Temple: Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple – Overview
The Lakshmi Narasimha temple was built in the year 1246. It lies in the town of Nuggehali in the Hassan district. The district of Nuggehali is home to intricately carved Hoysala temples which include the Lakshminarasimha temple and the Sadasiva temple. It was built during the rule of the Hoysalas by the King Virasomeshwara. King Vishnuvardhana patronised the temples built during his era.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple – Religious Significance
The temple was built in the year 1911. It is a beautifully decorated Hoysala temple. It has three towers, the vimana which has intricately carved wall sculptures. Soapstone is the material that was used for building the temple.
Lord Narasimha is an avatar of Lord Krishna. As per Hindu scriptures, Upanishads and Puranas, Vishnu took the form of Narasimha for destroying the demon. Narasimha is visualised as half lion and half man. The upper is in the form of a lion with claws. The lower is human form. The Lakshmi Narasimha temple has Lord Narasimha with Goddess Lakshmi who is the wife of Lord Vishnu.
Lakshmi Narsimha Temple – Architecture
The art and architecture of the Lakshmi Narasimha temple boasts of the Hoysala culture and tradition. The idol of Lakshmi Narasimha temple is made of intricately carved stone. This temple was built by Bommanna Dandanayaka, a commander in the court of King Vira Someshwara during 1246 AD. One gets to see lathe turned pillars at the Lakshmi Narasimha temple and at most of the temples built during the Hoyasala rule.
The entire structure of the temple is in fact trikuta, but it appears as ekakuta from the exteriors. What is quite interesting here is that the tower of the temple has been built in typical North Indian style. There is a very big hall with attractive sculptures. There are a number of sculpted deities on the pillars and there are close to 120 sculpted panels. You can see exclusive Hoysala style sculptues on the friezes. These include men and soldiers riding elephants and horses, processions with elephants and so on which are finely sculpted. Stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata are also beautifully depicted on the pillars.
Many of the Hoysala temples are ekakuta, dvikutta or trikutta. Ekakutta refers to single tower, Dvikutta is two towers and trikutta means three towers. The carvings depict Western Chalukya era and is made of green schist or soapstone. The Hoysala kings encouraged this form of architecture. The main shrine has five projections on every side. There are three smaller roofs which have rich architecture and are decorated beautifully.
You can see three different layers of paintings. At the base there is a procession of elephants, horsemen and foliage. The second section has stories from the puranas and Hindu epics. The topmost frieze depicts imaginary beasts or makaras along with swans. Since it is a Vaishnava temple, one gets to view images of Keshava, Venugopala and Lakshminarasimha (all Vishnu forms).
How to Get to Lakshmi Narasimha temple
Nuggehalli lies on the Tiptur Channarayanapatna state highway. The city of Hassan is about 50 kilometres from Nuggehalli. There are State Road Transport buses that ply between Hassan to Nuggehalli. With increasing visits to this beautiful temple, many private bus operators are also available.
Nuggehalli is well connected to Bangalore by road. The closest airport is Bangalore and you may have to book in advance. Once you reach Bangalore, you may either book tickets for a passenger train or a bus, depending on the availability. You can visit the temple anytime between September and April, which is the hottest month.