'Nagalapura' is a village located in Turuvekere taluk , Tumkur district. This place is almost unknown but has two significantly beautiful and ornate Hoysala temples, which probably would have been grand like any other Hoysala temple, but today is nothing but ruins.
Nagalapura was a prosperous town under the Hoysala rule, whose grandeur can be felt when we look at these temple . Like most of the Hoysala towns, this too has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Kedareshwara) and another temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Chennakeshava). The Kedareshwara temple is situated at the entrance of the village. This is bigger than the Chennakeshava temple though both have the same plan of construction.
|The Kedareshwara Temple|
The Kedareshwara temple is just like any other Hoysala temple in shape and design. It has five pattikas. The outer walls have amazing sculptures of Lord Shiva depicted in his various forms and vahanas(vehicles).
|Lord Shiva and Parvathi on a Bull|
|Lord Varuna on an Ox|
|Lord Varuna and his consort on a Crocodile|
The one among various forms of Lord Shiva is the Gajantaka, which is a destructive form taken by him to over come the elephant demon Gajasura. This demon, created by the sages of Darukavana terrified gods and the people. Gajantaka is believed to bring prosperity.
Siva carries an antelope in his left upper hand. It is held in several ways. Shiva's antelope (Mrga) denotes his rulership over nature. Antelope/ gazelle / deer is an ancient Indus valley symbol of the lord of animals and of all living beings .
|Lord Shiva with an Antelope in his upper left hand|
There are various depictions on the outer walls like the Betala (Demon), a beautiful lady, Lord Brahma , and many various forms of Shiva and his family.
|Arjuna aiming at the Fish|
|The Five Pattikas|
|A Beautiful Lady|
|Note the Heeled Foot Wear|
|Side View of the Temple|
Since the temple was closed and the care taker who lived in a near by village was unavailable, we had to move on without seeing the inside of the temple.
References used : The book "The Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography" written by Margaret Stutley.
To be continued ................