(Last Updated on : 11/04/2012)
Sculpture of Siddheshvara Temple is a Shaiva temple but it is speculated that originally Siddheshvara Temple was probably dedicated Lord Vishnu. A noteworthy feature of this temple is that it faces west whereas almost all the Chalukya temples face east.
Although the temple was actually built to worship Lord Vishnu, at a later stage the temple was under the Jains and still later went to the Shaivites. The sculptures of Siddheshvara Temple bear testimony to this fact. This ancient building has an image of the Sun god. This stone image is to be found below the 'kirtimukhas
' on the eastern wall of the temple. Besides this a figure of Lord Shiva has also carved out of a separate stone slab and has been placed in front of the shikhara. Siddheshvara Temple is undoubtedly a Chalukya temple which is evident from its architectural features of 11th and 12th centuries.
Some of the prominent sculptures of Siddheshvara Temple are found in its mandapa. The sculptures of Uma Mahesvara, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha
, Surya, Naga and Nagini have been depicted on stone. There are several images of Shiva. One of these represents the lord with four hands. Here the lord is seen holding 'damaru,' 'trishul,' and 'aksamala' in his three hand and his fourth arm rests on Uma who is shown sitting on Shiva's lap and gazing up at him. The sculpture of Uma, consort of Lord Shiva
is an ornate one. The goddess has been depicted beautifully with curly hairs and adorned with large earrings and garlands. On the other hand the Naga and Nagini have been carved with their entwined. They appear on the door of the antechamber beside an image of Goddess Parvati
. At a recess here an interesting male figure with six hands has been etched out on the stone. He is seen holding a Shiva linga with his lower two hands while the middle left hand holds a 'sudarshan chakra'
Other sculptures of Siddheshvara Temple comprise of the images of Brahma
, Shiva and Vishnu; Ganapati and Kartikeya on either side of Brahma and Vishnu are to be found on the epistyle above the antechamber entrance. Certain ceiling panels of the garbhagriha bear the stone images of saptamatrika or seven mothers. A square column, on the other hand, has an image of ashtadikpalas or eight guardians and the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar and a figure of Surya. Even the step well outside the temple has been decorated with stone carvings. Here one would come across the saptamatrika sculptures.
The same motif also appears on the friezes with female deities who have children on their lap and have the vahana of their male counterpart. Brahmi, Brahma's consort is beside Shiva accompanied by a goose. Next come Maheshvari, the consort of Shiva with Nandi; Vaishnavi, Lord Vishnu
's consort with Garuda; Kaumari, the consort of Kartikeya with a peacock; Varahi, Varaha's consort with a buffalo, etc. Other sculptures that fill up the nooks are images of Surya shrouded by a seven hooded snake and Mahishamardini.