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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 40: Kaitabheshvara Temple, Kubatur

The Kaitabheshvara Temple, also known as the Kotishwara Temple, is situated in the town of Kubatur, near Anavatti in Shimoga district of Karnataka. The temple is in fact on the outskirts of both Kubatur and Kotipura, and is only about 25 kilometers away from the historically important town of Hanagal.

The temple is one of the earliest constructed during the Hoysala Empire, this one in 1100 AD, towards the end of the reign of king Vinayaditya (grand father of Vishnuvardhana), the second ruler of their lineage. While the "Hoysala Arcitecture" was still a developing concept and design at that time, this temple borrows a lot from the Later Chalukyan style. The main deity is the Shiva Linga of Kotishwara or Kaitabheshwara, while just outside the sanctum sanctorum, one can see a Ganesha statue as well as a Keshava statue. The large area inside the temple has 5 entrances, and is adorned with finely lathe turned soapstone pillars. 

The main inner ceiling is an intricately carved magnum opus, and the outer walls are devoid of any major carvings except for the keerti mukhas. The parapet over the eaves though, has a typical Hoysala feel, with a lot of small and detailed carvings of deities including the Astadikpalakas - the care takers of the eight directions, Keshava, Shiva in his Bhairava and Nataraja forms, dancing Ganesha, Ugra Narasimha, Varaha, Mahishamardhini and more.

Here is a video of this little known early Hoysala masterpiece:

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