Middle Chola Temples

by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1975 | 141,178 words

This volume of Chola Temples covers Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I in the timeframe A.D. 985-1070. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....

Belaturu in Mysore district of Karnataka State would appear to have been a prosperous town in olden days, with a number of temples and a sizable trading activity. Today it is a remote village, reached with difficulty from the main district road connecting Mysore to Heggada-devankotte, the taluk headquarters; at the forty-fifth km from Mysore on this road, a five km link road branches off to the south-east, crossing the Kapini river over a newly constructed causeway to reach Belaturu. The village itself is on the Kapini and set in picturesque surroundings.

There are three temples here, those of Mallesvara, Kalamma and Banesvara. There is yet another in the vicinity, in Addakatta hola, called the Binakalamma temple.

Banesvara temple

The Banesvara temple is in ruins. On a stone lying at the site, there is an early Kannada inscription dated in Saka 943 and the ninth regnal year of Rajendra I. It says that Oreya (the chief?) of Nugunad had the temple, which had broken down and fallen level with the ground, rebuilt, and the Linga which had been pulled out, re-installed, in that year; and one Basavayya, son of Muruga Setti and Maggabe of the same place, performed the Rudra homa 3 feasted a thousand people, and “casting forth the bali, completed the work of merit”. The same Basava Setti, along with one Jayangondasola Permmadi Gavunda, son of Javani Gavunda of Belatur, presented to the temple with the knowledge of the village elders, 15 units of wet land and five units of land for a flower-garden (the unit being called a “plough”). He also gifted land for a perpetual lamp (EC, IV, Pt. II, My., 16).

Another slab here contains an incomplete inscription dated in Saka 955 and the twenty-second year of Rajendra I, referred to as the conqueror of Purvadesam, Ganga and Kadaram.

A third slab, found near the temple, contains an inscription of the days of the Hoysala Vira Ballala, son of Vira Narasimha, which mentions that this temple was again reconstructed by a local Chief at a cost of 60 gadyana in cash together with 470 saliga of rice to the stone-masons. The date of this renovation may be taken to be a.d. 1219.

When the temple-site was visited by the author, 75 years after the estampages of the above inscriptions were taken by Rice, there was nothing left of the temple but a mound of stone rubble densely covered with vegetation; the Lingam was half-buried in the ground. The foundation inscription of Rajendra I was located with difficulty; a Saptamatrika panel was found at the site.

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