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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 28: Sangameshwara - Janneshwara Temple, Sindhaghatta

If you find the ekakuta Lakshmi Narayana Temple on the one end of the town of Sindhaghatta, the other end promises to showcase the dvikuta Sangameshwara - Janneshwara Temple, in line with most other celebrated townships of the Hoysala period - containing worshiping places for the followers of both Shiva and Vishnu.

The temple is on the lines of Aghalaya (trikuta) and Govindanahalli (panchakuta), with two Shiva linga sanctums in a row inside the same temple. One of them is identified as Sangameshwara and the other as Janneshwara (historically) or Jangameshwara (currently). The outer walls are again uncarved, similar to the Vaishnava temple in the town, but the inner carvings - primarily the Bhuvaneshwari designs on the roof tops are extremely intricate and retain the beauty even to this day.

A great example of the perfection shown by the sculptors of the period is in the carvings of the big Nandi (the celestial bull) statues inside the temple, where they have taken care to even indicate the veins that run on the face of a bull so elegantly. I have personally come across many carvings of Nandi in many other Shiva temples of the Hoysala period and others like the one on the Chamundi Hills of Mysore and the one at Gangadhareshwara temple in Turuvekere, but the Nandi statues at this temple in Sindhaghatta ooze life like no other.

The exact timeframe when the temple was built is unclear, although, it is conservatively attributed to the period of Hoysala king Ballala the 3rd, in 1299 AD. There are conflicting gazetteer entries that date the temple back to 1179 AD too, and to the times of Vishnuvardhana and Ballala the 2nd.

Here is a photo stream from the temple:

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