(Last Updated on : 14-03-2015)
Temples of Raichur district in Karnataka are some of the architectural marvels of south India. Raichur, on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, was the princely state of Mysore during the rule of Tipu Sultan, later coming under the Kingdom of the Nizam.
Gabbur is one of the religious quarters of the district and has several old temples and inscriptions. In the old days, it was a center of education and was also known as Gopuragrama. The most important of the temples of Raichur district are those of Male-Shankara, Venkateshwara, Ishwara, Bangara Basappa and Hanuman. In addition to these, there are several ruined temples of Raichur district, two or three mathas, a few cisterns and a gateway called the Chandi-gage with a temple on either side of it. The Male-Shankara temple, one of the well known sacred site of this district is built of rough grey stone and has a high plinth. The carving in the temple is plain on description of the roughness of the stone. There are two inscriptional tablets at the northern and western entrances and there is a large reservoir in front of the temple.
The temple of Venkateshwara is a popular one amongst the temples of Raichur district and consists of three shrines, two of them containing the images of Vishnu and the third a linga. The carving on the outer walls of this temple represents elegant figures of various deities and animals, those of the elephants being particularly striking. On the eastern side of the temple, there is a large cistern, with beautifully carved granite steps all round, called Sat baoli or seven cisterns. One of the mathas here is called Ganni Gudi Matha. It has a magnificently carved door. There is a tank, which is now in carcass. The Bangara Basappa temple has a shrine with an image of Ganesha, two Nandis (one is of fairly large in size and the other is a small one) and an inscriptional flank. Gabbur has enclosure walls round it, which were built in different periods and are in different states of decay. The square form of their bastions is considered to be Islamic in design.
Anegundi, 135 km from Raichur, has some splendid temples from the Vijayanagar era such as the Ranganatha Temple and the Huchchappayana Matha. The Pampa Sarovara, the Kamal Mahal and Nava Brindavana enshrine the mortal remains of famous saints. Markandeshwara Temple is one of the oldest temples of Raichur district at Kallur. Lord Shiva in the form of Markandeshwara is the chief deity here. The shrine is distinguished for its beautifully carved pillars. Narada Temple at Naradagadde is one of the most beautiful temples of Raichur district. Built on Naradagadde, a picturesque island in the Krishna River, this temple is dedicated to the Celestial Sage, Narada. Naradagadde is also known as Kuruvapur and was built on the site where Sage Narada performed penance. The temples of Raichur district are famous in south India for their outstanding architecture.