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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 Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi Temple in Hassan district.

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Where is Lakshmi Devi temple?

Sri Lakshmidevi temple is located in Doddagaddavalli village about 16 km from Hassan district along Bengaluru-Hassan road in Karnataka state. This region reached the height of its glory during the rule of the Hoysalas who had their capital at Dwarasamudra, the modern Halebeedu. This is a temple built by Kullahana Rahutta, an army officer in the court of king Vishnuvardhana during the Hoysala reign.

What is the importance of Dodda Gaddavalli Lakshmi Temple?

Sri Lakshmi temple was built with Goddess Lakshmi, Kalikadevi, Shiva and Vishnu and Kala Bhairava as the deities. Sri Lakshmi temple has been built using chloritic schist commonly known as Balapa in Kannada (soapstone). The temple was completed in 1114 CE. The architecture style is defined as Kadmba-Nagara that was refined and became the hall-mark of Hoysala temples. Kullahana and Sahaja Devi are said to have commissioned the construction.

Temple Architecture:

This is a Chatushkuta styled temple with four Vimanas protected by a tall seven foot wall all round. The regular feature of Hoysala temples, the star shaped Jagati has not been used here. Navaranga Mantapa connects the four shrines and has two entrances. Navaranga is supported by 18 carved pillars. Ceiling of Navaranga is exclusively and intricately carved with images of gods and goddesses. Hoysala emblem of the warrior fighting the lion has been mounted on the Sukanasi. The tower on the shrine of Goddess Lakshmi has been decorated with sculptural work, while all other towers are without any. Images of Lakshmi, Vishnu, Kalikadevi and Shiva were installed in the four shrines. However, the image of Vishnu is reported to have been stolen sometime back. In the place of Lord Vishnu, the idol of Kala Bhairava has been installed. There are four smaller shrines in the temple-complex. Totally, nine towers called Bhuvaneshwari adorn the temple-complex.

A Kalyani is in the eastern part of the temple-complex.

Deities:

Lakshmi:

Image of Goddess Lakshmi about three feet high, carved in the black granite has been installed with an attendant on either side. She is in the standing posture called Samabhangi. She is holding Shankh (conch) in the upper right hand and Chakra (disc) in the upper left hand. Japamala is adorning the lower right hand and Gada (Mace) in the lower left hand. A carving of Tandaveshvara in different postures (Shiva performing the cosmic dance) can be seen in the ceiling of Navaranga Mantapa.

Kalika Devi:

Image of Kalika Devi with eight arms has been installed in seated position with two Betalas which are in the form of skeletons as attendants. The halo is carved with Betalas in different postures. An image of Kalikadevi can also be seen in the ceiling. Other interesting carvings in the ceiling are Lord Indra riding his Airavat. Shachidevi is also with Lord Indra on the elephant.

Shiva:

Shivalingam installed here is called Bhutanatha. Kala Bhairava is a form of Lord Shiva.

Ashta Dikpalakas (Gods of eight cardinal directions) are also depicted in this temple-complex. Lord Indra in the north riding the Airavat. South-east has been occupied by Lord Agni holding a weapon called Shakti in the hand riding the single horned ram. Yama, the lord of death is holding a Danda (weapon) riding a buffalo is depicted in the south. Nirruti. A goddess with beautiful human form can be seen in the south-west. Varuna the water lord is riding the crocodile in the western direction.

Inscriptions:

In all, 16 inscriptions have been brought to light in Doddagaddavalli. Main architect of the Lakshmi temple has been mentioned as Malloja-Maniyoja and referred as Vishwakarma Subhashita. Different technical aspects of the architecture find mention in the inscription. The temple has been referred as Griharaja.

What are the nearby temples?

Sri Channakeshava Temple:

Sri Channakeshava Temple in Belur is located about 24 km from the Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi temple. Belur, which is on the banks of Yagachi River, was earlier known as Velapuri, Velur and Dakshina Varanasi. The presiding deity of this temple is Sri Channakeshava Swamy, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The main temple is surrounded by a shrine for Kappe Chennigaraya, Goddess Somanayaki, Goddess Andal and others.

Sri Yoga Narasihma temple-Gorur:

Sri Yoga Narasihma temple on the banks of Hemavati River in Gorur is located about 43 km from Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi temple. This is said to have been built in 1586 by a Chieftain named Krishnappa Nayak of Vijayanagar rulers. The idol of presiding deity was covered by an ant hill. It was cleared and a tiny shrine was built by Krishnappa Nayak. A special feature of this temple is, the idol of Sri Yoga Narasihma is in Yoga Mudra and facing the west. The temple is adorned with an exquisitely sculpted tower above the main entrance.

When is the best time to visit Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi Temple?

Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi temple can be visited through-out the year. However moderate climate after October through February is said to be ideal for travel in Karnataka.

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