(Last Updated on : 04/04/2013)
The state of Karnataka is indeed rich as a hub of religious places and pilgrim centres. Dotted with many temples, churches and mosques portray the true aura of Kannada art and architecture, while reflecting the culture.
city, one time capital of the rulers of Hoysala Dynasty
, was known as Dwarasamudra. From both Belur and Hassan
, Halebid is accessible. Halebid was founded in early 11th century but was ravaged by Muslim invasions by the end of the 14th century. Though many buildings fell prey, a few shrines like the Hoysaleswara Temple
and Kedareswara Temple
survived. Ketamalla, a general of King Vishnuvardhana, started construction of the Hoysaleswara Temple in 1121 AD. There are two shrines, one dedicated to Lord Shiva
as Hoysaleswara and the other to Shantaleswara. These are very similar to the Belur shrines in every detail. The most magnificent part of the temple is its outer wall, which is completely covered with friezes of amazing variety. Ballala II built the Kedareswara Temple. The temple has three superstructures and some fine sculptures.
is a Jain pilgrim centre that is picturesquely situated between two hills Indragiri and Chandragiri
. From time immemorial, this has been reputed as a seat of learning of Jainism. The monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara or Bahubali, a Jain saint, stands majestically on top of the hill at an altitude of 930 metres. The nearly 1000-year-old statue, created during the time of Chamundaraya, a minister of Ganga King Rajamalla, is said to be the tallest and one of the most graceful in the world. There are several Jain residential complexes on the hills and 43 images of Tirthankars. One has to climb about 500 rock-cut steps to reach the summit. At the plains, there is a charming Belagola Lake. A spectacular ceremony called ' Mahamastakabhisheka
' is held once in 12 years. On this particular day, the statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins.
Sri Veerabhadreswara Temple
Kalastigiri Falls is located 10 km from Kemmangundi
, a popular hill station in Karnataka. The falls cascading from the Chandra Lord Gomateshwara Drona hills flow right in front of Sri Veerabhadreswara Temple. One can visit this holy spot on way from Kemmangundi hill station to Tarikere.
Situated at an altitude of 1912 metres, Bababudangiri is sacred for both Hindus and Muslims. Atri
Maharshi and Anasuya
were believed to have done penance here. Hindus revere it as Inam Dattatreya Peetham
. Muslims consider a cave here as the Samadhi of Bababudan, a Muslim saint, who is believed to have introduced the first coffee
plantation in this hilly region with seeds brought from Mecca. It is accessible from Kemmangundi.
was the capital of early Chalukya Dynasty
from 6th to 8th centuries AD. Situated on the banks of Malaprabha River
, Aihole is well known as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups. Temples of Goddess Durga
, Ladh Khan, Gowda, Suryanarayana Temple
, Kontiand Ramalinga Swamy are some of the important ones. Aihole is at a distance of 34 km from Bagalkot District
Badami is 44 km away from Aihole. This was once the capital of Chalukyas from the 6th to 7th centuries AD. Structural and rock cut cave temples are located here. Bass relief of Nataraja
, Mahisasura Mardini
, Lord Ganesha
, Shanmukha, Ardhanareeswara and Harihara are noteworthy.
Pattadakal was the commemorative site for the Chalukyan rulers from the 7th to 9th centuries AD. The temples here include Kada Siddeswara, Jambulinga, Sangameswara, Mallikarjuna, Virupaksha Temple
and Papanatha Temple
A 22 km journey from Aihole wil leads the pilgrims to this religious place.
is also an important pilgrim centre is situated at the confluence of the rivers like Malaprabha River and Krishna River
. The Shiva temple here is dedicated to Lord Sangameswara
. In the temple complex there are images of Basaveshwara
, his consort Neelamma, Nandi
and Ganesha too.
Apart from these hosts of sacred sites, the pilgrims can also drop in at the temples in Dharwad district
. This district boasts of a few major shrines built in the 12th century by Kalyani Chalukyas and rulers of Vijayanagar Empire
. Some of the temples are Doddabasappa Temple at Dambala, Someshwara Temple at Lakshmeshwar, Nageshwara Temple at Bankapura, Trikuteshwara Temple at Gadag, Siddhadeva Temple at Haveri, Adikeshava Temple at Kaginelli, Mallari Temple at Gudda Guddaapura and the Jain Temple at Lakkundi.