Beautiful stone pillars, exquisite architecture, elaborate ceilings and remarkable sculptures were just some of the things that had me totally awe inspired when I visited the Tarakeshwara temple in Hangal.
The town ruled by the Kadamba dynasty till the 11th century was later controlled by the Hoysalas and then the Chalukayas in the 12th century.
Dating back to the 12th century, the Tarakeshwar temple is a symbol of the fine craftsmenship and splendid stone architecture prevalent during the Chalukya reign. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple however, has influences of the Dravidian, Kadamba and Nagara schools of architecture as well.
A typical example of the Kalyana Chalukya style of architecture, the temple consists of a “Garbhagriha” (Sanctum sanctorum), ‘Antarala’, ‘Navarnaga’, ‘Sabhamandapa’ and ‘Mukhamandapa’.
The sanctum encloses the main deity of Shiva which is in the form of a Linga and is called “Tarakeshwara”. Along with it are sculptures of Vishnu, Brahma, Karthikeya and Nandi. There are other lingas as well in the premises apart from that in the sanctum.
The outer walls of the temple has miniature shikaras or towers that have some intricate carvings and also have the scenes depicted from the Ramamyana.
The lathe turned pillars of the temple are yet another striking feature which is an astonishing indication of the level of advancement in the methods of construction way back in the 12th century! The carvings and sculptures on the pillars are truly magnificent and exquisite.
If you are a lover of artistry and architecture, do not miss the mind blowing ceilings and elaborate door columns.
Extremely well crafted and simply stunning, they are sure to keep you engaged in the premises for long!
The temple can do with more maintenance and restoration as, sadly, some parts are damaged.
The town of Hangal, also spelt as Hanagal, is located about 75 km from the Hubli, which is the second largest city in Karnataka. The temple is easily accessible by road from Bangalore that is 375 km away.