December 25, 2012
We stopped at Kavital while driving from Raichur to Maski, it was about 7 AM when we entered the village. Kavital was one of the places mentioned under places-of-interest on Raichur district website. Here's the description of the temple we are about to visit.
Kavital, in Manvi taluk, is a large village, situated on the Raichur-Lingsugur road, about 40 miles from Raichur and 18 miles from Lingsugur. There is a hillock to the south-west of the village which has several natural caverns. Along the slopes of the hill, artifacts, iron slag and pieces of ancient pottery were found. To the west of the village is an ash-mound on the top of which, in later times, a temple has been built. The ash-mound marks the site of an old smelting factory. There is an interesting medieval temple in the village, called Tryambakeshwara temple, which has three shrines, two of which contain lingas. There are two Kannada inscriptions in the temple and a beautiful image of Mahishasuramardini in one of the two niches in its western wall. All the three shrines are of a uniform size, each being 9 feet deep and 8 feet broad, and each one has an ante-chamber. Also of a uniform size of 7 feet X 8 feet, connected with the main hall.
The exterior of the temple is plain, but the masonry work is very impressive. The shikharas of the shrines, which are of the Dravidian style, have been built up to about two-thirds of their height in dressed stone, while the remaining portion had been completed in brick and lime. The walls of the temple are built of huge blocks of pink granite, some of which are as big as 15 feet in length, 3 feet in breadth and about 2 feet in thickness. The plinth is covered with earth; but on the northern and western sides, some portion of it, are exposed and these show a frieze representing elephant-fights and other scenes.
The temple is close to the village square, surroundings were clean and tidy.
It was a pleasant surprise to see three Lingas on one pedestal. This is the east facing Garbhagudi, The other two Garbhagudis face north and south, both have Shivalingas. Morning rituals has just got over, the poojari welcomed us. We took pictures of the deity with his permission.
It was time for breakfast and we were hungry. We found a small family run eatery in the village square. Fresh idli and puri were on the menu. We had a solid breakfast! We did not have the time to visit the temple built on the ash-mound. Anyway, I discovered few other interesting places to see on Raichur-Lingsugur stretch. Watagal is a rocky hill which looks like a tadpole in bird's eye view. It has a small clearing at the top with an ancient in the center. About a kilometer to the west of Kalmala village is a large stone alignment which might have been used as a calendar in prehistoric times. Also close by is a fort at Kotekal village. So much to see :-)
We drive to Maski to see emperor Ashoka's edict and then head to Mudgal.