Gadag – Reverberation of the Kalamukhas

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Introduction –  Gadag is the headquarter town of the district bearing same name. Before the formation of a new separate district, the town was part of Dharwad district. The town has been referred with various names in the past, Kratuka, Kratapura, Kardugu, Galadugu, Gadugu. As per a tradition mentioned in the Dharwad Gazetteer, it is told that Gadag was setup as a Maha-agrahara by Janamejaya of the Mahabharata times.

The earliest known historical antiquity goes back to the Rashtrakuta period of the ninth century CE. Soon we find the Western Chalukyas ruling over the region, and many inscriptions of their early ruler Satshraya are found in Gadag. In these inscriptions, Gadag is referred as Kardugu and was part of Belvola-nadu.

It is interesting to note an inscription, dated 1002 CE from the reign of Satyashraya where Mahasamanta Sobhanarasa made a grant to the temple of svayambhudeva at Gadag. However in the very next inscription, dated 1008 CE, we find a mention of fight ensued with the king’s officers when they asked for the surrender of Sobhanayya (Sobhanarasa) who is proclaimed as a traitor.

During the period of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI (1075-1125 CE), the town is referred as Galdugu. Gadag was also a witness during the fall of the Western Chalukya and emergence of the Kalachuris over the region. For almost 20 years, the region was under the Kalachuris, before it was wrestled back by the Western Chalukyas. However this second Western Chalukya term was for a very short period as Gadag was soon canme under the Seunas and from them to the Hoysalas.

During the Kalachuris, the town got a new name as Kratupura which continued in use till the Hoysala times. During the Hoysalas, the town gained munch importance and the credit goes to Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-pandita-deva, who later became the rajguru of the Hoysalas, From the start of the thirteenth century CE, the town was known as Gadugu. The present name, Gadag, is a derivation of this name.

David N Lorenzen states that there are strong evidences in favor of Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-Pandita-deva that he belonged to the Belagave line of Kalamukha acharyas, Vidhyabharana of which was a prominent guru at Kedareshvar temple at Belagave. As per an inscription at Gadag, he is said to be born in the line of Kalamukha acharyas and his guru is mentioned as Vidhyabharana-deva.

This suggests that though Gadag is far from Belagave however it was an important Kalamukha center during thirteenth and fourteenth centuries CE under the Yadavas and Hoysalas. S N Sen states that Gadag was a center of the Kalamukha or Lakulashaiva branch of the Pashupata sect under the Seuna dynasty.

During the Kalyani Chalukyas’ times Gadag, being a prominent Kalamukha center, was abuzz with architectural activities. Many artists from this town were involved in construction of temples at other sites. Nagoja was such an artists who worked in the Chenna-keshava temple at Belur. As per an inscription there, Nagoja, who was (artist of the) god Trikuteshvara of Gadag. This suggests that Nagoja hailed from Gadag and was a devotee of the god Trikuteshvara.

Monuments – There are many temples and religious structures at Gadag. Four temples stand out among these, and these four are described in details below.

Ajay J Sinha mentions that Gadag temples are examples of the ‘local style’ created in northern Karnataka in the twelfth century CE in an interaction between idioms of the Tungabhadra region and Hoysala style. Where the Someshvara temple shows the amalgamation of the local style with the Hoysala, the Rameshvara temple is strictly in the local style. Sinha states that Someshvara temple uses a combination of elements from both the Haveri and Kuruvatti idioms to more directly represent Hoysala style.

Trikuteshvara Temple, photo taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s (courtesy – British Library).
Trikuteshvara Temple Complex

Trikuteshvara Temple – J Burgess mentions that this temple was situated in the fort, however now the temple lies well within the city among the present habitation areas. Very few vestiges  There are two main temples and a tank inside the complex. All together, this complex can be termed as trikuta style, comprising of the main Trikuteshvara temple and Sarasvati temple.

Lateral entrance into the open mandapa

Three phases of development has been identified for this complex. In the first phase, the main vimana of Trikuteshvara temple with its sukanasi (roof above vestibule) and a closed mandapa (hall) with two entrances, one on east and another on south, were constructed. The second phase introduced the west facing vimana with its sukanasi and a big open mandapa, converting the whole composition into a dvikuta shrine. as Sarasvati temple with its open mandapa (hall). This open mandapa was connected to the main shrine through its eastern doorway of the closed mandapa. The third and the last phase introduced the north facing Sarasvati temple which though standing apart is axially aligned to the main structure thus transforming the whole complex into a trikuta shrine.

Sculptural decoration on vimana

The external facade of the vimana is opulently carved with sculptures depicting gods and semi-gods. The sculptures are small however full of energy and craftsmanship. The southern doorway of the closed mandapa is provided with a porch which is a later addition. The eastern doorway, now joined with the open mandapa, has Gaja-Lakshmi with four elephants on its lintel. The antarala doorway is a simple structure with perforated screens on either side. Gaja-Lakshmi is present on its lintel and above it are shown Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The sanctum has three Shiva-lingas set upon a single peetha. This is probably the reason why the god is referred as Trikuteshvara (the Lord of three Mountains). Reference of Trilinga region should be made here as the three lingas surrounding this region were on the three different mountains, Kaleshvara, Srisailam and Bheemshvara.  These three mountains also constitute the Trikuteshvara concept of Lord Shiva.

Vishnu in northern niche
Ravana lifting Kailasha

Where the interior of the temple is very simple and devoid of any decoration, the exterior is in quite contrast. The niches of the main vimana are empty except the northern one which houses an image of Vishnu. A distinctive feature which is witnessed in many temples of this period, open space between the parapet wall and beam below cornice is absent here. This open space is usually adorned with slanted slabs similar to back-rest seats. But in this temple, this space is closed with perforated stone screens.

Close view of façade of south side of Trikuteshvara Temple, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)
Closed Mandapa with screens
Stone Screen

These perforated screens are decorated with medallions and has openings on each alternate square section. James Fergusson puts the temple as one of the most complete illustrations of the Chalukya style of architecture. About the decoration of the temple, Burgess writes that no chased work in silver or gold could possibly be finer, and the patterns to this day are copied by goldsmiths, who take casts and moulds from them, but fail in representing the sharpness and finish of the original.

A lady scribe
Shiva as Gajantaka
Ugra-Narasimha

The shikhara of the main shrine has been reconstructed over the time however its lower tala (tier) is still the original showing the aedicular arrangement. The shikhara of the western shrine has not survived. The top part of the basement has stone slabs sloping outwards. The part below has been carved with panels depicting shikharas separated with pilasters. Under the shikhara are shown dancers, musicians, demi-gods, gods, ascetics and elephants. Continuous whitewash over a long period has resulted in the obliteration of the major features of these figures.

Vimana wall
Shiva

As suggested by David N Lorenzen, Trikuteshvara Temple was a center of the Kalamukha sect. Its main priest, Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-Pandita was a teacher from the Kalamukha lineage. His teacher, Vidhyabharana was probably the same who is mentioned in the inscriptions found at Balligave. It is quite probable that Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-Pandita, left Balligave in order to spread the Kalamukha sect to Gadag region.

The main shrine of Trikuteshvara temple can be dated between 1000-1050 CE. The earliest inscription referring to god Trikuteshavara is dated in 1037 CE.

General view of the Sarasvati Temple, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)
Sarasvati Temple

Sarasvati Temple – This temple faces north and comprises of an antarala (vestibule) and an open mandapa. It is situated within the same complex as of the Trikuteshvara temple and together with the former makes the over structure as a trikuta shrine. Henry Cousens mentions that some of the best works of the Chalukyan style are seen in this temple. Apart from the outer decoration, particular attention is to be attributed to the pillars supporting the mandapa as these are the best specimen of the Chalukyan work.

Pillar in Sarasvati Temple, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)
Close view of half-pillar, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)
Close view of a half-pillar, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)

Entrance into the temple

The mandapa is supported on four full length pillars and fourteen half-pillars. Four pillars supporting the central ceiling are in one pattern and the remaining are executed in pairs. The central ceiling is worth noticing as it reflects the wooden construction techniques, in opinion of Cousens. The ceiling has ribs crossing and re-crossing each others. Lotus pendants hang at their intersections. The prettiest feature is the central pendant, though it has been broken away.

Varuna
Nrrtti
Indra

The central four pillars have base similar to the basements seen on temples of this period. These are square at base, recessing to octagon and then to round near the capital. The facets of the square and octagonal sections are decorated with miniature carvings however these are much defaced and deteriorated. The facets on octagonal sections have images of ashta-dikpalas (eight directional guardians).

Pillar with stellar cross-section

Henry Cousens mentions that the two pillars standing on either side of the entrance are the most elaborately worked of all, and there are, perhaps, no other pillar throughout the whole extent of Chalukyan handicraft left to us which are equal to these for the crowded abundance of minute work which covers their surfaces. The ornaments consists of repetitions of miniature shrines, tiny pilasters, panels containing Lilliputian gods, goddesses and attendants, rampant lions, and host of other details.

Antarala doorway
Sarasvati

The antarala is an open space without a doorway. The garbha-ghra doorway is eloborately carved with five bands running around its three sides. The dedicatory block over lintel has Gaja-Lakshmi. Inside the garbha-griha (sanctum) is placed a mutilated image of goddess Saraswati. The image is quite large in size and resting above a pedestal. All her hands are broken away.

Someshvara Temple, photo taken by Henry Cousens in 1880s (courtesy – British Library)
Someshvara Temple

Someshvara Temple – This temple at present is not in use and probably abandoned long back. As this was not a live temple, hence it was used as a school as mentioned by Burgess and Cousens during the late nineteenth century CE. Based upon the crude forms of Shiva over the doorways, Cousens suggests that these are the works of Lingayats.

Southern entrance
Single uniform decoration scheme bringing in monotony in design
Vimana decoration

The temple is simple in plan consisting of a garbha-griha, antarala, a mandapa with two entrance, on south and east. The entrance on south has an attached porch however entrance on the east is left unfinished. Probably, the original plan was to add additional mandapa with the eastern entrance however it did not get realized and the temple was left unfinished.

Temple Adishthana

The temple is carved profusely all around however the repetitions across make it rather monotonous. Cousens terms it, “almost painfully monotonous” while Dhaky uses “painful” to describe its monotony.  Foekema explains that repetitions in the wall decorations bring in this monotony. As witnessed in other temples, the decoration differs in recesses and projections however in here the very same decoration scheme is used for recesses and projects, resulting in the monotony.

This temple can be marked as the transition from the Chalukya design towards the Hoysala theme.  The main evidence is the presence of two chhadyas (cornices), one separating the first tala (tier) from the super structure and the second is above it. This double chhadya feature puts this temple as a precursor to the Hoysala designs. The shikhara originally has four talas (tiers) however only three remain now.

Eastern doorway
Antarala doorway

The eastern doorway of the mandapa is elaborately carved with seven bands. The dedicatory block (lalata-bimba) has an image of Nataraja. Antarala doorway is simple with side screens. Above its lintel is a makara-torana with Brahma Shiva and Vishnu in its cusps. The middle cusp is broken. Garbha-grha doorway is simple with Shiva in yogasana on its lalata-bimba.

Rameshvara Temple
Temple vimana – west view

Rameshvara Temple – This temple is situated near the Someshvara temple. The temple is in much deteriorated condition. Its vimana and closed mandapa are still standing and it can inferred that it was originally a trikuta temple with three shrines sharing a common mandapa. This common closed mandapa was connected to a large open mandapa. The western side of the closed hall was left undressed suggesting the original plan of building an open mandapa attached to it.

Mandapa doorway
Shiva family on a pillar face

Inside the mandapa are provided four niches, two on the either side of antarala and two on opposite lateral walls. These niches are empty at present. The central ceiling of the mandapa is supported on four pillars which depict beautiful geometrical designs with floral motifs.

Veera-Narayana Temple – This is the main temple at present in Gadag. The temple was built during the Kalyani Chalukya times however it received continuous patronage till the Vijayanagara rulers. Kannada poet Kumara Vyasa composed his monumental work in this temple sitting before the image of the god.

The temple is located within a huge complex. Photography is not allowed inside hence I was not able to get much in my lenses, however there is nothing much on interest as well. The old structures are overshadowed by modern constructions.

Shivalinga worship @ Gadag Museum

Gadag Museum – There is a museum in Gadag which is maintained by Karnataka State Archaeological department. It is a big museum having various galleries and housing many artifacts. You can purchase books published by department from here.

Betageri – Betageri is about 3 km from Gadag city center and it comes under the municipality of Gadag. Fifteen inscription slabs (vira-kals) are placed inside an enclosed compound in the middle of the village. Many of these stones have symbols of the man’s trade or caste carved at the base of the slab. Among these symbols are found plough, oil-mill, mason’s mallet, block of stone etc. One of the inscription is dated in Saka 893 in the reign of the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II, recording the death of Kaligalla in a defensive fight at Battakere.

Inscriptions: Dharwad Gazetteer mentions about 34 inscriptions found at Gadag, the earliest inscription from the Rashtrakuta king Indra III dated 918 CE. I was able to find those many inscriptions however was not able to trace the earliest one.

  1. On a hero-stone in the enclosure at Betigere – Epigraphia India vol XIII – Kannada language, Kannada characters – only day is specified but no date, however based upon the reigning king’s period, the inscription can be assigned to 888 CE – the inscriptions refers itself to the reign of the king Akalavarsha, who from other sources is known as the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II. It mentions that a certain Sahadeva attacked Battakere and laid the place waste. Then a brahman named Ganaramma fought against him. Ganaramma survived the fight and received some grants later for his prowess.
  2. On a lab built into the prakara of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XI, no 48 –  dated in Saka 924, corresponding to 1002 CE – belongs to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Satyashraya – records a grant of land at Malteyavada in Purigere-nadu made by his vassal Mahasamanta Sobhanarasa, who possessed the ‘five great sounds’. He is described as a ‘bee at the lotus feet of Ahavamalladeva’ and is stated to have been governing over the Belvola-300, Purigere-300, Kunduru-500 and Kukkanuru-30 divisions. The grant was made as vidyadana to Kalajnani Vakkhani-Jiya, the disciple of Koppina-Vakkahani-Jiya, who was the student (vidya-sishya) of Puliya-Pandita, of the temple of Svayambhudeva at Kardugu, i.e., the modern Gadag, which was an agrahara in the Belvola-nadu.
  3. Slab built into the ceiling of the southern gopura of the ViraNarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 42 – dated in Saka 930, corresponding to 1008 CE – refers to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Satyashraya – mentions a fight following a demand by the king’s officers for the surrender of Sobhanayya who is stated to be a traitor. Agrahara Kaldugu (modern Gadag) is mentioned. Pallavarasa and a certain dandanayaka (name lost) are also mentioned. The record is very badly damaged.
  4. On a broken slab built into the prakara of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XI, no 76 – This inscription which is considerably damaged and mutilated refers to one Madhava and his son(?) Kesa[va?]-Jiya (also probably called Kesavaraja).  The latter appears to have fought successful battles in the Konkana country and on the banks of the Godavari and won the admiration of Taila (Nirumadi-Taila II)  and also pleased Vikramaditya (probably Vikramaditya V) by his conquest of the Kosala country. Among his sons by Lalambika or Lalambika, were Bhayiga, who pleased the same king by his conquests and Madhavaraja who won the admiration of Singa-nripati (probably Jayasimha II) by leading the cavalry forces (in the wars) against the Chola.
  5. On a slab built into the inner wall of the enclosure to the right of the well in the Viranarayana Temple – Epigraphia India vol XIX/South Indian Inscriptions vol XI, no 72 – dated in Saka 959, corresponding to 1037 CE –  refers to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Jayasimha II – registers a gift of land made by Damodara-Setti, after purchasing it from maddimayya-nayaka, the Urodeya (mayor) of Lokkigundi, to the temples of Traipurushadeva and Baraha-Narayanadeva (Twelve Narayanas). The father of Damodara, Perggade Dhoyipayya,  is stated to have constructed these temples and set up the garudastambha therein. Some interesting legends are mentioned while comparing Damodara, these include Vikramaditya, Harishchandra, Charudatta, Nala, Shibi, Dadhichi and Gutta. Mention of Gutta, which certainly refers to the legendary king starting the Gutta line, with Vikramaditya supports the claim of the Guttas that they and the successors of Vikramaditya of Ujjaini.
  6. Slab built into a drain behind a broken house near Vira-Narayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 70 – dated in Saka 986, corresponding to 1064 CE – This inscription which refers itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Someshvara I – contains a grant made by Mahamandalesvara Mararasa, when he was governing Beluvala-300. Towards the end of the record a certain Tippa who probably reconstructed the temple is mentioned and another date occurs; but except the month Phalguna all other details are lost. The original grant records a gift of land made, probably by Mahamandalesvara Mararasa, to the god Somesvara of Lokkigundi. It was entrusted to Tatapurushajiya, the acharya of the temple of Somesvara. Maraarasa bore the title Cholam-gonda.
  7. Slab built into the ceiling of the verandah adjoining the ranga-mandapa of the Viranarayana temple – Epigraphia Indica vol XV/ South Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 102 – This inscription, belonging to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI and is dated in the Chalukya-Vikrama year 23, corresponding to 1098 CE – The record opens up in praise of the Chalukya race, as a branch of lunar dynasty. The record then gives details of the genealogy of the Chalukya family from Taila II to Vikrmaditya VI. Taila II, son of Vikramaditya IV and Bontha-devi, destroyed many Rattas (Rashtrakutas), slew Munja, took head of Panchala, and reigned for twenty-four years. His sons were Satyasraya (Akalankacharita Irivabedanga) and Dasavarman. Dasavarman’s son was Vikramaditya (V) Tribhuvanamalla. He had two brothers, Ayyana and Jayasimha (II Jagadekamalla). Jayasimha’s son was Trailokyamalla-Ahavamalla (Someshvara I), who was lion to the elephant Rajendra-Chola. With his queen, Bachala-devi, he got two sons, Someshvara (II) Bhuvanaikamalla and Vikramaditya (VI) Tribhuvanamalla. The former became infatuated with pride hence removed by the latter. Vikramaditya after establishing himself, superseded the Saka era with his own , the Vikrama-varsha. He appointed his dharmadhikarin a learned and eminent Rigvedi brahman, Someshvara-Bhatta. The record then proceeds to narrate the high qualities of Mahapradhana Dandanayaka Somesvara-Bhatta who was worshiped by Vikramaditya and states that he established a school for the study of the Prabhakara doctrine of Purvamimamsa at Lokkigundi. It then records a grant of money made by Somesvara-Bhatta, also called Somesvara-Bhattopadhyaya, for the salary of the teachers in the school. It is interesting to note that a book (grantha) probably called Sutra-Charche is mentioned, but unfortunately the portion containing the description is broken away and lost.
  8. Slab built into the ceiling of the left mandapa of the eastern gopura of the Viranarayanasvami templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 340 – This damaged record of about the 11th century CE – it records a grant of and made by Bayikabbe to Chidanna. The grant of bhatta-vritti and chhatra-vritti are also recorded.
  9. Slab built into the northern prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 104 – This inscription referring itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI and is dated in the Chalukya-Vikrama year 25, corresponding to 1101 CE – It states that Honnavara Maddimayya, son of Demaya-Ghaisasa constructed the temple of Sankaranarayana and made a grant of money for the worship and offerings to that god. It also records a gift made by the One-thousand (Mahajanas) of Lokkigundi to the temple and the feeding house attached to it. The record is badly damaged.
  10. On A Slab Built Into The Prakara Wall Of The Trikutesvara TempleSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XI, no 150 – dated in Chalukya-Vikrama year 27, corresponding to 1102 CE – This inscription refers itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI – it registers the gift of some cess made to the god Somanatha (in the temple) of Svayambhu Trikutesvaradeva of Galdugu, an agrahara in Belvala-nadu, by Mahapradhana Achchupannayadadhishthayaka Dandanayaka Madhava-Bhatta, a subordinate of Mahapradhana Bhivanayya, who was governing Palasige-12000 and was in charge of the achchu-pannaya revenue of the Seven-and-a-half-lakh.  Bhivanayaya is stated to be the chief of the Savasis (Savasigal-adhish-thayaka).  The grant was made after washing the feet of Kriyasakti-Pandita, acharya of the matha attached to the temple.
  11. Slab lying near the northern prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 114 – This inscription which refers itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI and dated in the Chalukya-Vikrama year 41, corresponding to 1116 CE – It records a grant of land made for a feeding house (satra) and for the worship of god Maniyara-Mallikarjunadeva by Maniyara-Mahadevayya-nayaka of the agrahara town Battakere. Battakere and the Mahajanas of that place are highly praised. The genealogy of Mahadevayya-nayaka is given.
  12. Stone built into the north prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 115 – This inscription dated in the Chalukya-Vikrama era (year omitted), probably corresponds to 1118 CE – It refers to a grant of money made to a god (name lost). The donor’s name is lost.
  13. On A Slab Built Into The Prakara Wall Of The Trikutesvara TempleSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XI, no 201 – This damaged inscription refers itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI.  Its date appears to have been lost.  It registers a gift made by Indrakesi of the Sagar-anvaya, a Mandalika of Huligere-nadu.
  14. Slab built into the northern prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 138 – This damaged inscription which refers itself to the reign of the Western Chalukya king Someshvara III and dated in the 11th year of his reign, corresponding to 1136 CE – It records a grant of land and money by Chandeyadeva for the worship and offerings to the god Hrishikesa of Kalimayyageri. It records another grant of land to the god Kesavadeva of the same place, by mahanna and his wife Maliyakka. A certain Madhuvanna also made a grant of money to the same god.
  15. Stone built into the western prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 173 – Date is lost – This inscription is dated in Chalukya-Vikrama era (year lost).  The other details are lost. It records a grant of money for the worship and offerings to a god (name lost).
  16. On a slab set up in to the prakara wall of Vira-Narayana TempleSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 103 – dated in the 7th regnal year of the Kalachuri king Bijjala II, corresponding to 1161 CE – The king who is no other than Bijala II is mentioned by his titles Bhujabalamalla and Tribhuvanamalla. After the king’s prasasti are introduced the One Thousand Mahajanas of Lokkigundi, who along with all the Gole, Go-Brahmana  and the entire residents were protecting the religious deeds. Lokkigundi is described as an agrahara formed by the illustrious Rama.  It registers a gift of money to the god Bhogesvara by Adakeya Mahadevanayaka, and others. The latter portion of the epigraph is much damaged.  The inscription as revealed by its contents must have originally belonged to Lakkundi.
  17. On a slab built into the prakara wall of  the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 140 – dated in the 5th regnal year of the Kalachuri king Samkama, corresponding to 1184 CE – The epigraph registers a gift of land by Yogi-Sahajananda, disciple of Rudrasakti, to the god Svayambhu Madhavesvara of Kratupura, for worship and offerings and for feeding the Brahmanas. The gift land was purchased from Seventy-two Mahajanas of the place who are praised for their learning and religious acts. It also described Mahadeva-nayaka of Agastya gotra and registers a few more gifts to the same deity. The inscription is partly damaged.
  18. On a slab built into the prakara of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscription vol XV, no 547 – dated Saka 1107, corresponding to 1184-85 CE – It records a gift to the god Trikutesvara. It mentions Ereguppe in Huligere-300. Mention is also made of Hermadiraya, probably of the Chalukya family and Chandrabhushanamuni. The record is fragmentary and damaged.
  19. On a slab built into the prakara wall of the Viranarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 66 – dated in the fourth regnal year of the Western Chalukya king Someshvara IV, 1185 CE – It records a gift of money made from income derived from minting transactions by Vishuvardhana Bischisetti, described as the worshiper of the feet of Sankaranarayana, for worship and offerings to a deity whose name is not fully preserved.
  20. Stone built into thenorthern prakara (inside) of the Viranarayanasvami templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 162 – This inscription is dated in the 4th year of the reign to the Western Chalukya king Somesvara IV, corresponding to 1185 CE – It registers a grant of money made by Vishnuvardhana Bichisetti to a god.
  21. Stone built into the north prakara of the Viranarayanasvamin templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 172 – Date lost – This inscription is dated in Chalukya-Vikrama year (lost). It records a grant made by Samkimayya-Na[yaka] and Mahadevabhatta. The record is broken on the right side. Lines 18 to 23 apparently contain a separate grant.
  22. On a slab built into the prakara wall of the Trikutesvara temple – Epigraphia Indica vol III/South Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 150 – dated in Saka 1113, corresponding to 1191 CE – It records the gift of the village Hiriya-Handigola in Beluvola-300, to the god Trikutesvara, by the Seuna king, Bhilama V, when he was camping at Herur, after washing the feet of Siddhanti-Chandrabhushanapandita, also called Satyavakya, the acharya of the temple. The genealogy of the Yadavas is given from the beginning starting with Sevanadeva, followed by his son Mallugideva, followed by his son Amaraganga, followed by his younger brother Karnadeva, followed by his son Bhillamadeva. Mention of Jaitasimha as the minister of Bhillamadeva on whose request this grant was made. Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-Pandita was the disciple of Vidhyabharanadeva, who in turn was the disciple of Someshvaradeva, the chief-priest of the shrine of the god Svambhu-Trikuteshvara at Kratuka.
  23. On a slab built into the prakara  wall of the Trikutesvara temple – Epigraphia Indica vol VI/ South Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 208 – Sanskrit language, Kannada characters – refers to the reign of the Hoysala king Ballala II – dated in Saka 1114, corresponding to 1192 CE – It records the gift of the village Hombalalu, in Belvola-300, to the God Trikutesvara, by the Hoysala king Vira-Ballala II camping at Lokkigundi, after washing the feet of Acharya Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-pandita, also called Satyavakya, and in the lineage of the Kalamukha acharyas. The earlier portion of the record gives the genealogy of the Hoysalas, after narrating the legendary account of their origin from the Yadu race starting with king Sala. Once there lived an ascetic at Sasakapura, who was attached by a tiger. The ascetic called for Sala with the words : Hoy Sala (Slay O Sala). Sala killed the tiger and thus acquired for himself and his descendants the name of Hoysalas and a tiger as emblem for their banner. After other kings, came Vinayaditya, followed by his son Ereyanga. He had three sons, Ballala, Vishnuvardhana and Udayaditya. Ballala and Vishnuvardhana ruled in succession. Vishnuvardhana is attributed to win over Jagaddeva, the ruler of Malava. Vishnuvardhana was followed by his son Narasimha who married Echaladevi. Their son and successor was Ballala II. Ballala II was attributed to win two battles, in one defeating general Brahman and in another killing Jaitrasimha, right arm of Bhillama. With these victories, he became a sovereign over Kuntala country. The chief-priest of the temple of Trikuteshvara at Kratuka, Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-Pandita, is praised as being the living linga by whom the god who is lord of three peaks (trikuteshvara) br his three stationary lingas, in opinion of the people became at the same time a lord of four peaks. These three stationary lingas may be the well known three peaks Kaleshvara, Srishaila and Bhimeshavra or these may be the three lingas of the Trikuteshvara temple of Gadag.
  24. On a slab built into the prakara wall of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 214 – dated in Saka 1121, corresponding to  1199 CE – It registers the renewal of a gift of land made to the god Svayambhu-Trikutesvara for worship and offerings, after washing the feet of Siddhanti-Chandrabhushana-pandita by Mahamandalesvara Rayadevarasa who was governing this territory from Hallavurakuppa.  Rayadevarasa who is described as Vira-pradhana of the Hoysala king Vira-Ballala II, was the son of bammideva who belonged to the family of Kencha, the chief of Belvola-300. The gift was made on the bank of the Tungabhadra while the donor was engaged in pious deeds.
  25. Panel of a sculptured Portio in the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 359 – This small record in Sanskrit language describes the fame of Chandrabhushana Brati. It is engraved in characters of about the 12th century CE.
  26. Stone built into the back wall of the temple of Hanuman at the Koneri-tirthaSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 344 – This fragmentary record contains as eulogy of Lokkigundi and its one-thousand Mahajanas. It is written in characters of about the 11-12th century CE.
  27. Pillar in the southern gopura of theViranarayanasvami templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 372 – This inscription of about the 12-13th century CE – it states that Mahapradhana Mahadeva, a follower of the Jaina faith, renovated the Jina-bhavana. He is called the pradhana of Ekkala-bhupala of the town of Uddhare and Ekkaladevana rajyabhayudaya-karana-karana (the cause of the rise of Ekkaladeva’s kingdom). The genealogy of Mahadeva is given.
  28. On a slab built into the prakara wall of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 159 – dated in Saka 1135, corresponding to 1213 CE – refers to the reign of the Seuna king Singhana II – The inscription records that the Seventy two Mahajanas of Gadugu, situated in Belvala-300, made the gift of land, house and flower-gardens to the god Trikutesvara with 528 gadyanas as suvarnapuja. The gift was entrusted into the hands of Kriyasakti-pandita, the acharya of the temple and the disciple of Chandrabhushana-pandita, whose spiritual genealogy is given.  The earlier portion record in Sanskrit contains description of the eminent Mahajanas the great agrahara of Kratuku (i.e., Gadugu) who are said to have officiated as priests in tho Sarpayaa of Jamamejaya.
  29. On a pillar in the mandapa of the Trikutesvara templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 609 – dated Sake 1148, corresponding to 1225 CE – Nothing much can be inferred from this record
  30. On a slab set up on the tank bundSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 610 – dated in 1230 CE on palaeographic grounds – It records the death by samadhi of the preceptor Santivira of Kummadi-gana of the Yapaniya-samgha.
  31. On a pillar in the Kalyana-mandapa of the Viranarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 62113th century CE – It registers gifts of houses and other objects to the god Traipurusha.
  32. Stone built into the northern prakara (outside) of the Viranarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 280 – This inscription referring itself to the reign of the Vijayanagara king Krishna Deva Raya is dated in Saka 1442, corresponding to 1519 CE – It states that Nayanappa-Nayaka, son of Bagila-Nagi-Nayaka granted land at Batttakere in Gadugina-sime for two charity water-sheds (aravatige) to Paruva[tto]deya.  The land had been granted to the donor as umbai by Timmappa-Nayaka-Ayyanavaru.  The grant was made in the presence of god Virupaksha on the bank of the Tungabhadra.
  33. On a slab built into the prakara wall of Viranarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 252 – dated in Saka 1461, corresponding to 1539 CE – refers to the reign of the Vijayanagara king Achyuta Deva Raya – It records the gift of Anandanidhi to the Brahmanas, by the king Achyutaraya in the presence of the god Vithalesvara on the bank of the Tungabhadra. It adds that the gift was recorded on stone in the presence of the god Triyambaka of Gadagu.
  34. On a slab built into the wall of an enclosure to the left of the well in the Vira-nayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 253 – dated in Saka 1461, corresponding to 1539 CE – refers to the reign of the Vijayanagara king Achyuta Deva Raya – It records the gift of Anandanidhi to the Brahmanas by the king Achyutaraya, in the presence of the god vithalesvara on the bank of the Tungabhadra. It adds that the gift was recorded on the poet Kumara-Vyasa.
  35. Slab built into the eastern prakara of the Viranarayana templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XVIII, no 283 – refers to the reign of the Vijayanagara king Achyuta Deva Raya – dated in Saka [14]61, corresponding to 1539 CE – It registers the gift of anandanidhi made by the king to the Brahmanas in the presence of god Vitha[la] at Bhaskara-kshetra on the bank of the river Tungabhadra in order to propitiate god Madhava.
  36. On a stone in front of the Udachavva templeSouth Indian Inscriptions vol XV, no 69416th century CE – It seems to record some legendary account of the deity Udiche who is said to have taken human form in a female devotee bearing the name.

How to Reach – Gadag is well connected with all major cities of Karnataka by road and rail. A visitor will find no problems in locating the monuments within the city.

References

  1. Burgess, Jas (1885). List of the Antiquarian Remains in the Bombay Presidency. Government Central Press. Bombay.
  2. Cousens, Henry (1926). The Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
  3. Fergusson, James (1910). History of Indian and Eastern Architecture. John Murray. London.
  4. Foekema, Gerard (2003). Calukya Architecture. Munshiram Mahondarlal. New Delhi. ISBN 9788121510707
  5. Lorenzen, David N (1972). The Kapalikas and Kalamukhas – Two Lost Saivite Sects. University of California Press. California. ISBN 0520018427
  6. Palande, M R (1959). Dharwad District Gazetteer. Karnataka Government. Bangalore.
  7. Rea, Alexander (1896). Chalukyan Architecture. Archaeological Survey of India. New Delhi.
  8. Sen, S N (1988). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International Publishers. New Delhi. ISBN 8122411983

1 COMMENT

  1. Very nice capture of Trikuteshwara temple and very detailed explanation of the Gadag history. Very informative and details based on inscriptions.

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