Sep 20, 2014

Lakshmi Narasimha Devastana, Bhadravati

Bhadravathi is one of the towns named after a rive. Most probably it is the only town. Bhadravthi is situated on the Bhadra river bank. The little town was known for its steel and paper mills which were established by Sir M Vishweshwaraiah in 1923 and 1937 respectively. Both factories are situated on the left bank of Bhadra. Besides these factories Bhadravathi is known for its 800 year old temple - Lakshmi Narasimha Devastana. The temple was built by Veera Narasimha, grandson of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. It is a east facing Trikutachala built on a Nakshtra style ~ star shaped platform with only one entrance. Inside the temple are images of Sri Krishna, Purushottama, Ganesha, Sharadamba. The temple is under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

March 17, 2014
It was after a long time I was visiting Bhadravathi, last visit was during an industrial tour when I was doing engineering. It was even longer the last time I visited Lakshmi Narasimha temple, probably 1976 or 1975. On this visit it was as good as seeing the temple for first time. The temple is about a kilometer and half from the main road, goes through the narrow streets of old town. Unlike other ancient temples, this temple is a regular pilgrim center. Even an annual fair is held here.

As you see, the temple is assembled on a star-shaped platform which is 3' high. The temple has a small Mukhamantapa with Sukhanasi flanking the doorway. 

The temple is located in a residential but its well protected.

This where the temple priest is usually seated after finishing with rituals, reading holy scriptures.

Going around the temple clockwise. A slab with Kannada inscription - this is the only one in this temple.

The platform is very convenient for those circumambulating the temple. There were few other visitors here performing rituals. On the left, behind this wall is one of the Garbhagudis.

That's main the main Garbhagudi- abode of Sri Laxmi Narasimha, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

A closer look at the structure reveals scars of vandalism. Our people, will they ever realize, why cant they just leave these monuments alone. The temple is relatively simple, meaning not much of decorative sculptures. Parts of second level looks quite bare. Was the temple work abandoned before completion?

Sculptures on second level- gods and goddesses accompanied by performing musicians and dancers.

Few sculptures are target to rituals here- worshippers apply vermilion, turmeric, burn camphor and even pour oil. Stone absorbs oil and softens it. I wish people give up such damaging practices.

Sculpture of a man with a serpent.

Here we have three sculptures blackened by effects of camphor I guess. The dark sculpture on the right is Sri Krishna in the classical pose of playing flute.

The temple is situated on the river Bhadra's right bank. If you are coming from Tarikere or Chitradurga side, you need not go across the river. If you are coming from Shimoga side, you have go across the bridge and turn left immediately.

The other Hoysala temples nearby are Amruteshwara temple near Tarikere and Sri.Chintamani Narasimha Sri.Rameshwara at Koodli, the place where Tunga and Bhadra merge to form Tungabhadra.

Coming back to Bhadravati, I would like to tell about a modern day monument- St. Charles Borromeo convent schools. The two schools- Kannada and English -were established in 1960. The schools are imparting education for the past 54 years! Even children from Shimoga are students here. The school has a hostel for children from far off places. The school building is a stone structure in Gothic architecture.



drmanjuortho said...

Hi Siddeshwar,
very informative. Is it same place as Kudali where Tunga and Bhadra rivers meet? I request you to please also include google map of the places along with other information.
Thank you again.

siddeshwar said...

Dr. Manjunath, this temple is in Bhadravati itself. The temple is less than a kilometer from the road bridge across river Bhadra. Kudali is about 30+ kilometers from here. Usually I include coordinates at the end of the post for forts. I'll start including it for temples too. Thank you for the suggestion.