May 27, 2011
I heard about this 13th century Hoysala temple from one of my colleagues who's surname is Harihar. I've visited Harihar several times during my school days. Dad would let me accompany him during his visit to Harihar Polyfibers. Once we spent time on the river bank very close to the British era road bridge. I remember seeing some Bramhin boys from Raghavendra Swami Mutta smoking under the bridge. They had come here to read books, perhaps they wanted a break from their routine.
I reached the temple around 3PM. It was a hot day at the peak of summer. Floor stones were terribly hot, I quickly went inside the temple.
Heavy columns dominate the interior. Each of them turned and polished to mirror finish.
An array of geometric patterns covered by a layer of soot. Looks like the grey layer is a contribution of homas performed here.
The decorated Garbhagudi face. A fish-eye lens would fetch better pictures of temple interiors, time I get one.
Halegannda inscription close to Garbhagudi entrance.
As you see the interior is quite plain. Few decorative sculptures adorn the ceiling. One of the priests relaxing on the stone seats showed me 'three fish with one head.' I remembered seeing similar but not exactly the same art at Munvalli Fort.
I went exploring the exteriors, its also quite plain like the interior. However, inscriptions dominate the temple premises. About 20 slabs of various sizes stand around the temple. Of these 20, about 5 of them are more than six feet tall and the tallest one is 12 feet- the biggest I've ever seen.
A closer look at the bigger ones.
Behind the temple is this little Basavnna.
I wonder what this is used for- breaking coconuts or light camphor on it?
A collection of hero-stones and inscriptions.
I wonder if all these inscriptions belong to this temple. Perhaps some are from temples with no one to look after.
No idea to which god this smaller temple is dedicated to. Anybody will be amazed at the tall slab leaning against the temple.
Did the sculptor who made this wanted to create a record for the tallest inscription?
The top is fairly well preserved but the text is fading. I wish these monuments get better attention.
Few videos of Harihareshwara temple.
If you are driving on NH4 and passing by Harihar, do stop by to see this beautiful temple.
Harihareshwara Temple Coordinates: 14°30'45"N 75°48'10"E