The temple at Hedathale is neither well known like the Chamundeshwari Temple near Mysore nor is it magnificent like the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi and maybe that is why it is so special. If you like quiet places filled with tranquillity and rich in architectural value, Hedathale is the place you should visit.
The temple at Hedathale was built by the Hoysalas in the 12th century and is a thrikutachala style temple i.e. it has three sanctums. The sanctum in the middle houses Lakshmikantha Perumal. The other two sanctums house Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and Venugopala Swamy. There is also a beautiful idol of Andal there which will stay in your mind even after leaving the place.
The Hadinaru Mukha Chavadi (16 faced hall) is an architectural splendour you shouldn’t miss. It was built by a Palegara (local chieftain) named Bhimanna Dhanda Nayaka. It was completely ruined but has now been restored to some extent. Bhimanna Dhanda Nayaka had sixteen daughters. A custom in those days laid down that a woman should not see her daughter’s husband and vice versa. In order to meet all their daughters along with their husbands, this chavadi was built by the aforementioned Palegara and his wife. It is built in such a manner that from the place where the Palegara sits, all the 16 daughters and 16 sons-in-law are visible but from where his wife sits, only the 16 daughters are visible. Also, from the places where the sons-in-law sit, only the Palegara is visible and not his wife! You can practically try it out yourself.
Although the temple was taken over by the ASI, they have not done anything to maintain it. Some individuals have helped restore this marvel. The existence of this place is spread only by the word of the mouth.
Hedathale is located 7-8 km from Najangud. About 2 km from Hedathale is the relatively well known Venugopala Temple at Hemmargala which is thronged by married couples who are child-less.
This article was published in Spectrum, Deccan Herald on 12th June, 2012. DH Article