Temple: Siddhesvara Temple
Siddhesvara Temple – Overview
The Siddhesvara temple is situated in the district of Haveri in the Karnataka State. You can see the Western Chalukyan influences in the art and architecture of the temple. It is one of the finest memorials of the Vishwakarma Brahmin sthapathis who were instrumental in sculpting the temple with their fine architectural work. When you go through the inscriptions, it will be clearly evident that the temple was consecrated somewhere around the 11th century.
The prime aspect of the Siddheswara temple is that it faces westwards instead of eastwards. Most of the temples erected during the Chalukyan era face eastwards and it is strange how the Siddhesvara temple was constructed in this particular manner. It is still not very clear as to which deity was worshipped here. It is presumed that the principal deity that worshipped was Lord Shiva.
Siddhesvara Temple -History
The Haveri district dates back to the pre-historic era. There have been evidences about civilizations that existed on the Varada and Tungabhadra river basins. The Siddhesvara temple boasts of 1300 stone carvings. These carvings clearly reflect the style of the rulers then – The Rastrakutas and the Chalukyas.
Siddhesvara Temple – Architecture
The architecture of the Siddhesvara temple is quite unique and exclusive. Soapstone was used for the construction of this temple. The exclusive work done in the temple is evidence of the Chalukyan rulers who encouraged artisans. It is said that Nalapuri was the name given to Haveri previously. It was supposed to be a centre for learning in Karnataka.
As per accounts given by historians, the temple would have previously been a Vaishnava temple and later became a Shaiva temple. This is clearly evident from the various architecture and stone carvings within the temple. The temple surely bears a resemblance to the 11th century Chalukyan type of construction. The Dravidian form of architecture is also visible in some parts of the temple. The small decorative towers and works of art clearly reflect some resemblance to the 12th century as aedicules and decorative pieces of art have been added.
How to Get to Siddhesvara Temple
The district of Haveri is situated at a distance of 340 kilometres from Bangalore and it can be reached by road or rail. The closest airport is Bellary which is about 119 kilometres from the city of Haveri. There are regular trains plying between Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. By train, it will take about seven hours from Bangalore to reach Haveri. The best time to visit is during Ugadi (March/April) and Kannada Rajyotsava (November 1st).
Siddhesvara Temple – Facts
- The temple mandapa has varied sculptures of Shiva and Parvati (Umamaheshwari), Vishnu and Lakshmi, Surya, the sun god, Ganapati, Kartikeya and so on.
- Shiva is superbly depicted with four bhujas holding the attributes like a bean chain, trishul and damaru.
- There are images of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (the trimurtis) above the vestibule.
- The Siddhesvara temple has a main hall, three mukhamantapas, antarala navaranga. You can find exquisitely carved Garbhagrida doorways. It also has a beautiful image of Siddhesvara.