Between 1001 and 1500 CE, Karnataka, Western Chalukyas

Halavagalu – Story of an Incomplete Temple

Halavagalu – A Small hamlet which will surely go unnoticed by many of us even if we pass nearby this village. However, from archaeological point of view, this village has a temple which is a curious piece of study.

Kalleshvara Temple


Kalleshvara Temple – The garbha-griha of this temple faces east however the main entrance at present is from south. The temple is probably built on tri-kuta style as there are three shrines sharing common mandapa. These three shrines are on west, south and north. The garbha-griha on west has an antarala, however the other two shrines are without doors. The common mandapa is supported on four pillars.



The garbha-griha on west is square in plan and has a shiva-linga with a brass snake-hood canopy above it. The two subsidiary shrines are rectangular in plan, the northern one has an image of Vishnu standing over a Garuda-pitha while the one on south has many loose sculptures. The Vishnu image has a prabhavali depicting his ten incarnations.



The temple is situated in a residential area as many houses have cropped up around this preserved monument. I have no information if remains of temple shikhara were found around the temple. Alexander Rea who described this temple in 1896 CE also did not mention any remains of the shikhara. Hence it may be surmised that the shikhara was never completed thought might have been planned.

Why the temple construction was left in middle is not very clear. The inscriptions found are dated in thirteenth century CE and mention donation to the God but no mention of the temple construction. Hence it may be conjectured that the temple was either constructed during the Western Chalukyas (Chalukyas of Kalyana) or the Hoysala period. Probably the construction was started during the unstable period at the fag-end of the Chalukyas and the next dynasty did not give much attention to complete it.

Inscription on Mandapa Pillar


Robert Sewell mentions that the inscription no 1 of this article was in an ancient Shiva temple inside a fort. He did not mention any other temple at the village. Hence it is very probable that his Shiva temple inside a fort is same as present Kalleshvara temple and there was a fort at this place by the end of nineteenth century CE.


  1. On a slab set up in the Kalleshvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol IX, no 380 – dated in Saka 1204, corresponding to 1282 CE – The record belongs to the reign of the yadava king Ramachandraraya, who is described as the rescuer of the earth from the depredations of the Turushka, the conqueror of the Hoysala soverignty etc.  It registers the grant of plot of land at Haluvagalu to the Sthanika Jogarasi for the service of the god Kalinatha in the village made by Vasudeva, the chief of the village, Nacharasa, the eight Hittu and other people.  The gift was made under the orders of Pavasariya, Harideva, the Adhikhari of Pandya-nadu and a subordinate of the Sainyadhipati Mahapradhana Kannaradeva, who was governing all the desas including Huligere.  It also records gifts made by the Nakharas and Mummuridandas for the same god.
  2. On a hero-stone set up in the Kalleshvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol IX, no 385 – dated in the 18th year of the reign of the Yadava king Ramachandradeva, corresponding to 1287 CE – It seems to record the death of Semjiya-mallaya with laurels of victory in a battle field.
  3. On a slab set up in the courtyard of the Anjaneya temple – Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1918-19, no 222 of 1918 – dated in Saka era, the year is lost – written in Kannada script – probably registers the terms of a lease (cowl) in respect of a shop built in Haluvagilu. Mentions, Mahanayakacharya Basavappa-Nayaka of Baguli and his mother Nichchavva.
  4. On a slab set up in the courtyard of the Anajaneya temple – Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1918-19, no 223 of 1918 – dated Saka 13[11], corresponding to 1388 CE – Records that the Aivole (settis) and the mummuri-dandas of the several places like Hastinavati, Holekere, Harihara, Bada, Hemavati, Karnapura, Behuru-hadagali in the Pandu-nadu set up a Nandi-pillar in the santé-pete (market place) in Haluvagilu.
  5. On a broken slab set up in a field to the north of the village Haluvagilu – Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1918-19, no 226 of 1918 – dated to eighth century CE on paleographic studies – written in Kannada – much damaged and mutilated


How to Reach – Halavagalu is located 13 km south-west of Harapanahalli. It can be reached via bus from Harapanahalli.

References -

  1. Abhishankar, K (1972). Bellary District Gazetteer. Karnataka Government. Bangalore.
  2. Patil, Channabasappa S (1992). Temples of Raichur and Bellary Districts. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. Mysore.
  3. Patil, Channabasappa S (1997). Inscriptions of Bellary District. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. Mysore.
  4. Rea, Alexander (1896). Chalukyan Architecture. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
  5. Sewell, Robert (1882). List of Antiquarian Remains in the Presidency of Madras. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
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  • Venkatraman S

    Am not able to find this place – can you help by updating the post with the coordinates?

    • lohith

      from magadi its 70 KM after the 70th KM you can take left from there its only 5 KM and you can find the temple on the right side of ur driving side