Pureprayer takes you on SpiRitual Journeys to famous Lakshmi temples of India on the festive occasion of Shravan Shukravar. In this instalment you will be visiting Kamala Narayana Temple.
Where is Kamala Narayana temple?
Kamala Narayana temple is located in Degaon near Belgaum about 465 km from the capital city Bengaluru. This temple is about 50 km from Belgaum known for the winter sessions of Vidhana Sabha. The temple is just five kilometres away from the historic place of Kittur famous for Rani Chennamma, who fought against the British.
What is the history of the temple?
This is a 12th Century CE temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, built by Kadambas. Goddess Lakshmi has been installed in a separate shrine here. The name Degaon is believed to have been derived from the word Devagrama or Devagana, meaning the group of gods or the place of gods. Kamala Narayana temple was built by the queen Kamala Devi of Kadamba dynasty. She was the queen of the feudatory king Shivachitta Permadi. The temple was built by a Sthapati or Ruvari (Meaning: Architect), Tippoja in 1174 CE.
Goddess Mahalakshmi is in a standing posture with four arms holding Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma. Gada is in the upper right hand, which seems to be a rare carving style. The image is 9 centuries old.
Deities in the complex:
Main deity in this temple is Kamala Narayana Swamy with attendants on his either side. Another image of Lord Vishnu called Lakshmi Narayana Swamy is in sitting posture with Goddess Lakshmi in his lap. Garuda, the faithful flier stands near him.
Kamala Narayana temple follows Trikutachala style of architecture made popular by Badami Chalukyas. Sukanasi, Ardha Mantapa and Navaranga have been ornately designed. The temple with rectangular plan, consists of three cells forming the sanctum with the pillared hall. Kadamba style of architecture is known for tapering, tiered superstructure.
Sculpture of lions welcome you to the temple. The walls are decorated with motifs like various gods and goddesses, florals and figurines in dancing poses. Carved creepers on the door frame of the entrance to Sukanasi are captivating. Image of Gaja Lakshmi on the door-frame of Sanctum is typical of Kadamba style. There are two entrances to the temple. One can reach the small Garbha Griha or sanctum sanctorum dedicated to the deity Laxminarayana. Images of Dwara palakas are in front of the Garbha Griha (Meaning: sanctum sanctorum) guarding it.
The roof of the temple is flat from the exterior and has an exquisitely carved lotus in the inverted form. Richly carved stone pillars numbering twenty, support the roof of the temple. Emblems of Kadamba dynasty can be seen on the wall panels.
What are the Nearby Places of Visit?
Nuggikeri Hanuman temple:
Nuggikere Hanuman temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is six centuries old and located about 45 km from Kamala Narayana temple, Degaon. Hanuman is believed to be an installation performed by Sri Vyasaraja Tirtharu who was the Kula Guru for Salva Narasimha during Vijayanagara regime.
Kittur fort is situated about 7 km from Kamala Narayana temple. The fort built by Allappa Gowda Sardesai is more than three centuries old. Rani Chennamma who was ruling here in 1824 revolted against British, when they tried impose a draconian rule on her Samsthana (Meaning: kingdom). Kittur Rani Chennamma memorial museum inaugurated in 1967, is functioning nearby that can be visited. Antique items, weapons, inscriptions, figurines and many others found in excavations and other projects in this region are on display here. The museum is managed by Government of Karnataka and State department of Archaeology.
Gokak Falls is a famous waterfalls located on the Ghataprabha River in Belagavi district about 118 km from Kamala Narayana temple,Degaon. Ghataprabha River takes a leap of 171 ft over the sandstone cliff amidst a picturesque gorge of the rugged valley. The waterfall is horse shoe shaped at the crest.