“My favorite thing to do is go where I’ve never been” – Anonymous
While everyone was busy getting ready to office and gearing themselves for the week ahead, we excitedly set out to explore these unheard temples of Karnataka on a chilly Monday morning. Nuggehalli is a small village at a short distance of 150 km from Bangalore where two beautiful temples stand as a monumental reminder of brilliant Hoysala architectural. The ride was short and pleasant and we reached the temple complex only to realize there was no one around.
As the name indicates, the Lakshmi Narasimha temple has three deities in it namely Keshava, Lakshminarasimha and Gopala. There are hardly people around and I did not see any government approved guides.Not atleast when I was there.One can find information on the history and architecture of the temple on the board at the entrance.
Legend depicts that a saint by name Rushbha performed penance and pleased with his devotion Lord Lakshmi Narasimha manifested himself and blessed him. The records state that the temple was built by a chieftain Bommanna Danda Nayaka, who was an aide of the Hoysala king , Someshwara.
A walk around the temple complex and I was captured by the beautiful temple exterior filled with narratives from all the epics.The carvings are exquisite and intricate that this place reminded me of the famous Belur and Halebidu temples.
The artworks are drool worthy but parts of it have been destroyed either by invasions or due to natural calamities.It’s a sad state of affairs to see that a temple of such brilliance does not have the same attention nor there are any restoration done to the artwork.
After spending a good amount of time we then left for Sadasiva temple which is located at a walkable distance. The Sadashiva temple is also built aroudn the same time but is a smaller temple.The walls were not adorned unlike other Hoysala temples, but yet has some beautiful carved pillars inside.Built in the Ekuta Nagara type, this temple is dedicated to Shiva.
Away from the crowded touristy spots,these divine temples are a welcome diversion. For history enthusiasts, these temples are highly recommended if you plan to visit Belur. Anyone visiting Hassan must visit this place.
- How to reach – Include this in your itinerary if you plan to visit Belur & Halebidu.- Nuggehalli is approximately around 130-150 kms from Bangalore. You need to take the Bangalore – Mangalore highway and then a diversion after Hiriseva.
- Temples open around 10 a.m in the morning.Upon request, the priest opens the temple for visitors during off hours as well.