Architecture of the Kodandarama Temple
This temple seems to have been constructed in several stages. Its Garbagriha and sukanasi structures are built in the Hoysala style and the rest are additions in Dravidian style. The navaranga of the temple belongs to the 14th century. The Mukha Mandapa may be of 16th century. Walls of the Garbagriha and entrance are raised on a square basement that has six cornices. The outer walls are a part of the navaranga and Mukha Mandapa which are built with brick and mortar. The entrance projection belongs to the 17th century.
Inside the sanctum, on a Hanuman pedestal, idols of Sita, Kodandarama and Lakshmana are kept. The idols of Kodandarama with Sita are to his right and Lakshmana is placed to his left. The images of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are different here from popular renderings of the trio, where Sita appears to Rama's left. Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana carry the arrows in their right hands and bows in their left hands. However, it appears that the idols do not belong to the Hoysala period.
In the enclosure section of the temple, there are small shrines that contain the figures of Yoganarasimha, Sugriva, Kalinga, Mardhana, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vedanta Desika and some alwars. Yoganarasimha is so called because of the meditative posture.
The outer-walls of the Garbagriha and Sukanasi are sculpted with two rows of figures representing Lord Vishnu and his avatars like Hayagriva, Narasimha, Lakshmi Narayana, Venugopala, Kalinga-Mardana and Govardhanadhari. There are other idols that include Goddess Lakshmi, Hanuman, Garuda and Lord Ganesha.
Legends of Kodandarama Temple
This temple also has a legend attached to it. As per local legends proud Purushottam was subdued at Hiremagalur by Rama. Purushottam requested Lord Rama to show him the scene of his marriage. In reply to the request Lord Rama took Sita to his right and Lakshmana to his left, as per the tradition in Hindu marriage ceremonies. This is the only temple where Sita and Lakshmana are positioned in this manner. Hence, the Kodandarama Swami Temple at Hiremagalur is unusual and distinct.
According to legends the place was the residence of nine Siddhas who performed atonement near a pond in the Siddha Pushkarni village. As Parashuram lived here, it was also known as Bhargavapuri.
How to Reach Kodandarama Temple
Numerous buses are available to Hiremagalur from Chikkamagaluru. Chikkamagaluru is located at a distance of 250 km from Bengaluru.