Oct 27, 2012

Shri Kanakachala Lakshminarasimha Devastana, Kanakagiri

July 27, 2012

Kanakagiri is about 36km from Koppal. According to Koppal district website: Swarnagiri is the former name of Kanakagiri. Kanaka Muni performed penance here. The word Kanakagiri means "Hill of God". (However, I remember the place and its surroundings are quite flat, no hills in immediate vicinity.) Swarnagiri is believed to be headquarters of southern viceroyalty of Mauryas. This town has several ancient temples built by the Naiks of Kanakgiri. Of all the temples, Kanakachalapathi Gidu is the largest and known for its architectural beauty of Vijayanagara era.

There's the temple and two of three yellow colored Gopuras. This picture is shot standing under the main Gopura.
The temple complex is quite spacious.

There's shelter for pilgrims.

This is the temple's sabha-mantapa. A ceremony was in progress.

I found the pillars extra white ...made me wonder if they are ancient or replaced with new ones. However, at the same time I was skeptical if such sculpturing could be in the present age. These pillars have received some kind of treatment.

We checked with one of the temple in-charges; these pillars had been sand-blasted. There you go! A layer has been removed thereby erasing some fine features in these sculptures.

The hall's top level has a series of plaster models of various gods, goddesses, saints and other heavenly characters.

Hanuman, Laxmana, Rama and Sita.

Ananthapadmanabha being served by Laxmi.

That must be the young Krishna and Gopikas.

A group of heavenly beings performing a ritual.

No idea what these scenes depict.


Lakshminarasimha Stotra.

I had read that one of Ashoka's edicts was at Swarnagiri. On inquiring a person pointed me to these three tablets besides the main Gopura. These inscriptions are Kannada not Brahmi or Prakit. I asked if there are any other inscriptions. Answer was no. Sigh!

Chakra and Shankha on one of the tablets.

Garbhagriha Shikharas.

That's the main Gopura...

...and the view as seen from the temple entrance. Ruins of fort walls can be seen here.

Just outside the walls is a stream-bed. We are on the bridge across the stream, not quite a stream even for the rainy season. About 300 meters to my right is a Triveni Sangama- confluence of three streams.

This once glorious place is in shambles today. This is the ruins of a Pushkarni, now it looks more like a trash pit.
In one corner of the Pushkarni evidence of quarrying can be seen.

Close to the Pushkarni are runs of two incomplete structures.

A five-minute walk from here is well designed royal bath constructed by Venkatappa Naik.

Kanakagiri Coordinates: 15°34'30"N   76°25'15"E
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6 comments:

architect Nikhil said...

I have been documenting evidences of such quarrying whereever I see them. I must say, your example is the most wonderful one I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing this. It is for the first time I see the grid not just a line. I came to know that the method was to insert wooden pegs into the drilled holes, pour water (to expand the wood) and "click" the stone would crack along the line. Ofcourse it needs some knowledge of the stone type to see which line will break (along the structure of the stone) and which one not. For a grid, I think they may have some sequence method too. I wonder if anyone today follows this practice locally.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you Nikhil. I too find ancient quarry sites interesting. Its nice that you are documenting such sites. Here's one more, you might have seen the quarry site at Aihole.. You can see few pictures at this link- http://karnatakatravel.blogspot.in/2012/04/rock-cut-jain-basti-aihole.html

Raj Gadwalkar said...

It is wondeful to see all the videos and pictures. It is really great work. I know it is pain but Siddeshwar has over come that pain my guess.
Great work I would like to see many more from you Siddeshwar.
Thanks
Raj, Washington DC.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Raj.

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Manohar Rao said...

Awesome peaceful place. I have been to this place many times. Appreciate your time and effort in getting details of such ancient temple.

-Manohar