Nov 29, 2014

ancient temple of Hebballi

In North Karnataka there are several places which are believed to have 101 temples and wells. The first place I heard about was Lakkundi, then came Laxmeshwar and Hebballi. Hebballi is 20+ kms from Dharwad. I wanted to check out if such a small village really had 101 temples..

August 28, 2011
On the way back from Thirlapur, we stopped at Hebballi. It was rainy season, village streets were slushy and messy. At the village square we made inquiries for ancient temples and were directed to this temple seen below. I did not note of the name of the temple.. but its a temple dedicated to Shiva Linga. The temple is definitely ancient, situated on the village outskirts. Note the Indo-Islamic arch of the entrance. Also the row of merlon like formation on the top.

The ancient gateway still stand while the surrounding wall has gone missing. Design of the pillars is similar to that of temples of Bankapur, Hangal, Haveri, etc.

View of the deity in Garbhagudi- a Shiva Linga. Absence of flowers doesn't mean ritual are no performed. The poojari has chosen to perform a simple ritual.. wash the deity with water and apply Vibhuti.

A strong looking Basavanna seated before his Lord.

Note the mesh like sculptures flanking the Garbhagudi doorway.

A slab with Kannada inscription.. wonder why it was smeared with lime :( Note the window mesh on the right, the design is commonly seen in Badami Chalukyan temples.

Close to the road was another inscription lying neglected. Some vandals have damaged the beautiful monument. Wonder if our people will ever realize the value of our heritage!

A small mob had gathered.. curious to know why strangers were taking pictures of their village temple. Extreme right is my cousin Vidya and next her is a friend Manju.

Folks said that Hebballi did have 101 temples and wells long time back but now most of lost with time. There was one good temple in the fields but reaching the place in wet conditions would be difficult. We decided to make it during dry weather. One of the boys asked to check out an ancient Matha inside the village. We negotiated the narrow streets and managed to reach the Matha. It had thick and tall walls like a fort. As we stepped into the Matha we were greeted by some ancient wood work.. sadly the place has not tidy, barres and stuff were heaped. Also, some youngsters were erecting a pendal for celebrating Ganesha festival. I skipped taking pictures.

Hope to come back some day and locate the temple in the fields and find out how many of the 101 are surviving to this day.

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