(Last Updated on : 12/03/2015)
Rameshvara Temple, one of the oldest shrines of the region, is situated in the town of Narasamangala of Chamarajanagar district
in the Indian state
. This ancient temple was built during the reign of the Western Ganga Dynasty
of Talakad in the 9th century. The Ganga Dynasty, regarded as one of the most illustrious kingdoms in southern India, dominated over the greater part of Mysore
. It was then known as Gangavadi. The artisans of the Ganga Dynasty chiefly followed Dravida style of architecture
Architecture of Rameshvara Temple
The rulers of Ganga Dynasty built several temples and monuments with imposing Dravidian gopuras adorned with stucco figures. The Rameshvara Temple, though simple in plan, has been executed in an impressive way. The tower or shikara of the temple has been richly carved with brick and stucco. Its vimana i.e. the shrine with the tower is almost eleven meters in height and has been elevated by a platform decorated with mouldings known as adhishthana measuring almost two meters. It is a tritala Dravida vimana. The temple comprises of a sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha
enshrining the image of Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva
surrounded by dikpalas. Behind the temple, a hall houses the Saptamatrikas, the seven Hindu goddesses. Besides this, the temple is decked with delicately carved sculptures among which the image of a Ganga king seated with his queen by his side is worth noticing.
Rameshvara Temple also encompasses a small closed hall also known as ardhamantapa or inner mantapa and a large closed hall known as mahamantapa.
Later, after the decline of the Ganga Dynasty, the temple received patronage from the rulers of the Hoysala Empire
. Two inscriptions in Kannada language
dating back to 1291-1343 A.D. have been engraved on the temple walls. The inscriptions state about the generous contributions made by the King Veera Ballala III towards the local deity Ramanathadeva of Narasamangala. The temple thus, known for its exquisite beauty and remarkable workmanship attracts the attention of several pilgrims and tourists from various locations. The pilgrimage centre is presently protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It is preserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India
, Bengaluru Circle.
Rameshvara Temple is well connected by different modes of transport. Tourists can avail buses from the nearby bus station located at Chamarajanagar. The nearest rail head is also situated at Chamarajanagar. The international airport is in Bengaluru