Balligavi temples Kedareshwara & Tripurantaka

Balligavi temples Kedareshwara & Tripurantaka

Shivamogga has many historic places in it. Forts, historic temples & palaces likewise. Balligavi is one among places to visit near Shivamogga. Balligavi is famed for  Balligavi temples which are Kedareshwara temple, tripurantakeshwara temple.

 Balligavi temples

Balligavi temples are one of the nice places to visit in Karnataka. Balligavi is in Shikaripura Taluk, Shivamogga district.  It is one among Shikaripura tourist places.

Balligavi is a place which is known for ancient monuments. Balligavi is at a distance of 72kms from Shivamogga.

Balligavi History:

Balligavi: Top view

Western Chalukya empire ruled Balligavi during 10th-12th centuries. It is now called as “Balegami” or “Balagame” . Its ancient names are ‘Baligrama’, Dakshina kedara’ , Valligame & Valligrame.

Dakshina kedara means Kedarnath of the south. Archaeologically, Balligavi dates from the SatavahanaKadamba era and the Chaturmukha linga (four-faced linga) here is in that style. The area came under the Banavasi province of the Kadamba Dynasty in 4-5th century AD.

Important Kadamba inscriptions like the Talagunda inscriptions, near Balligavi, have been collected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Balligavi during Badami Chalukya inscription had six mathas, three ‘puras’, five ‘Vidyapeethas’ & seven Brahmapuris. The mathas belong to Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Jainas & Buddhists.

Kedaranatha temple belongs to Shaivas. Records reveal that an ancient university existed here. The town also has 54 temples & 60000 residents during that time.

Several Inscriptions reveals that it was very prominent and stronghold capital of vira bananju warrior merchant community, i.e. modern day banajigara or banajiga or balija community.

Today, Balligavi is a quiet town much of whose daily routines revolve around agriculture and the famous 11th-century Kedaresvara Temple and Tripurantakesvara Temple.

Kedareshwara temple Balligavi:

Kedareshwara temple, front view

Kedareshwara is one among the Balligavi temples.

Kedareshwara temple is the oldest example of “trikutas” (triple towers) combinational style in Karnataka according to the reports from Mysore Archeological dept.

The temple faces east and has a stepped entrance on three sides. The entrance on the sides is a Western Chalukya idiom. The central shrine has a linga (the universal symbol of Shiva) made from black marble (Krishnashila).

The shrine to the south has a linga called Brahma and the shrine to the north has a statue of Janardhana (Vishnu). The temple’s outside plan is in “staggered-square” style with many projections and recesses which is a Hoysala design.

The outer walls of the open mandapa (hall) have carvings of women wearing fine jewellery. Two Hoysala emblems were added in 1060 CE by Vinayaditya.[9] The superstructure (tower) of the vimana are very well decorated with sculptures of TandaveshwaraVarahaUma NarasimhaBhairava etc. (avatars of Shiva and Vishnu) and the sukanasi of all three towers still exist.

The western shrine is the oldest dating from the 7th or 8th century. Attached to the vestibule that connects the shrines is a well designed open mantapa with two rows of pillars. The outer row of pillars are 16 faced while the inner row of pillars are lathe turned with bell-shaped mouldings, a style popular with both Western Chalukys and Hoysalas.

The ceiling of the mantapa is flat and the inner ceiling is well carved with lotuses in them. The central ceiling has the carving of Tandaveshwara (dancing Shiva) with eight dikpalakas (guards). The entrance to the shrine which faces east has a

Nandi, the bull and a celestial attendant of Shiva.

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Tripurantaka temple Balligavi:

Tripurantaka Temple Balligavi Tripurantaka Temple Balligavi

Tripurantaka is the another among Ballagvi temples. The Tripurantaka Temple (also called Tripurantakesvara or Tripurantakeshwara) was built around c. 1070 CE by the Western Chalukyas. This temple, which is in a dilapidated state, is in the historically important town of Balligavi (also called Balagamve), modern Shivamogga districtKarnataka stateIndia.

The exterior walls of the temple have erotic sculptures on friezes. These depictions are considered rare in Chalukyan art. Being miniature in size, these are visible only upon close examination

During medieval times, Balligavi was a seat of learning to multiple religious faiths and was home to many monuments and structures built by the Chalukyas.[14] More than 80 medieval inscriptions have been discovered in Balligavi and belong to the Hindu (ShaivaVaishnava), Jain and Buddhist traditions. These inscriptions describe, among other things, the building of temples.

Some Facts about Balligavi:

Temple with pillars  Hoysala Sculptures

Balligavi is not only known for beautiful Balligavi temples. But also there are many famous personalities from Balligavi.

  • Ballligavi was the capital of Asura King ( demon) hence called Balipura.
  • Pandavas came here on their Vanavasa & installed Panchalingas, hence the name Panchalingeshwara temple.
  • Balligavi is the birthplace of great Virasaiva saint “Allama Prabhu”
  • Balligavi is also associated with Akkamahadevi, who was born in Udugani (Udutadi) near Shikaripura.
  • Balligavi is also the birthplace of, Dance queen, Queen of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana.
  • Also many sculptors like Dasoja, Malloja, Nadoja, Siddoja hailed from here.
  • Huen Tsang, a Chinese traveller visited India in order to follow the trail of Buddism and universities across the country. He visited Nagayi and Balligavi which were ancient centres of learning en route to Kanchipuram. He was impressed by the artisan skills and carried some miniature models of temples and characters as a memento.

Balligavi Gandaberunda Sculpture

How to reach:

Balligavi temples (Balligavi) are well connected by road. Balligavi is at a distance of 72kms from Shivamogga. And 21kms from Shikaripura. 2.3 km from Shiralakoppa in Shikaripura taluk.

There are many buses ply to Balligavi. So it is easy to reach the beautiful historical destination which is one among Shivmogga tourist places.

The nearest railway station is SMET that is Shivamogga railway station.

The nearest airport is Mangalore International airport

Quick Info About Balligavi:

Balligavi  historic templesKedareshwara, tripurantaka
Period10th– 12th century
LocatedShikaripura taluk, Shivamogga District
Distance from Shivamogga72kms
Distance from Bangalore357kms
Distance from Mangalore230kms
Easy to reachBy road, by rail
Ruled byHoysala king Vishnuvardhana
Famous peopleNatya rani Shantala, Allamaprabhu, Akkamahadevi



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