Yoga Narasimha Temple, Baggavalli, Karnataka
‘An architectural gem’ that is what came to mind as I walked into the Yoga Narasimha Temple complex! A wonderful creation yet looked so uncared and crumbling to ruins saddened me beyond words. The temple structure isn’t big but the complex in which it is fenced is huge. If Karnataka tourism decides, the whole area can be spruced up so beautifully… if only!
History of Yoga Narasimha Temple
Yoga Narasimha Temple was built during late 12th century in Hoysala architectural style. (Building style developed during Hoysala Empire between 11th and 14th centuries.) It was built during the reign of Hoysala King Ballala-III period. During the Hoysala period several temples have been constructed, an estimated 300 temples exist in Karnataka from that period but only 70 are documented. This temple is not as huge or grand as Kesava temple of Somnathpura, yet it cannot be written off as insignificant.
Yoga Narasimha Temple has a star shaped plan. It has a small mantapa (hall), the overhead lintel decorated. There are seating arrangements made of stone. While we were there 2 boys were busy looking into their mobiles. I couldn’t understand what was so interesting to come and watch in such a secluded area. The pillars supporting the roof of mantapa were simple. A small porch adorned the entrance. If you notice carefully you will find no two pillars of the 20 pillars there same. This is a signature style of Hoysala architecture.
The exterior is decorated with sculptures both mythological and floral. I was disappointed to see the idols defaced. Vandals are destroying the structure little by little under the cover of darkness. I wish the government would wake up to protect the monument.
Yoga Narasimha Temple is located in Baggavalli village in Tarikere Taluq of Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka state, India. From Bangalore take NH4 to Tumkur, then westwards NH 206, the Honnavur Shimoga road. At Birur take SH 24 to Baggavalli.
Total distance: 263kms from Bangalore.