Javagal is a small town located 50 km from Hassan and 20 km from the world famous Halebid. Javagal too has a largely unknown Hoysala treasure, the Lakshminarasimha Temple. Built in 1250 AD by the Hoysalas this temple is definitely worth a visit. It is a trikuta temple i.e., it has three shrines of the usual type built on an elevated platform. The central shrine which houses Vishnu as Sridhara has a shikhara (tower) and a sukhanasi (nose). The two lateral shrines are without towers and noses. The lateral shrines contain Venugopala and Lakshminarasimha.
This temple is of great interest to historians and to art-lovers as it is completely covered with sculpture. Even the interior is beautifully done. The priest tells us that the beauty of the ceilings will be enhanced if it were acid washed. Decades of soot and grime deposited on the ceiling take away its intricacy. The temple doesn’t come under the Archaeological Survey of India and hence it hasn’t received much attention in terms of cleaning and preservation.
The outer walls are decorated with wall images which have decorative towers above them. Notable among them are Rama and Lakshmana, Badrinarayana and Ananthapadmanabha. Six friezes form the base of the outer wall. The epic frieze shows scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata but is worn out. Even the wall images have been affected by the elements. The entrance to the temple is through a small porch. A huge gateway added by later rulers is the main entrance to the temple and its surrounding area.
The temple is usually closed but the priest stays nearby and will open it if requested. The Lakshminarasimha Temple is ignored by pilgrims and tourists alike. Even the locals are unaware of its importance. Javagal is on its way to becoming a large town since the National Highway passes through it but I hope that this treasure doesn’t get lost in it.
Javagal is in Arsikere Taluk of Hassan District. It is a short drive from Halebeedu and is easily accessible by road. Haranahalli and Belavadi are nearby and are all equally good places to visit for the persistent traveller.
Plan a Day Trip (Hoysala Temple Circuit)
Bengaluru – Hassan – Dodda Gadduvalli – Belur – Halebid – Belavadi – Javagal – Arsikere – Bengaluru