About and History of Mahadeva Historical temple, Itagi
The Mahadeva Historical temple was built based on the general plan of the Amrutheshwara Temple at Annigeri used as the prototype. It has the same architectural components; there is a difference in their articulation. It is at Itagi was built circa 1112 CE by Mahadeva, a commander in the Western Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI army. An inscription dated 1112 CE in the temple calls it “Emperor among Temples”.
Art historian Henry Cousens called this monument the “finest in Kannada country after Halebidu”. These Western Chalukya monuments, regional variants of existing Dravida temples, defined the Karnata Dravida tradition. It is officially protected as a national monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The temple plan consists of a shrine that is connected to a closed mantapa by a vestibule. The closed mantapa leads to an open pillared mantapa, with the temple as a whole facing the east. Some parts of the temple, such as the cornice and parapet over the outer edge of the roof of the open mantapa are missing.
The main temple, the sanctum of which has a linga, is surrounded by thirteen minor shrines, each with its linga. The temple has two other shrines, dedicated to Murthy Narayana and Chandraleshwari, parents of Mahadeva, the Chalukya commander who consecrated the temple.
The closed mantapa has a doorway on each side, with the eastern doorway leading to the open mantapa and the western doorway to the sanctum. The door panels are well-wrought and the ceiling of the porches has a ribbed design in them. The great open mantapa has 64 pillars, 24 of which are full pillars that start from the floor and support the main ceiling. The remaining are half pillars that start from the bench that surrounds the mantapa and support the sloping eaves. The pillars in this hall bear similarity to the porch pillars at the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal and the lathe-turned pillars at the Kasi Visweswara Temple at Lakkundi.
The square ceiling of the open mantapa which is supported by the four central pillars exhibits interesting fretted stonework. The ceiling here has been worked into decorative arabesque foliage and makaras which flow from the mouth of a Kirtimukha. This type of stonework is considered as high quality as any.
In stark contrast, the interior of the closed mantapa and the sanctum are plain and simple. It is believed that bracket figures that once adorned the outside pillars are now missing. These forward-leaning bracket figures, which normally represent female forms in various poses, would have rested on small blocks on the shaft of the pillars, finding support from the underside of the overhanging cornice via a slot in their upper end.
Timings to visit Mahadeva Historical temple, Itagi
All days of the week 08:00 AM – 06:00 PM
How to Reach Mahadeva Historical temple, Itagi
By Air: Jindal Vijaynagar Airport – 72.3 km, Hubli Airport – 123.4 km.
By Train: Koppal Railway Station – 25 km, Banapur Railway Station – 12.6 km, Bannikoppa – 5.9 km.
By Road: Itagi – 35 km, Gadag – 64 km
Mahadeva Historical temple, Itagi, Karnataka 583232, India.