Art and Architecture of Temples in Karnataka
The temples always attract people across the world. Pilgrimage centers such as Mookambika and Udupi cradled in the Western Ghats offer a contrast to the ruins of the once grand Vijayanagar edifices at Hampi. Hampi is a listed World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It allures countless number of tourists because of its monolithic sculptures, temples and remarkable monuments. The outstanding structure of the temples mirrors the touch of the typical Hindu architecture. The Hoysala temples marked with a profusion of intricate sculpture, and the ancient temples built by the Cholas, and the Chalukyan temples add to the variation in style all over this state as well.
The vast sculpture, the rock-cut cave temples and the old temple architecture of Karnataka have proved their might to resist the rigors of rain and sun. Monuments from the 7th century and the cave temples of Badami constructed by the Chalukyas, the 10th century colossal Gomateshwara monolithic statue and the great temples of Halebid, Somanathapura and Belur, with their beautiful carvings are still saying the tales of the past. Bull Temple is one of the famous temples of Karnataka located in Bangalore. The major attraction is the idol of Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull. It is 4.57 meter high and 6.10 meter long. Another important temple of Karnataka is the ISKCON Temple, situated in Bangalore. This temple is frequented by pilgrims throughout the year from different parts of India as well as from various parts of the world.
Virupaksha Temple, Hampi: Virupaksha Temple at Hampi is part of the Group of Monuments at Hampi that sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts huge crowds during the annual chariot festival and festivities of Virupaksha and Pampa.
Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu: Hoysaleswara Temple of Halebidu is most well known for its sculptures and dancing images. The temple and complex is a must visit place in Karnataka state along with Chennakeshava temple at Belur.
Chennakeshava Temple, Belur: Chennakeshava Temple at Belur is the most favored tourist destination in Karnataka state and one of the heritage temples in India. The marvelous temple built on the banks of the Yagachi river have been proposed for world heritage sites.
Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri: Vidyashankara Temple at Sringeri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known for magnificent architecture. It is beautifully built, entirely carved out of a stone. Sringeri Sharada Peetham is located on the banks of the Tunga river in Chikkamagalur district.
Bhutanatha Temple, Badami: Bhutanatha Temple at Badami is part of the Bhutanatha group of temples and has a sandstone shrine dedicated to Bhutanatha. Badami Cave Temples are one of the most famous examples of Indian rock cut architecture, located at Badami town of Bagalkot district.
Durga Temple, Aihole: Durga Temple at Aihole is part of a pending world heritage site, located in Aihole in the Bagalkot district. The historic temple complex is a popular pilgrimage spot in north Karnataka.
Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal: Mallikarjuna Temple at Pattadakal is part of the Pattadakal group of heritage monuments and important tourist place in Karnataka.
Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi: Kedareshvara Temple at Balligavi is one of the lesser known temples of Hoysala in Karnataka, located in the town of Balligavi. The temple is listed as one of the protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Amruteshwara Temple, Annigeri: Amruteshwara Temple at Annigeri was the first temple made of soapstone. The Amruteshwara Temple is a large and black stone temple supported by 76 pillars with carvied figures on the walls.
Siddhesvara Temple, Haveri: Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri is well known for the many sculptures of Hindu deities on the wall and is built of soapstone. The temple is one of the most popular Chalukyan temples in Haveri.
Nagareswara Temple, Bankapur: Nagareshvara Temple at Bankapura is an architectural pride of Karnataka, located in the Haveri district. The temple was built in the honor of the Hindu God Shiva and is protected as a heritage monument by Indian government.
Amrutesvara Temple, Amruthapura: Amrutesvara Temple at Amruthapura displays Hoysala architecture with circular carvings on the outer wall. The temple is well known for its sculpture and architecture and has features similar to the Veera Narayana Temple of Belavadi.
Nanneshwara Temple, Lakkundi: Nanesvara Temple at Lakkundi is protected as a monument of national importance in Karnataka state, located near by the ornate Kasivisvesvara temple. Lakkundi is also noted for its step wells, Brahma Jinalaya and Kashivishvanatha Temple.
Kedareshwara Temple, Halebidu: Kedareshwara Temple at Halebidu is located at a close distance away from the famous Hoysaleswara Temple and is protected as a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura: Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura was built by Soma under Hoysala king Narasimha. The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture in India.
Some other renowned Temples of Karnataka are Atmalinga temple of Gokarna, early 15th century Hazara Ram Temple, Ugra Narsimha Temple of Hampi, Bull temple at Bangalore with a gigantic statue of Nandi Bull, the cave temple of Hidimbeshwara, Aghoreshwara Temple, etc.