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Friday, May 20 2022
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Veeranarayana Temple: Glorious evidence of Hoysala Dynasty

Karnataka has been ruled by many dynasties. Every dynasty has left its mark throughout the State. It may be inscriptions, temples, monuments, dams and even several structures built during special occasion. Even today all such monuments stand tall reflecting the ancient glory of our glorious land.

Though Hoysalas ruled State’s southern region, their influence reached Northern parts of the State too. We all know that basically King Vishnuvardhana belonged to a Jain clan but after he came under the influence of Ramanujacharya, he embraced Srivaishnava sect. As a mark of this change, he constructed five Narayana Temples across Karnataka, one among which is Veeranarayana Temple of Gadag.

The Temple situated in the City premises of Gadag was built in 1117 AD. Though the main deity here is Lord Vishnu, we also find other idols of Hindu gods installed. It is said that the temple was built by Jakanachari.

Chalukya, Hoysala, and Vijayanagara are the three major architectural styles the temple showcases. The main entrance known as ‘mahadwara’ and the tower known as “gopura” resemble the Vijayanagara model while the ‘garuda stambha’ (literal meaning “eagle pillar”) and ‘ranga mantapa’ (“gathering hall”) are built in the Hoysala style. The Chalukya style is visible in the making of the inner ‘mantapa’ which is the hall adjoining the sanctum sanctorum. The outfit on deity with a ‘veera kaccha’ (“warrior style”) signifies that it is “ready for battle”. The deity is flanked by Lakshmi and eagle, his consort and companion, respectively.

Another interesting fact at the Veeranarayana Temple is the Kannada version of the great Hindu epic Mahabharata etched on the pillar during the era of Vijayanagara empire by the famous Kannada poet Kumarvyasa to whom Gadag was like a home and the Lord Narayana of Gadag his most preferred deity. Legend has it that by receiving divine inspiration from his deity that Kumaravyasa was able to complete the epic. And it is also called as Gadugina Bharata.

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Gadag is also famous for printing and publishing of books, calendars and panchaangas. Gadag also houses Puttaraj Gawai Ashram, a place where the visually challenged children get Hindustani Music education free of cost.
Tontadaarya Matha, Basava Statue, and Trikuteshwara Temple are the other places to visit while on a Gadag trip. Gadag can be visited through out the year.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Facebook

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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