Amrutheshwara Temple, Amruthapur, Karnataka
After a brief halt at Yoga Narasimha temple in Baggavalli, we visited Amrutheshwra Temple in Amruthapura. This town is 245kms from Bangalore and is situated in the banks of Bhadra River reservoir. Amrutheshwara Temple is the only place of attraction here for tourists and pilgrims.
At the first sighting of Amrutheshwara Temple, I felt this temple looked more beautiful than Ishwara Temple because of its unique façade. The facade is partially open all around the mantapa and has incredible sculpted work on it.
Hoysala Architecture in Amrutheshwara Temple
Amrutheshwara Temple is counted in the list of finest example of Hoysala architecture. This temple too belongs to the same era as that of Ishwara Temple. It was built in 1196 by Amrutheshwara Dandanayaka under Hoysala King Veera Ballala II. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a Shiva Ling made of saligram, a black variety of stone brought from River Kandikevale which is in Nepal.
The temple is categorized as ekakuta (single shrine) temple. Unlike Ishwara temple this temple has 2 mantapas. One is completely closed; this connects the sanctum housing the idol with a large mantapa which is open. We could offer puja and spend some time inside the mantapas. The shining black pillars here stun you, how the sheen has existed for centuries with no sign of fading away!
Photography is strictly prohibited in the interiors and I could manage to take some pics from outside. Nothing to get disappointed about, because the exterior has such intricate work that it hogs all the attention of the tourists. The wall relief sculptures depict several Gods, Goddesses, mythological creatures and stories. There are a total of hundred and forty panel sculptures with depictions from the Hindu epics we were told.
If you are there give particular attention to south side wall of the temple. This part has stories from Ramayana on seventy panels sculpted in anti clockwise direction. The north side has stories from Krishna’s life in 25 panels and also from Mahabharata in 45 panels. These depictions are in clockwise direction. Such details engraved in them that you can actually tell the stories looking at them. I could explain some of them to my daughters.
Nearby places to visit
Approximately 30kms from Amruthapura is Bhadravathi which is famous for Sri Venugopala Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.