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Monday, February 26 2024

Mahakuta: Standing tall representing Chalukyan architecture 

Marvellous Karnataka Raksha Deshpande 1
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India is a land of varied architecture marvel. Aihole is renowned as cradle of architecture while Aihole along with Pattadakallu, and Badami are rich in architecture and heritage. The above three places though wellknown, there is also an another hidden treasure, Mahakuta which reflects beauty and heritage of Chalukyan era.

Mahakuta is around 30 kms away from Aihole, and situated in Bagalkot district. The place was once under rule of Badami Chalukyas as Vatapi (Badami) as their Capital.

Mahakuta is a cluster of temples built around 6th to 8th Century with Lord Shiva being the main deity. The name Mahakuta itself means ‘Huge Cluster’, and the name is given to the place because of a large number of Lord Shiva temples in the same complex. It is a temple that has been dedicated totally to Lord Shiva.

Mahakuta group of temples reflect pure Aihole architectural style of buildings. The temple architecture is an amalgamataion of Dravidian and Nagara hybrid style followed by Chalukyas. The temples have curvilinear towers over the sanctum.

Amongst different temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mahakuteshwara Temple is the most prominent one. Built in Dravidian style, the temple has a Shiva Linga on top of a curvilinear tower. Mahakuteswara is the only renovated and largest temple in the Mahakuta group of temples, and stands as the best attraction appealing to people from all around the world. However, there are more than two dozen Shiva Temples in Mahakuta Temple Complex surrounding attractive natural spring-fed water tank known as Vishnu Puskarini, or Papavinasha Tirth, meaning tank that washes away all your sins.

Owing to its natural beauty and attractive carvings, Mahakuteshwara Temple is also termed as being similar to Mallikarjuna Temple located on the other side of Vishnu Pushkarini.

The local people use the tank as a swimming pool too.

There are other small temples as well around this main temple like the temple of Nandi in the front. The walls are decorated with amazing unique carvings of Lord Shiva which attracts visitors to its beauty.

The Mahakuta was built during the earlier days of Chalukya rein and it speaks a lot about ancient culture and tradition. The beautiful temple was built by Chalukyan first king Pulakesi I, this fact is well-evident from the first sight of the temples.

Mahakuta Group of Temples is an amazing piece of Hindu culture and tradition. It is also a holy pilgrimage for worshippers of Sakit religion and Shaivites. For those who are history lovers and wish to get information about their history, religion and culture, this is one of the best temples to visit.

One can also visit Aihole, Pattadakallu, Shivayogi Mandir, Koodala Sangama and Badami while on visit to Mahakuta.

The Chalukyas have constructed several other temples in the district.

The best time to visit Mahakuta is August to February.


photo source: wikimedia commons

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Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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