Temple: Galageshwara temple
The Galageshwara temple in the Haveri district of Karnataka is one of the most beautiful Shiva temples in the region. It was built by the Chalukyas and so is typically full of elaborate structures and ornate sculptures and intricate carvings.
Galageshwara Temple – Overview
The Galageshwara temple is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River where the rivers Tunga and Bhadra converge, facing east. It is a very famous temple both for its presiding deity and for its beautiful architecture. Built in the 11th century, it was earlier called Palluni.
Galageshwara temple – History
The Galageshwara Temple was built by the Chalukyas in the 11th century and so has been built with the traditional Chalukya exuberance in stone. The Late Sri Venkatesh Galaganath, also known as Kadambari Pitamaha, is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. It is said that he wrote his books when sitting in the temple courtyard and so the deity came to be called Galageshwara. The name was changed from Palluni to Galageshwara.
Galageshwara Temple – Architecture
The temple structure is startlingly unusual as is the presiding deity. The Shiva Lingam called Sparsha Lingam is set in a large closed hall while the Gopuram or temple tower rises in a pyramidal shape. The temple contains the usual elaborate structures and intricate stone work and carvings that are typical to the Chalukya tradition. The inscriptions tell us about the ruler, King Vikramaditya of the Chalukya dynasty, and the flourishing of arts and music under his patronage.
There is a reference in the temple inscriptions to a musician by name Mokhari Barmmayya, who was well versed in 32 different ragas, testifying to the cultural splendor of the people under the Chalukyas. There are several niches in the outer walls around the temple with other Gods like Ganesha and Subramaniya in them.
Galageshwara Temple – Religious Significance
As so many other temples in this region, this temple too was built by the Chalukya kings and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has the presiding deity in a large hall, while the temple tower seemingly rises from the floor. The Lord facing the East and this posture is considered to be particularly benevolent. The temple has inspired many to write poetry and books.
How to Get to Galageshwara Temple
When travelling form Bangalore you have to take the National Highway, NH – 4 to Ranebennur. You then proceed on to Chitradurga and cross Davangere and you reach Ranebuennur, which is the business area of Haveri district. From Haveri which is about 335 kilometers from Bangalore, proceed on the Agadi road for about 15 kilometers; then take a detour after Guttal. Galaganatha is about another 15 kilometers away. The best time to visit this temple is during February.
Galageshwara Temple – Facts
- Built in the 11th century by the Chalukya King Vikramaditya, it is a uniquely located temple as it sits at the point where the rivers Tunga and Bhadra converge to become the Tungabhadra. /li>
- The Hindus revere places where rivers converge as holy, like Allahabad triveni sangamam where Ganges and Yamuna merge, and Bagamandala in Madikeri district of Karnataka. So the Galageshwara temple is particularly special to many Shaivaites.