era. The temple was built on the lines of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal temples and is a Monument of National Importance and is designated as a Protected Monument so under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites (Act (1958)) by Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
- Unlike other Shiva temples in the North Karnataka region, the Chandramouleshwar Temple has four doors in as many directions, altogether accounting for twelve doors in the temple besides two Shivalingams and two Nandi(bull) statutes at the entrance. One of the two lingams is 'The Chaturmukha Lingam', a four faced Shiva Lingam, is the speciality of this temple.
- The temple has sculpted walls and pillars of black granite stones. Images of dancing Lord Ganesha and jaalandhra at Chandramouleshwar Temple are a visual delight. The architectural style that developed in this part is known as the Chalukya style. Certainly not solely because of their faith in religion.
Perhaps they wanted to overawe their enemies and subjects with an enormous show of wealth and power, represented by these temples. Or perhaps they wanted to impress their subjects with a show of love for the religion. Or perhaps they wanted to atone for the sins they had committed by killing innumerable innocent people in the bloody wars they fought. The temples were built by teams of architects, artists, sculptors and masons, who remain anonymous.
The presence of two 12th-century stone inscriptions in Unkal village show that the temple belongs to 11th or 12th century.
Conservation and Restoration of the temple
The temple premises serve as a playground for children and youngsters to play cricket. It has become a victim of government apathy and urbanization. There is virtually no approach road to this temple, encroachments on all the four sides of the temple. The roads leading to the temple are very small with arrack shops and other illegal trades. One has to cross rows of houses and narrow lanes to reach Chandramauleshwar temple. The local representatives should take interest and also work towards the restoration of this glourious temple which is the one and the only in and around Hubballi-Dharwad.
Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun work very long back, started work on a compound wall to prevent further encroachments, but the work is still half done. Nothing has happened so far in restoring the glory.
Unkal Lake is one of the water sources of Hubli-Dharwad and also a picnic spot. Unkal lake has boating facility.
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