Mallikarjuna Temple at Basaralu

19 April 2015

Basaralu is a small village in Mandya district. In 1234 AD, Harihara Dandanayaka, an Officer under the Hoysala King Narashimha II constructed a small Temple dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna. Few people know about its existence today. Thanks to ASI, it is still well maintained.

While going we took the route from Maddur via Koppa village. Though the road was good for most parts, asphalted road was nonexistent for 4-5 km making journey little tiresome. Once we reached Basaralu village it was not difficult to find the Tempe. Located near a saw mill it is surrounded by houses.

When we reached the Temple, we saw a group of villages were having a chat in the verandah of the Temple. One of them was a caretaker. It was good as he had the key to the Temple. Like all Hoysala Temples, this Temple is also built on top of the raised platform. It is a trikuta Temple consisting of three garbhagrihas on the west, north and south, a sukanasi, a navaranga, a small porch and a Nandi mantapa.

It is said that on the day of Ugadi, the sunlight passes though the holes of the window to fall on Shiva Linga. Amazing!!

The Temple has two entrances with flight of steps leading to it. Both sides have elephant statues.

The Temple has beautiful wall sculptures which includes sixteen handed Shiva dancing on Apasmara, Durga with twenty two hands, dancing Sarawati, Ravana lifting Kailasa and Gajasuramardhana to say a few. It is said that there are 103 intricately carved wall images.

The main garbhagriha has Mallikarjuna in a form of Shiva Linga. The other two garbhagrihas consist of Surya Narayana and Naga-Nagini. There is a Mahishasura Mardhini and Sapta Mathrike statues on either side of the main garbhagriha.  

Unlike many Hoysala temples controlled by ASI, there is a board explaining about the Temple. That helps lot of visitors to understand about the temple. For locals, this is just another Temple used for worship.

A small Temple in the complex.

There was a small stamba outside the main complex. I could not understand the significance of it and the fact that it is kept out of the Temple complex.

Locals mentioned that the renovation of the Temple was on the offing as once side of the Temple had collapsed slightly.

While returning we took the road towards Mandya to avoid non asphalted road. The Mandya road was better but occasionally turned rough!!

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