Doddabasappa Temple is one of the architectural novelties in Dambal in Gadag district built by the Kalyani Chalukya Dynasty, the later Chalukyas. The deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in the symbolic form of the Shiva linga. The temple contains a sanctorum and a mandapa or navaranga connected by an antarala or a hallway.
Dambal was famous ancient town popularly known as Dharmapura or Dharmovolal during the 11th and the 12th century AD. The place was ruled by the Chalukya Vikramaditya’s queen Lakshmidevi from the small-town capital during those times. Dambal town was famous for Buddhism in the earlier times as well as cultus of Tara Bhagvathi.
History of Doddabasappa Temple
The Doddabassappa temple was built in 1124-26 AD, when it was known as Ajjameshara temple as the builder of the temple was called Ajjayanayaka. The temple acquired the name Doddabasappa as it has the big bull (Doddabasappa) Nandi placed at the entrance of the temple.
Architecture of Doddabasappa Temple
The temple architecture is a star shaped with a stellate plan made with soapstone. The temple has an incessant stellate star shaped model. The vehicle of Lord Shiva, the Nandi, the bull, is placed right in the entrance towards the east.
The architecture is a kind of a basic Dravidian Architecture which was inculcated in the Chalukyan Architecture. The star projections give the temple a magnificent look. The seven-tiered architecture is incredibly designed with the top projection shaped like a cogged wheel with around 48 indentations. The temple has incredible sculptures on the pillars. The star shape forms the perimeter of the gopura giving the temple an elegant look.
An Exquisite Display of Architectural Wonder
The temple hallway or the vestibule is decorated with numerous floral designs and images of many dancers, few musicians etc. In the hall or the mantapa are the images of Brahma, and the goose which is his vehicle and the images of Sun god.
The temple has two entrances with a portico, one towards the east and the other towards the south. The east side doorway has stylish header decorations and the large resting Nandi the bull facing the east. The wall reliefs are mainly the Krithimukha Pilasters and the miniature designs like the Dravida architecture.
The porch of the temple contains well-crafted half pillars with intricate carvings supporting the roof. The walls of the temples contain turrets and pilasters at intervals making the overall decoration attractive. The embellishment at the basements and the intricate works on the walls is a dazzling combination that makes the architecture unique.
How to reach Doddabasappa Temple
Dambal can be reachable from Gadag (21 km). Gadag is well connected to all the cities in Karnataka by road. From Gadag, buses are available to Dambal.
Gadag is the nearest railway station to Dambal. From the railway station, tourists, can hire an auto or take a bus to reach Dambal.
Bangalore International Airport is around 443 km and Hubli Airport is around 80km. From the airport, tourists can either hire a taxi or take up a bus to Dambal or Gadag.