Temple: Mahakuta Group of Temples
Mahakuta is a place of religious significance for Shaivites. It is situated in Bagalkot in Karnataka, a few kilometers away from Badami.
Mahakuta Group of Temples – Overview
The Mahakuta Group of Temples was built during the 6th to 8th century AD. The temples share the common Chalukya style found in Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal. The two inscriptions discovered in the Mahakuteswara temple make it an important site for historians.
Mahakuta Group of Temples – History
Mahakuta is a place of religious and historic significance. The temples here are in the Badami Chalukyan style, reflecting the designs of temples in Aihole. Of special significance to historians are the two inscriptions found here- the Pillar Inscription and the Porch Inscription. The Pillar Inscription, especially, helps in the reconstruction of the Chalukyan Dynasty’s history.
- Pillar Inscription Mahakuta also provides historians with two important inscriptions. The first one is a pillar inscription called Dharmavijayastambha. It dates back to Pulakesi I and records a grant of ten villages made by his queen Durlabhadevi to Lord Mahakuteswara. Interestingly, the villages include Pattadakal and Aihole. This inscription also records some details about the Chalukya lineage and their military expeditions and achievements.
- Porch Inscription The other inscription, recorded on the porch of the Mahakuteswara temple, speaks of a grant of rubies and silver umbrella made to the Lord by a concubine of Vijayaditya, named Vinapoti.
Mahakuta Group of Temples – Architecture
These temples were built by the Badami Chalukyas, and reflect the Aihole style of temple building. The Chalukya style is a hybrid of the Nagara and Dravidian styles. The temples have tiered or curvilinear towers over the sanctum.
The most important temple here is the Mahakuteswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a Shiva Linga in the shrine topped by a curvilinear tower. It is built in the Dravidian style. In the temple courtyard, there are several other small temples. There is a Nandi in front. The wall niches are decorated with carvings of various forms of Lord Shiva. There is a natural spring-fed tank inside the temple complex called Vishnu Pushkarini.
The Mallikarjuna temple on the other side of the tank is very similar to the Mahakuteswara temple. It has beautiful carvings on the walls and on the ceilings.
How to Get to Mahakuta Group of Temples
Mahakuta is 460 km away from Bangalore. You can reach Badami by rail or road. From Badami you can easily reach Mahakuta by local bus services.
Mahakuta Group of Temples – Facts
- There are around two dozen Shiva temples in a huge temple complex surrounding an attractive spring fed tank known as Vishnu Pushkarini
- The Mahakuteswara and the Mallikarjuna temples are the largest of the Mahakuta group of temples