Nov 6, 2009

Temples of Lakkundi

Finally I did visit Lakkundi many years after hearing about it's ancient temples and wells. It seems that long time back the village was known as 'Lohigundi' which became 'Yakkundi' and finally became 'Lakkundi' the present day name. I learnt this from my guide Advesh F Kalbandi. Kalbandi is a Kannada word for a boulder.

Lakkundi is known for it's 101 temples and 101 tanks. Every temple has it's own well or tank known as Kalyani. We might find 101 temples if we could go back in time but at present, only about 14 temples are identifiable of which only 6 (see below) are under the care of Archeological Department.
1. Bramha Jinalaya,
2. Naganatha Temple,
3. Naneswara Temple,
4. Kashi Vishwanatha Temple,
5. Manikeshwara Temple and
6. Kumbareswara Temple

My first stop was at Jain Basti, there's a museum also but nothing great, it looks more like a godown,

A beheaded statue...

and a pair legs of the body missing.

An ancient inscription in Kannada. If one can spend some time on it, it can be read and understood.

One of the columns which probably acted as a mirror. I wonder how the column would have looked back those days.

This looks like a tower from which water was drawn up from the well below it. The water was greenish and surrounded by thorny shrubs called jaali-gida.

This Kasivisvesvara temple, you can find lots of intricately worked carvings here.

Makarathorana, the emblem of Kalyana Chalukya dynasty.

A scene from Ramayana, monkeys hauling stones to build for Lord Rama to cross over to Lanka. At the bottom of the picture, you can see fishes, turtle and crocodile.

This looks like a scene from Mahabharata of the warriors fighting an elephant and the other warrior is firing arroes from his bow. Notice the clouds on the top of the picture.

That's a scene inside an elephant's stomach; the story is about Lord Shiva slaying a demon. Evil cannot escape his wrath no matter how hard they try.

This is a carving of ten-headed Ravanasura fighting an elephant.

This is one of the wells, to be correct we call it Kalyani. This Kalyani belongs to the Basavanna temple which is right next to a water tank.

We climbed up the stair-case and got a bird's eye-view of Lakkundi.

This is Manikesvara Temple. This temple has a stepped well and the well is locally called as muskin bhanvi meaning well in a veil because of it's canopy. The day I visited, it seems the water level was low. The day being hot and humid, I washed my face and hands in the cool water, it was quite refreshing.

That's Advesh my guide and three local boys. The boy in maroon shirt is Shrikant. He displayed his diving and swimming skills here.

Talking about other historical places in the surrounding area Advesh suggested we could visit Itgi which is famous for intricate work. He also suggested Dambal. I chose to check out Itgi which was about 30 kilometers from Lakkundi and Advesh agreed to joined me. We stopped and had uppit (I had packed two boxes for lunch), dates and water under a tree in a field next to the highway. Hunger satisfied, we moved on to Itagi and Kukanur...




My wife have returned from a trip to Hampi,Badami tec.On our way from Hospet to Badami, we stopped at Lakundi.We enjoyed our visit very much. I intend to write blogs on Lakundi - reached yours during a search in the internet.

Appreciate the photographs and interesting notes describing the events depicted in the wall panels. I was wondering whether the Mahabharata scene is slaying of elephant Kubalayapeer by Krsna ?

siddeshwar said...

Hello Sir, Thank you for your time and comments. Looks like you are right about Mahabharata scene. The figure on the left should be Arjuna.


When Balaram and Krsna were entering Mathura to challenge king Kansa,their uncle, Kansa let the elephant Kubalayappeerha against them. So, if this scene depicts this scene, then the other person here is Balaram.

Your blogs on Karnataka are excellent.You seem to enjoy traveling very much ! I have just published a blog on Iconography of wall reliefs @ Lakundi ( planning to release some more photographs in a 2nd part) where I have suggested readers may refer to your blog too !

When you find time, pl visit -

siddeshwar said...

Pardon me for the ignorance. I've read stories from the Mahabharata during school days, later I lost touch and most of them are forgotten...

Basically I like to spend my free time outside city limits and been a traveling type since my childhood. Thanks to my parents for the freedom granted.

Thank you, for referring your friends to JaK :)


Hello friend,

How are you - busy exploring different places !

I do not know whether you stay in touch with my blogs - I wd.invite you to view my 2nd blog on Lakundi :

Best wishes.

Shyamal Chatterji

siddeshwar said...

Hello Sir,

Your blog post "MYTHICAL & REAL-LIFE ANIMALS at LAKUNDI" is interesting. The pictures are well shot and the description crisp and clear as always.

...yes Sir, I travel often. Thank God for this opportunity.

We'll be in touch.

Anil Lakkundi said...

Hi Siddeshwar
Just came across your blog by chance . Thanks to google !
Thank you very much for such an amazing blog. Makes for a very interesting read . My ancestors are from Lakkundi ( hence the surname ) . I have never visited the place though !
After reading your blog , makes me want to visit the place .
Thank you once again
Anil Lakkundi

siddeshwar said...

Hi Anil,
Thank you. Do spend a day at Lakkundi, those temple are beautiful! I think October to December is a good time, weather would be friendly.