Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Bhadravati
It is so disappointing when you travel all the way to a temple and find it locked. Obviously shows that my planning wasn’t good. We reached around 4.30PM at Lakshmi Narasimha Temple Bhadravati and saw the lock on the door staring back at us. It would open only at 6.30, that is 2 hours later we were told. All we could do was pradakshina (circumambulation) of the temple. The simple pradakshina we did kept us captivated for long, for the wall panels were engraved with such sculptures.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The construction of this temple by Hoysalas dates back to 13th century. The temple was built by King Veera Narasimha, grandson of King Vishnuvardhana.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
Lakshmi Narasimha is a trikuta temple, meaning temple with 3 shrines. The whole temple stands on a 3 feet high Nakshatra style (star shaped) platform. The engravings though are not as rich as I saw in Amrutheshwara Temple. The first collage hass the exterior of Garbhagudi. It is the abode of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha idol, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. The temple has idols of Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Purushottama, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Sharadamba along with the deity the Lord Narasimha.
The temple has mukhamantapa at its entrance, open hall with black shiny pillars. There is a closed central hall with no windows. This connects the mukhamantapa with the three sanctums. The outer wall has two sets of carvings. The lower panel at our eye sight level has carvings of Gods and Goddesses accompanied by performing musicians.
(Please click on the pictures to get detailed enlarged views.)
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple – Architecture
The stone used is soap stone, and they do feel soapy when you touch them. The stone can be scratched with bare nails, though I never experimented this. Some selected idols on the wall panel are worshiped by locals. They apply oil, turmeric, vermilion etc to the idols. I don’t know whether their prayers are heard and desires fulfilled or not, but they have successfully managed to damage the soft stone features. In addition to excessive devotional feelings, there are also a set of people who involve in vandalism here. It saddened me to see the deliberately damaged idols.
The temple is situated on the river Bhadra’s bank. There is an interesting story how this part of Karnataka, Bhadravati was formed. Lord Vishnu, taking the avatar of Varaha (wild boar), rescued Bhudevi Goddess Earth) from under the sea where she was held captive, from the clutches of Hiranyaksha demon. When Varaha lifted Earth supported by his sharp tusks, the two trenches formed gave birth to the rivers Tunga and Bhadra.
Other Hoysala temples nearby are Amruteshwara temple near Tarikere and Sri.Chintamani Narasimha Sri.Rameshwara at Koodli, the place where Tunga and Bhadra merge to form Tungabhadra.
Below are a couple of collages of the sights around this Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.