|Kopeshwar Temple at Khidrapur|
Kopeshwar Temple at Khidrapur
|Number of temples||Good|
|Number of monuments||vandalised|
|Date built||11th century|
|Creator||Shilahara King Gandaraditya|
Kopeshwar Temple is at Khidrapur, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. It is at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka It is also accessible from Sangli as well. It was built by Shilahara King Gandaraditya in the 12th century by Shilahara kings Gandaraditya, Vijayaditya and Bhoj-2 between 1109 and 1178 AD and then by Seuna Yadavas. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is to the east of Kolhapur, ancient & artistic on the bank of the Krishna river. This temple got recently came into discussion when the film shoot of Katyar Kaljat Ghusali was done for the song of "Shiv Bhola Bhandari" in the temple.
The entire temple is divided into four parts Swargamandapam, Sabhamandapam,Antaral kaksha and Garbha griha.The Swargamandapam has a vestibule with an open top. The sanctum is conical. The exterior has stunning carvings of deities and secular figures. Elephant statues sustain the weight of the temple at the base. ln the interior we first see Vishnu (Dhopeshwar) & Shivaling facing north. But there is no Nandi who has separate Mandir. Separate Actor-Pendal also called as swarga mandap, hall, old pillars, carvings of gods & male and femnale artists in various poses are attractive. The ceiling is semi-circular with rnatchless engravings. On the out side, complete 'Shivaleelamrit' is carved. The Kopeshwar, Ancient & artistic temple situated on the bank of Krishna is a fine example of ancient sculpture. It was built in 11-12 century by Shilahara. The ceiling is semi-circular with matchless engravings. Inside there is statue of Vishnu( Dhopeshwar) and Shivling " Kopeshwar " facing north. There is no nandi who has separate Mandir. Separate Actor-Pendal, hall, old pillars, carvings of gods & male-female artists in various poses are attractive. This is the only Shiva temple in India with idol of Vishnu.
As the ancient story goes : ' Sati ' the beloved wife of Lord Shiva went to his father's place to attend the Yagnya along with Nandi. But her father' Daksha Parajapati ' insulted her & used bad words for Lord Shiva. Humiliated 'Sati ' jumped in to Yagnya fire and finished her life. Getting this news Lord Shiva got very angry & he created Virbhadra the demon from his hairs & asked him to destroy the Prajapati's yagnya. The lord Shiva was very angry at the death of his beloved wife ' Sati ' So the name derived is 'Kopeshwar Mahadev' Due to his anger the whole world started shaking & was at the verge of destruction. To pacify Lord Shiva from anger Lord Vishnu came there & stopped Lord Shiva from destructing the world so the name ' Dhopeshwar ' was given to the idol of Lord Vihnu. Since Nandi had gone with ' Sati ' , so we do not see Nandi idol in the Kopeshwar mandir.
When we enter the Swarg Mandap, the Swarg mandap is open to sky in a circular opening. If we see to sky through this circular opening we get mesmarised & get a feeling of looking towards the heaven, justifyies the name Swarg Mandap. At the periphery of the swarg mandap we can see beautifully carved idols of Lord Ganesh, Karthikeya swami, Lord Kubera, Lord Yamraj, Lord Indra, etc. along with their carrier animals like peacock, mouse, elephant etc. If we stand at the center of the swarg mandap we can see idols of Lord Brahma on the left hand side wall of the entrance of sabha mandap In the center we can see the Lord Shiva Kopeshwar shivling situated in the Girbh Gruha & towards right hand side wall we can see the beautifully carved idol of Lord Vishnu. So at one glance we can see the Tridev ' Brahma Mahesh Vishnu '. A stone pedestal mounted east of the temple's southern door has a carved inscription in Sanskrit, written in Devnagari script . It mentions that the temple was renovated in 1136 by Raj Singhadev of yadav dynasty. 
- Kanhere, Gopal Krishna. The Temples of Maharashtra. Maharashtra Information Centre 1989 p. 105 asif