Oct 29, 2016

Aravattu Kambhada Gudi ~ 60 pillar temple, Navagi

I'd read about Nagavi few years ago while researching Ashokan edicts of Sannati. The place marked 'Nagavi' was described as an ancient university.

July 2, 2016
We reached Nagavi by noon; our first stop was Shree Nagavelambika Temple; then we proceeded to Sanjeevini Hanuman Devasthana; next we explored another temple with a stepped well followed by the ruins of fort; finally we arrived at the 60-pillar temple. By the time we arrived here, we were famished; we grabbed our lunch bag and water bottles and settled down in the shade of young trees within the temple compound. Items on the menu were - sajji rotti, madaki kaalu, cucumber, tomato, curd, shanga-chatni and shenga-holige. The moment we started eating, a thousand flies appeared out of no where.. we had a tough time keeping them from settling on open items. Somehow we managed to finished our lunch and packed up. With our hunger taken care of, we turned our attention to the temple.

As you see, its a simple structure, built on a platform. The structure measures approximately 50' x 60'. This east-facing temple has only one entrance.

Above the door-frame is painted "Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara." This temple is dedicated to the three lords of the Hindu religion. The care-taker told us this is one the few temples in which Brahma Linga is worshipped,

As we step into the temple we see the entire hall is filled with pillars, they are about 60 of them hence the name "Aravattu Kambada Gudi." This temple is said to be built during Chlukyas' time. This temple was restored recently, job well done.

A diagonal view of the interior. At the centre is a square pit and exactly above the pit is an opening in the roof. We'll come to that later.

This is the Garbhagudi; the pedestal is wide and on it are three Linga; one each dedicated to Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector and Maheshwara the Destroyer. Rituals are performed daily hence the temple is clean, though it has a lingering odour of bats.

So that's the pit I spoke about earlier. The pit is deep enough for a person to bathe in it hence wondering if water was poured in from the opening in the roof. Well, the pit could be a simple water tank also.

Among the sixty plus pillars, four are different size & design. They are slightly larger than the remaining ones. They form the outer ring of the central pit.

Two parallel rows standing hundreds of years. Cheers to the temple builders of those times. Long live their works of art.

Having done wit the interios we come back to our lunch spot to collect our bag and water bottle. So this little obelisk has inscriptions on all four faces. My assumption that script was Old Kannada was wrong, the care-taker said its Nagalipi. It is said that Nagalipi is one of the oldest scripts of India.

The place a peaceful ambience and very convenient spot for a picnic except for the bothersome houseflies.
A closer look at the inscription where the scribe has paid respects to Sun and Moon before engraving the message.

The stone is dark and hard, hence the engraving still visible. Care-taker said the temple and insciption  are from II Century CE.. need to verify that.

Here's a short video of the temple.

A 2 minute walk from this temple is a temple with a fresh-water well called Nandi Baavi. I did not step into the temple, here's a picture of it.. Sadly the temple's well is being misused by local youth. When I was present a local Muslims man let his dog dive into the well for a swim and group of same community boyts cheered after him as though it was a great feat. For them this is just another pond, not a temple. :( Had this been their place of worship they would not have behaved so...

I'm guessing this temple's deity is Lord Shiva's mount Nandi. You can find pictures of 4 to 5 feet Nandi in this short video of Nandi Baavi.

Having covered Nagavi briefly, we move on to our next and final destination.. Firozabad fort near Jevargi.
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