Sep 6, 2014

Amruteshwara Gudi, Amrutapura, Tarikere

Amruteshwara Gudi is situated in the village with a similar name - Amrutapura, about 6 kms from Tarikere town in Chikkamagalur district. It was built in 1196 CE by Amrutheshwara Dandanayaka during the reign of Hoysala king Veera Ballala II.

March 17, 2014
At the first glance, the Ekakuta Amruteshwara Gudi is similar to the Trikutachala Kedareshwara Gudi of Belligavi. Both temples are in east-west orientation. Unlike the famous Hoysala temples of Belur, Halebidu and Somanathapura built in lotus shaped platforms, this temple sits at ground level. The temple's plan is like a hour glass; wide at ends and narrow in the middle.

The temple is preserved well barring few damages. Care has been taken to protect the structure; granite pillars have been places at corners to support the canopies.

The front hall- sabha mantapa -is rich with turned & polished black granite pillars. On the periphery is the raised seating platform- Sukhanasi.

No two pillars are same. Some pillars have still retained mirror like surfaces.

Badly scarred backrest of Sukhanasi at the northern entrance. Looks like metal tools were sharpened on that stone for long long time. Some grooves are 2" deep.

A board game etched on the Sukhanasi. Whoever created it also took care of making a groove to drain out water.Besides the game is a pair of human feet.. wonder who it represents.

 The east-west aisle heading towards Garbhagudi.

Shiva Linga in the Garbhagudi. I was just on time for the morning mangalarati. Besides the poojari and I, there were two visitors from Arasikere and an elderly lady with her toddler grandson from this village.

Basavanna (Nandi) poised opposite his lord.

One of the dozen inverse domes with multi-level concentric sculptures. This was the only one with an intact center piece. Many Hoysala temples feature this type of ceiling sculpture.

A hero-stone close to the eastern entrance. Bottom panel shows a battle scene, a warrior rising to heaven and the top panel shows the warrior in heaven.

A big slab with Kannada inscription and another hero-stone near the southern entrance.

Signature sculpture of Hoysalas in front of the Shikhara- Sala slaying the lion. Unfortunately Sala's head is missing.

Scenes depicting stories from 'Mahabharata', 'Ramayana' and 'Bhagavata Purana' have been sculpted on the outer walls of both temples. Panels showing Sri Krishna dancing on Kalinga and Arjuna burning Kandava forest are some of the interesting ones

Northern entrance.
an ancient well
A Banni tree with a platform is shrine by itself; half dozen sculptures are revered by local folks. Three little siblings  in their school uniform, bathed and foreheads smeared with Vibhuti, went around the platform several times, bowed and sat there few minutes. In the background is the gateway on the ring of wall around the temple premises. On the wall are merlon like circular blocks which create a fort like effect.

Just besides the main temple is a smaller temple, Sharada Devi Gudi. Both temples separate priests.

Beyond the gateway are homes of Amrutapura village. Its a small village, probably 300 houses or so.

Amrutapura is nestled in greenery- plantations of arecanut, banana and also paddy fields. Driving though the narrow roads leading to this little village is a pleasure by itself.



Mala Kulkarni said...

Pictures come out very well ,greenery added beauty to it.........

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Mala.