Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Shree Ramalingeshwara Cave Temple, Hosagudda Nayakanahatti

 The priest was late as his vehicle was under repair and he had reach the cave temple by foot. We were glad that he made it just in time. We followed him to the cave temple and while he unlocked the door of the temple, he briefed us about this hill being called as Hosagudda (new hill) or Ramadurga hill. The Shiva linga here is believed to have been  installed by Lord Rama during his journey from Ayodha  to Lanka and hence the god is known as Shree Ramalingeshwara. Later, the Nayakas ruled this place and built the fort in order to protect this temple. Until recently, priest belonging to the royal family performed rituals and with his death the popularity of the temple declined.
The Ramalingeshwara Temple 
 The current priest seemed genuinely concerned about his successor as this place no longer attracts people and hence maintenance of this temple may not be a viable option. While he got busy with the cleaning of  temple premises and preparing for the daily prayer rituals, we looked at the temple interiors and as usual were wonder-struck by the exquisite work on the ceiling of the cave temple about 12 feet above the ground. There are 6 sections of the ceiling with each being uniquely carved. The cave has a gribhagruha which houses Lord Shiva in the form of linga and a front porch. Inside the gribhagruha is a carving of Shiva linga with seven hooded serpent sheltering it.
Gajalakshmi 
Explicit Carving 
Lord Hanuman
Pillar Head 
Kalinga Mardhana
 The front porch of the cave temple has 4 pillars which are carved to perfection. The ceiling sections carried some of the most beautiful carvings. The bird Garuda (a mythical bird also the carrier/vehicle of Lord Vishnu and his consort) is beautifully carved and is depicted holding a cobra in its beak and two young ones of the snake  by its feet. The opposite side of the same section carries a carving of another mystical bird with a unique beak which looks more like a merger of a lion face with an elephant trunk.The red ochre painting on these carvings gives it an extra rich look. We would have definitely missed out had the priest not made it before we left. We thanked the priest and continued our journey...
Gribhagruha Entrance
Lord Ramalingeshwara 
Most Interesting Carving of Bird Garuda 
Bird Garuda with its Catch 


2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you were able to meet the priest and see this beautiful temple. I'm even more delighted that you were able to capture and share these marvelous photos with us. I hope this unique temple will be able to be maintained in the years to come.

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  2. Those are some beautiful art works. Nice to know about this temple.

    ReplyDelete

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