Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Bhadravathi, Bhadravathi Bhadravati
About Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Bhadravathi, Bhadravathi
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple in Bhadravathi, the steel town of Karnataka, goes back to the Hoysalas in the 13th century. It was built by Veera Narasimha, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana. This beautiful temple, planned typically in the Hoysala style of architecture is under the care of the Archaeological Department of Karnataka.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple or the Threekutachal Temple has three gopurams. The outer walls of the temple are highly decorated with detailed carvings in the Hoysala style. Dedicated to Lord Narasimha (the lion-man incarnation of Lord Vishnu), a flight of five small steps lead up a 3 feet high Nakshatra or star-shaped platform. Another three steps takes you into the temple. A tall dwajasthambam (flagpole) stands in front of the temple. Next to this is a smaller stone pillar on a small pedestal with figures of Lord Krishna, Lord Purushottama, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Sharadamba along with Lord Narasimha.
The architecture combined with the serenity and sacredness of a holy place attracts both tourists and devotees. The walls are covered with superbly crafted frescoes and sculptures.
By Air: The Hubli airport is the nearest domestic airport to the temple, while the Bangalore airport is the nearest international airport. The Hubli airport is approximately 170 km from Bhadravathi. Another optional airport for the tourists is the Mangalore airport.
By Train: The nearest railway station to the temple is the Birur- Bhadravathi railway station. The trains that ply between Bangalore and Shimoga have stoppage at the Bhadravathi railway station. Tourists can also opt for train to Birur and then another train or bus from Birur to Bhadravathi. There is also an option to board a train from Mysore to reach Bhadravathi.
By Road: Bhadravathi is located approximately at 255 km from the state capital of Bangalore. It is 20 km from the district headquarters of Shimoga. Tourists can opt for NH-206 to reach Bhadravathi. This highway passes through Tumkur, Tiptur, Arasikere, Kadur, Birur and Tarikere to reach Bhadravathi. There are several public and private buses that regularly ply from Bangalore and Shimoga to Bhadravathi; these buses take almost 6 hours to reach the site. There is another route from Mysore to Bhadravathi. The route of Mysore passes from Channarayapattana, Arasikere, Kadur to reach Bhadravathi. The temple is located at one and half kilometre from the main road. It takes almost an hour to reach Bhadravathi from Birur. You can get round the town in auto rickshaws.
Sri.Amrutheshwara Temple: This temple is located at the quaint village of Amruthapura, in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. It is almost 30 km from the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi. This temple was also constructed during the Hoysala rule. The walls and pillars of the shrine are sculpted with incidents from the great Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Sri. Chintamani Narasimha Temple: This sacred temple is also located at the banks of River Tunga and Bhadra, in an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Sri. Chintamani Narasimha Temple. This temple is a blend of Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites culture and exhibits Chola style of architecture. This temple houses one of the rarest idols of Lord Chintamani Narasimha, who is seated with his left knee bent and with Chintamani in his palm. The exquisite sculptures opposite the temple also attract multiple historians and tourists. The temple is legendary as it is believed that the deity was installed and worshipped by Prahlada, the ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Sri Rameshwara Temple: Located at the confluence of River Tunga and Bhadra at the Koodli village of Shimoga district, the Sri Rameshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built by the Hoysala and the Ikkeri kings. This spectacular temple is located amidst sprawling green gardens. Another important factor about this temple is that the snake gods are worshipped here.
The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi is another example of magnificent Hoysala form of architecture. Some of the basic characteristics of the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi are:
- The statue of Lord Narasimha is in a relaxed position, protecting his devotee Parhlada.
- Lakshmi Narasimha Temple comes in a triple form, known as Vimana. While one of the shrines is south facing, the other two are north and west facing.
- Soapstone has been used to construct the temple. If you touch the walls there is a soapy feeling and the stone is really tender.
- There is a flagpole, known as dwajasthambam just in front of the temple.
- The temple stands on a raised platform, known as jagati. About a metre high, this platform was used by devotees to circumvent (pradakshin) the temple. In the Hoysala form of architecture there is no specified path to paradakshin temple.
- The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi also has special pillars, known as lathe pillars along with parapets. This type of shiny black pillars defines the architectural style of 11th and 13th century Hoysala architecture. The lathe pillars not only enhance the beauty of the temple but also provide support to the ceiling of the large temple.
- The inner wall of the temple has been kept plain and simple while the exterior wall is star shaped, nakshatra shaped, providing enough space and scope for decoration.
- The external wall has two eves. The first eve consists of small towers which exhibit miniature decorations on pilasters, known as aedicule.
- The second set of eves is followed by a panel engraved with the images of deities and by a set of mouldings.
- The stellate tower is another special form of Hoysala architecture. The tower has been adorned with processes and recesses throughout the tower. It looks more like a flute from a distance. The tiers of the tower step by step diminish in height to form an umbrella.
- Some of the important sculptures of the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi are Lord Krishna playing flute and a man with serpent.
- The central hall of the temple is unique with now windows and is connected with the other sanctums.
- There is a slab in Kannada inscription at the temple which exhibits the construction details.
During Dussera, the processional icon of Lakshmi Narasimha is taken around the town. The celebrations are truly grand. Like all Vishnu temples, Vaikunta Ekadesi, the eleventh day of the waxing moon in Margazhi (December – January), is celebrated with great fervor.