Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi
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The Kedareshvara temple (also spelt Kedareshwara or Kedaresvara) is located in the town of Balligavi (known variously in ancient inscriptions as Belagami, Belligave, Ballagamve and Ballipura), near Shikaripura in the Shimoga district of Karnataka state, India. Dotted with centres of learning (agrahara), Balligavi was an important city during the 11th - 12th century Western Chalukya rule. The term Anadi Rajadhani (ancient capital) used in medieval inscriptions to describe this town tells a tale of great antiquity. Art historian Adam Hardy classifies the style involved in the construction of the temple as "Later Chalukya, non mainstream, relatively close to mainstream". He dates the temple to late 11th century, with inscriptional evidence of additions made up to 1131 A.D., by the Hoysalas during their control over the region. The building material used is soapstone. The Archaeological Survey of India classifies the style of architecture as distinctly Hoysala. The Hoysala ruling family was during this period a powerful feudatory of the imperial Western Chalukya Empire, gaining the trappings of independence only from the period of King Vishnuvardhana (1108-1152 A.D). The temple is protected as a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The cella (garbhagriha) in the shrines to the west and south contain the Shivalinga (the universal symbol of the Hindu god Shiva) and the cella to the north has an image of the god Vishnu. The temple is connected with the legend of demon Bali according to some lithic records. In its heyday, the temple attracted a large number of followers of the Kalamukha sect of Shaivism. A four faced image of the god Brahma, which at one time may have been inside the temple, is on display in a museum with in the temple complex.
The temple is in trikuta style (three shrined, each with a superstructure or sikhara) with the shrines facing west, north and south. The western shrine has a vestibule where as the other two shrines have a "half hall" (ardhamantapa). All shrines open up to a six-pillared hall called mahamantapa which is preceded by a large ornate open "gathering hall" called sabhamantapa. The layout of the gathering hall is "staggered square" which has the effect of creating projections and recesses. Each projection of the wall has a complete "architectural articulation" (achieved by repetitive decoration). The gathering hall has entrances from the north, south and eastern directions.
The outer walls of the shrines are quite austere save for the pilasters that are capped by miniature decorative towers (aedicula). The superstructures over the shrines are 3-tiered (tritala arpita) vesara (combination of south and north Indian style) with the sculptural details being repeated in each tier. The temple exhibits other standard features present in a Hoysala style temple: the large decorative domed roof over the tower; the kalasha on top of it (the decorative water-pot at the apex of the dome); and the Hoysala crest (emblem of the Hoysala warrior stabbing a lion) over the sukhanasi (tower over the vestibule). The dome is the largest sculptural piece in the temple with ground surface area of about 2x2 meters and is called the "helmet" or amalaka. Its shape usually follows that of the shrine (square or star shape). The tower over the vestibules of the three shrines appear as low protrusions of the main tower and is hence called the "nose".
- "Kedareshvara Temple". Archaeological Survey of India, Bengaluru Circle. ASI Bengaluru Circle. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Hardy (1995), p324
- During the rule of King Vinyaditya (1047–1098), the Hoysalas established themselves as a powerful Chalukya feudatory (Chopra 2003, p151, part 1)
- Sen (1999), p498
- Foekema (1996), p14
- "Alphabetical List of Monuments - Karnataka -Bangalore, Bangalore Circle, Karnataka". Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Foekema (1996), p25
- Foekema (1996), pp 21-22
- Foekema (1996), p28
- Foekema (1996), p22
- Foekema (1996), p27
A Sati stone (satigal) with old Kannada inscription of 1206 A.D. in Kedareshvara temple at Balligavi
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- "Kedaresvara Temple". Archaeological Survey of India, Bengaluru Circle. ASI Bengaluru Circle. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Adam Hardy, Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation : the Karṇāṭa Drāviḍa Tradition, 7th to 13th Centuries, Abhinav, 1995 ISBN 81-7017-312-4.
- "Alphabetical List of Monuments - Karnataka -Bangalore, Bangalore Circle, Karnataka". Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Chopra, P.N.; Ravindran, T.K.; Subrahmanian, N (2003) . History of South India (Ancient, Medieval and Modern) Part 1. New Delhi: Chand Publications. ISBN 81-219-0153-7.
- Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999) . Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age Publishers. ISBN 81-224-1198-3.
- Gerard Foekema, A Complete Guide to Hoysala Temples, Abhinav, 1996 ISBN 81-7017-345-0