Cruising along Highway 234 – with vast fields on both the sides and a truck in front of us – the views were similar to any other road in India. We were headed to Arasikere in Hassan district of Karnataka in India to see the famous Ishwara Temple. Ascertaining from the pictures on the web, it was one of the most stunning temples we ever saw, placed amidst the lush greens majestically and this was enough motivation for us to explore the area.
But before moving onto our final Destination, we took a detour and followed the Karnataka state tourism markers to Arekere, a place close to Banavar, which took us to a Beautiful temple. The structure was dated, but well preserved and maintained. The surroundings were taken care of and it was a functional temple. However, the main door of the temple was locked.
We tried to look around but we didn’t have to try too hard – as within minutes, a group of villagers gathered around us.
And just before we could say anything, one of the kids stepped up and asked, “Do you want to see the temple?”.
Of course we said, “Yes”. And after some discussion amongst themselves, the kids’ mother came up to us and said, “The key is with one of the elders in the village, so you can wait here and we will open the door for you”.
That was really nice of her, we said thanks and waited for her to return. Meanwhile, we went around the area, clicked pictures and soaked in the serenity. The temple walls were adorned with beautiful figures and the delicate craftsmanship was still visible though it seemed eroded over time.
After around twenty minutes, the lady came back with a small group of people and opened the lock to let us in. We took off our shoes and stepped into history. The first chamber was small and was supported with rounded pillars (one of the Hoysala architectural trademarks) and the ceilings had intricate patterns. Then on to the next, which led us to the main chamber where the idols were placed. The statues were decorated with flowers and a small lamp was hanging from the ceiling – the only new additions to the ancient structure we could see.
After praying, we came out and asked one of the ladies who had helped us, “Can you tell us anything about the history of this temple?”.
But she had no answer, she nodded and said, “There is one person who could tell you about it but he is not here at this time”.
Well, I guess we were not there at a good time. And that was it, disappointed, we tried to deduce our own interpretations from what we saw.
Its proximity to Arasikere temple and the style & architecture such as the rounded pillars inside – indicate that it must have been built during the Hoysala rule (c. 1220).
A beautiful stone temple, we called it.
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Link – For more information about the place & how to get there, see the website – OneFiveNine Explore India.
Gallery of Pictures in this post.