The Bhutanatha group of temples includes two major temples, one on the east and the other on the northeast side of the Agasthya Tirtha or Agasthya Lake.
The Bhutanatha temple is situated on the eastern side of the Agasthya Tirtha. It is one of the earliest examples of structural temples in South India. This temple was built during the reign of the Chalukyas of Vatapi, as Badami was known then. Later additions were built by the Kalyani Chalukyas of the west.
When you walk further south from Boothanatha Temple, there are few more striking monuments carved into the hillock. The first one is a bas-relief of Lord Narasimha, Varaha, Durga, Ganesha, Trimurthies along with several gods carved out from the hill. Further south from here towards the lake has a small stone structure with a wonderfully carved image of Lord Vishnu in a sleeping posture. The main carving is executed on a huge rock.
The Bhutanatha group of temples came under the influence of Jains for some time. Later, it was taken over by the Lingayats who installed a Shiva Linga in the shrine and a Nandi in front. The temple on the northeast side of the lake is the Mallikarjuna Temple. It belongs to a later period and it was built during the reign of the Western Chalukyas.
- The Bhutanatha Temple: It is on the east side of the Agasthya Tirtha is the famous Bhutanatha temple, built in the style of the early Eastern Chalukyas. The style is a blend of North Indian and early South Indian temple architecture. This temple seems to have been built in two stages. The inner hall and the shrine reflect the style of the Eastern Badami Chalukyas, while the outer hall represents the style of the Kalyani Chalukyas of the west. The inner hall has massive pillars and the bays are decorated with lotus designs. On one side of the doorway of the shrine stands Goddess Ganga, riding the Makara, while on the other side is river Yamuna. She is depicted as riding the tortoise. The Shiva Linga in the shrine is believed to be of a later date, put in by the Lingayats.
- Mallikarjuna Temple: It is that lies northeast of the lake belongs to the period of the later Chalukyas, the Chalukyas of Kalyani. It has the tiered pyramid structure characteristic of Western Chalukya Architecture.
Timings to Visit
6.00 AM to 7.00 PM
How to Reach Bhutanatha Group of Temples
By Air: Hubli – Hubli Airport – 104 Km, Bangalore – 409 km
By Train: Badami – 5 Km, Gadag – 55 Km
By Bus: Badami Bus Station – 1.5 km, Gadag Bus Station – 55 km, Hubli Bus Station – 104 km.
Bhutanatha group of temples, Badami, Karnataka – 587201.
Karnataka Tourism Official Website For Bhutanatha Group of Temples
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