Hangal Tarakeshwara temple
|Lok Sabha Constituency||Haveri|
|Elevation||555 m (1,821 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-KA|
Hangal lies about 75 kilometres (47 mi) south of the city of Hubli-Dharwad, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the Tungabhadra river and east of the Arabian sea. It is located on state road one, running north to south. A nearby body of water is the Anakere lake. The town is on level terrain in an agricultural district.
Hungal is recorded as Panungal in early documents. It was once the capital of a feudatory of the Kadambas. The Kadambas was an ancient dynasty of south India which ruled the region of the present day state of Goa and nearby Konkan region from around AD 485 until the 11th century. They built temples in Hangal in the Jain tradition.
Hanagal is also known for Agnihotra (three Kunda shroutagni) which was practised by Brahmashri Chayanayaji—Girishastri Kashikar—for seven generations till 1973.
As of 2001[update] India census, Hangal had a population of 25,011. Males constituted 51% of the population and females 49%. Hangal had an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy was 67%, and female literacy was 60%. 14% of the population is under six years of age.
Hangal is approximately 370 kilometres (230 mi) from Bengaluru and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Haveri. The town can be reached from Bengaluru via Chitradurga and Haveri and from Dharwad via Hubli and Shiggavi. The nearest rail head is at Haveri (railway station code HVR).
The Tarakeshwara Temple is a large structure decorated with images and pillars dating to the Chalukya era in the mid-12th century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in his form as Tarakeshwara. The images include scenes from the Ramayana.
The outer walls are designed with miniature shikaras of both Dravidian and Nagara style. The pillars of the open main hall are lathe turned wood. They have a bell shaped section and other decorations including elephants and diamond shaped motifs in bands. The elephants are carved so there appears to be a space between their trunks and the pillars. The band motifs vary in detail. The temple main hall has a large domed ceiling. It consists of concentric circles of cusped mouldings. At the apex, the ceiling falls rosette or pendant design. The overlying roof is a stepped pyramid shape.
Nearby is the ramal, an octagonal piece of stone in a corbelled lotus shape. It is 30 feet (9.1 m) and is supported on eight pillars. There are memorial stones carved with religious (Mastigallu) and military (Veeragallu) scenes. Eight of them are guardians of eight cardinal points.
There is a sanctuary adjoining the main hall. The Nandi pavilion rests on twelve pillars and contains balcony seating. There is also a Ganesha temple of the Nagara style (northern curvilinear) shikhara (miniature temple decorations.)
Jain temple at the fort
The Jain temple in the Hangal fort is located on the premises of the department of horticulture. It dates to 1150 AD. The temple in the Hoysala style is beautifully decorated but there is need of conservation and restoration. The temple was built on a stepped plan. It had an open hall and sanctuary, now in ruins. The sculptural decoration included flowers, garlands, torana, animals, birds and deities. It was especially elaborate in the upper portion of the walls. The temple walls are also decorated with thin pilasters. The open hall has lathe turned pillars.
The Veerabhadra temple is also located at the Hangal fort. Although highly decorated, it is in need of restoration work.
The Billeshwara temple is in the Hoysala style. This temple has elaborately carved jambs on the doorframe of the garbhagudi. At the bottom of each side, there are five carved figures. Manmatha is in the central projection. Rati is at his side. Daksha (the goat headed deity) is also present and all are flanked by attendants. The temple has a sanctuary face which is incomplete. The temple outer walls are decorated with designs of temple towers and carved diamond shaped depressions. The square panels show carved serpents with intertwined tails, animals, musicians, and foliage.
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