Karnataka is renowned for its natural beauty. The state is visited by locals as well tourists from different parts of the world. Temples are one of the main attractions in Karnataka which exhibit the country’s heritage, culture etc., Most of the temples are ancient with hidden architectural wonders. There are a huge number of temples in Karnataka state. Lets take a look at few of the most popular temples of Karnataka.
Chenna Kesava Swami Temple – Belur
Photo by priyam.n
The main deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu, Chenna Kesava Swamy, and his consort Goddess Mahalakshmi. This ancient temple is located at the Gundlakamma river banks, Belur. The temple was originally called as Vijayanarayana Temple. The Hoysala ruler, Vishnuvardhana had built the temple in the 12th century, when Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Kingdom. Chennakesava Swami Temple’s Galigopuram (tower) is about 135 feet tall. This 900-year-old wonder has a unique feature which is being told as “every year in the morning time the sun rays enter the sanctum sanctorum through a window let and touch the deities’ feet. It happens from 16th December to 14th January.”
Aihole in Karnataka state is considered as the “Cradle of Hindu Rock Architecture”. The main deities of Durga temple are Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, the temple was designed with a blend of Nagara and Dravidian Architectural style. There is a mythological story behind the temple is that after killing the kshatriyas Parasurama washed his axe in this place. Between the 7th and 8th Century, during the Chalukya dynasty, the Durga Temple was built. The Sabha Mantapa and Mukha Mantapa are the main two pillar of this temple.
Kollur Mookambika Temple – Udupi
Kollur Mookambika Devi temple is located in the midst of the Western Ghats. The history of the temple says that the temple was built around 1200 years ago. According to the mythology, Goddess Devi Mookambika showers the grace to her devotees in the morning time at Chottinakkara temple and returns to Kollur in the afternoon. Kollur Mookambika Temple is located in Udupi, the most powerful temple. Navaratri festival is celebrated in this temple in a grand manner.
Chamundeshwari Temple – Mysore
The Chamundeswari temple is considered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas and located in Mysore. The seven-tier tower (Gopuram) is being the main attraction here. This famous Hindu temple is dedicated to Goddess Shakthi. It is believed that the Hoysala rulers built the temple in the 12th century. Goddess Shri Chamundi is the presiding deity of the temple. The quadrangular structured temple was built in the Dravidian style. Chamundeswari temple is located about 1000 steps from the hill foot. The temple encompasses a huge Nandi on the 800th step of the hill in front of the small Lord Shiva temple. The Nandi is 24 feet in height and the tutelary god has bells around the neck.
Srikrishna Temple – Udupi
Sri Krishna Temple is located in Udupi of Karnataka State. In this Hindu temple, Lord Krishna is the main deity. The amazing feature of the temple is the God is worshipped through a window which has nine holes called as Navagraha Kitiki. The story behind the hole is Kanakadasa, a fervent devotee, visited Udupi to pray Lord Krishna in the 16th century. As he hailed from a lower caste, he was prohibited to enter inside the temple. The wholehearted prayer of Kanakadasa pleased Lord Krishna very much and the almighty created a tiny hole in the temple’s back wall turned his face facing the hole. Through the hole, Kanakadasa had God’s darshan. The window is specially carved and plated in silver. The temple is commonly called as Krishna Mutt. The saint Madhavacharya installed the idol of Sri Krishna in this temple.