Jan 3, 2012

Pranavesvara Temple and Inscribed Pillar, Talagunda

October 8, 2011.

Sixth place of day, a day of 10+ temples and one vanishing fort. Sun was high up in the sky and weather was pretty warm. Pranavesvaragudi is right next to the road, in a shallow depression. The temple is well maintained, thanks to the fence enclosing these invaluable monuments. Two boards give out useful information about the temple and the eye-catching inscribed pillar.

Pranavesvara Temple, Talagunda

Sporadic exploration around Talagunda has brought to light early historic vestiges in the form of brick structures. An inscription in Prakrit of the Satavahana period was found at Malvalli, 7km north-east of Talagunda, proves the place was under the occupation of Satavahanas right from thr first-second century A.D. Later it is referred to as Sthana Kundra in Kadamba inscriptions. It was the home town of the Kadambas of Vaijayanti (Banvasi) who won over the Chutus and established the first indigenous Kannada kingdom in around the first quarter of the fourth century A.D. with their capital at Banvasi.

The Pranavesvara temple is a small austere square building with a Garbhagriha and a Sukanasi. The Garbhagriha houses a large Siva-linga on a Bhadra Pitha. The epigraphical record reflects that the Sivalinga in the Garbhagriha was worshipped from the time of Satakamni (Satakarni) rulers and the shrine itself appears to have been constructed around fourth century A.D. A Sanskrit inscription in box-headed characters with an invocation to God Pasupati engraved on the right door-jamb of the Pranavesvara temple, which registers a grant of money for feeding thirty residents of Sthanakunjapura by Kakustha of the Bhataru family who was feudatory of the Kadamba king.

Slab with Halegannada inscription next to the temple.

Gajalakshmi on the doorjamb.

Om Namah Shivaya.

Kedaresvara temple care-taker had mentioned that Talagunda Shivalinga is big, about 8 feet tall.

Lotus in the ceiling.

The Inscribed Pillar is about 40 feet from the temple's front door.

The holy primeval god Bhava, found here, is said to have been worshiped by the Satakamnis as per the inscription. Talagunda was an ancient Agrahara town called Sthana-Kundra in inscriptions, the original home of the Kadambas of Banavasi, the earliest indegenous kingdom in Karnataka.

Datable to fifth century A.D. on box-headed Kadamba characters, the inscribed stone pillar in front of the Pranavesvara Temple records that a tank was got excavated by king Kakusthavarman (A.D. 405-430) for the use of the temple. But virtually this is a historical document giving an amount of the origin of the Kadambas.Their pedigree down to Santivarman, son of Kakustha is recorded. The inscription, in chaste Sanskrit of the Kavya style, was composed by poet Kubja. It also relates the achievements of his successors. This is one of the most important inscriptions of Karnataka shedding light on several aspects of Karnataka history and culture.

With this pillar inscription, I've seen inscriptions in four languages- Halegannada, Telugu, Devanagiri and Prakrit.

As we left, a family of four were entering the temple enclosure. We head towards Bhandalike to see more temples.

Talagunda Pranavesvara Temple Coordinates: 14°25'21"N 75°15'11"E



Adi said...

Hi there,

I have been following your blog for sometime and I just wanted to let you know what a commendable job you're doing documenting Karnataka's rich heritage. I really admire people with a passion of history (and you're clearly at the top of this list) and it's so unfortunate that most of our countrymen don't seem to care at all about our past other than to use it for political machinations.

I hope I'll get to see at least a fraction of the monuments you've catalogued on your blog. Kudos!


siddeshwar said...

Thank you Adi.

dr.umesh l said...

Yes, I really agree with @Adi. "Journeys across Karnataka" is showcasing the rich heritage of Karnataka. People from "Ancient History and Archeology departments" haven't documented many of these places. We should thank Siddesh for this extraordinary effort...

Swami said...

A Nice Work indeed !

Swaminathan N