One of the finest examples of Hoysala Temple architecture, the Amruteshwara Temple at Amrutapura, dates back to the 12th century. Located in Chikmagalur District, Amrutapura is just 35 km from Shimoga and about 5 km from Tarikere. The temple is well maintained and set in an idyllic atmosphere. Coconut trees, paddy fields and lush green manicured gardens surround the temple.
The Amruteshwara Temple has a single shrine and is hence an ekakuta temple. There are two mantapas – an open larger one and a closed smaller one. The smaller mantapa connects the larger outer mantapa to the shrine which houses a linga. The smaller mantapa houses an idol of Sharada Devi which is unique because the Goddess is depicted sans the veena. The roofs of both the mantapas are decorated in typical Hoysala style.
Scenes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Bhagavata Purana have been carved delicately on the outer walls of the mantapas. Episodes depicting Krishna dancing on Kalinga and Arjuna burning the Kandava forest are some of the intersting ones. The Hoysala lion features in almost every panel. A beautiful sculpture of Sala slaying a lion adorns the main shikhara (tower above the shrine), though Sala’s head is decapitated. The shikhara is adorned beautifully with sculptures of gods, goddesses, demons and gargoyles.
The outer compound wall of the temple is quite low and some simple motifs carved on a circular background have been placed at regular intervals. Remarkably, no two motifs are the same.
Visit Amrutapura to marvel at the architectural genius of the Hoysalas and to relax in the serene green surroundings. The temple is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Plan a Day Trip:
Shimoga – Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Bhadravathi – Amruteshwara Temple, Tarikere – Shivappa Nayaka Palace, Shimoga – Zoo, Shimoga
Read my articles on the Hoysala Temple at Bhadravathi and on Shivappa Nayaka Palace at Shimoga.
This article was published in Spectrum, Deccan Herald on 23rd April, 2013. DH Article