Jan 7, 2012

Bandalike Temple Complex

Bandalike Temple Complex is a nice place to relax. Four temples are scattered over 10 acres of mounds and depressions. The complex is more or less like a garden with lot of tall trees providing ample shelter. And the place is well maintained. I start off with a bit of Bandalike's history.

Bandalike or Bandananike from the inscriptions was an important town of Nagarakhanda. It was a well known center of Jainism and Kalamukha sect. The importance of the place is well established by the lithic records of the Rastrakutas (Circa 7th-8th century A.D.), Kalyani Chalukyas (Circa 11th-12th century A.D.), Kalachuris, Hoysalas (Circa 12th century A.D.), Seunas (Circa 13th century A.D.) and Vijayanagar (Circa 15th-16th century A.D.). It was a prosperous center in the eleventh and twelfth centuries during the period of the Kalyani Chalukyas.

Of the four temples, I could get names of two temples- Trimurti Narayana Gudi and Somesvaragudi. Closest to the entrance is Trimurti Narayana Gudi.

Built in 1160, this is a Trikutachala (triple-celled) temple of the Kalyana Chalukyan period. The superstructure on the northern and southern shrines are intact and the western one has collapsed. Known for its elegance and symmetry, this temple in east-west orientation has Siva-linga in the western and southern cells, the northern cell has a sculpture of Vishnu. All the three cells have vestibules with ornamental doorways flanked by niches. The western cell has a well sculptured Simhalata at its Antarala doorway. The elevation of the temple is austere. The wall is relieved by niches surmounted by turret and slender pilasters. The superstructures over Garbhagrihas are typical Tritala Vesara Sikhara featured with a square Stupi.

The temple's inside is used like a store- pipes and other garden equipment. Swalpa adjust madkobeko. Inside it was little dark, especially after stepping out of bright light.

Interior is not really spacious but the art work is lovely.

Should be Mahishamardini.

Close to the temple is this collection of hero-stones.

A battle scene showing various weapons- sword, spears, bow & arrow and shields. Interesting part of this picture is the series of merlons of a fort wall in the bottom right corner.

Basavanna in front of the temple. The temple in the background is where I go next.

This strcuture looks like a peeled orange. Plan to create a Trikutachala was abandoned long before the outer layer of decorative layer of sculpted slabs were put in place.

With this incomplete temple, we get to know a how temple was constructed in that period. Inside the temple it was cool and I was tempted to lied down ...thoughts of missing Chandragutti Fort kept me moving.

Incomplete yet has a beauty of its own.

Compared to the previous temple, this one is a skeleton.

This looks like the structure was restored recently.

Looks primitive.

Two minute walk, I'm at Somesvara Temple.

Also known as Anekalsomeyya and Boppesvara temple, this was constructed by Boppa Setti in A.D. 1274. Thus is an austere temple with a Garbhagriha, Antarala, and a pillared Mandapa with a porch in east-west orientation. The entrance doorway is ornate with as many as four door jambs which at the base has well sculpured Dwarapalas and Apsara figures. The jambs are ornate variety with creeper decorations. The lintel at the center has a Gajalakshmi. On either side of the door are artistically sculptured, perforated screens which alternating with narrative friezes depicting episodes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The sanctum is bereft of any images. Inside the Mahamandapa are six niches, two flanking the Antarala and three each in the northern and southern walls of the Mandapa, the central one being larger.

Another restored temple, seems like most of its original features are lost. Front wall of this temple is decorated with sculptures of scene from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

To the left side of the temple's door: starting from the bottom, Rama and Sita's wedding. Not sure about the next panel, the female character with long hair must be Soorpanaki. Ravana having abducted Sita has come back to his palace.

A closer looks at Ravana and Soorpanaki. I do not remember significance of boar and donkey in Ramayana.

To the right i Mahabharata, starting with the scene of Pandavs and Kauravas engaged in game of dice. Rest of the panels are mostly battle scene- archers, elephants, chariots and horses.

Somesvara temple has its own collection of hero-stones with inscription. These hero-stones are of similar design.

A window mesh sculpture. Hero stone: I had mistaken this for a dance. During a recent visit to Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy Department, Karnataka University, Dharwad I happened to see similar images amongst the collection of hero-stones in the department's museum. My colleague, past student of this department who was accompanying me told me about the images- Apsaras carrying away the person to heaven.

Women adorned in shorts and cloth tied around their waist. Only jewelry seen here are bead necklaces. I wonder what the curved pillar is up to; is it trying to protect the seated man from the two characters with swords? The seated man was killed in the attack and is being carried off by Apsaras to heaven.

A close look at a part of one of the inscriptions.

Basavanna, folds of skin on its chest created beautifully.

Each of these temples have something different; design of hero-stones, characters depicted, attires of that time, animals, weapons ...it goes on. Every stone tells do much about society and culture of those times. We have so much to see...

At the entrance I met the care-taker. I mentioned that Shantinata Basdi gate was locked, which we had passed by earlier. It turned out he's the care-taker for the Basdi also. He offered to come and open the gate. Back at the cab, I noticed rear right tire pressure was less than normal and pointed it out to Yellappa. I asked Yellapa to take care of the tire while I see the Basadi which is about 300m from this temple complex.

Bandalike Temple Complex Coordinates: 14°29'12"N 75°16'2"E



jayasree said...

Dear Mr Siddeshwar,
Nice compilations.
I would like to have some information.

The 3 tier hero stones depict from bottom to top, the man dying in combat, his wife entering Sati and both of them worshiping Shiva in Shiva loka. Similar ones are found in Tamilnadu - Karnataka border in Sathya mangalam forest area. This type of hero stone showing the wife dying in sati seems to have happened in Karnataka regions. Would like to know the location (district or well known place nearby) of this and the one you have given in Amminabhavi.

Would also like to know whether they were found in the temple complex or outside. If within the temple complex, what temples were they - Hindu or Jain?


Captain Flint said...

The other 2 structures are the Sahasralinga temple and the Mahanavami Dibba. Along with Trimurthi narayana and someshwara, they constitute 4-temple complex of Bandalike. The fifth structure, and at a short distance from the Bandalike temple complex is the Shantinatha Jaina basadi, also very beautiful.

Thank you for the detailed writeups as always. I had an opportunity to visit Bandalike recently and clubbed it with visits to Talagunda and Balligavi.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Captain Flint.