Chandramouleshwar Temple is very near to Unkal circle and Unkal Lake (on Old NH4 between Hubli and Dharwad). 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 at Unkal, Hubballi
Chandramouleshwar Temple at Unkal (probably the historical name was Unukallu) is the Chalukya architectural monument located in the suburbs of Hubbali; it is an example of the Chalukya architecture.
Chandramouleshwar is a 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 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, which is the speciality of the 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.
The presence of two 12th-century stone inscriptions in Unkal village show that the temple belongs to 11th or 12th century.
Conservation and restoration
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.
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.
Unkal Lake is one of the water sources of Hubli-Dharwad and also a picnic spot. Unkal lake has a boating facility.
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