Arasikere Chandramouleswara Temple
Historical | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 42 km from Hassan, 44 km from Halebidu, 71 km from Chikmagalur, the Ishvara Temple, also known as Chandramouleshwara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in Arasikere town of the Hassan district in Karnataka state, India. It is one of the stunning Hoysala temples in Karnataka, and among the top places to visit near Hassan.
Dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, the Chandramouleshwara Temple at Arasikere was built in the 12th century by the Hoysalas. Though modest in size and figure sculpture, the temple is considered the most complex one in architecture among surviving Hoysala monuments because of its ground plan - a 16-pointed star-shaped mantapa (hall), along with an asymmetrical star-shaped shrine, whose star points are of three different types.
Like all Hoysala constructions, this east-facing temple was built with soapstone and is an ekakuta shrine (single shrine or cella) with two mandapas, one open and one closed. The sanctum (garbhagriha) enshrines a Shivalinga. The ceiling in the closed mantapa is divided into nine compartments or 'bays' by the four lathe-turned pillars. Unlike other temples, to have a darshan of Lord Shiva inside the garbhagriha, there is no direct straight access, since this particular mantapa is star-shaped. Instead, there are two lateral entrances at north and south of the mantapa.
The temple has a shikhara or tower with a decorated water pot like sculpture called kalasha on the top. The vestibule, which connects the shrine to the closed mantapa has its tower called Sukanasi. As this tower is lower to the main tower it is often referred to as the 'nose.' The nose has a sculpture of a bull (Nandi), unlike the Hoysala temples which have a legendary warrior 'sala' fighting a lion, depicting as the royal emblem. Both the interior and exterior of the Ishvara Temple shows interesting workmanship. The elegantly decorated ceilings, the domical ceiling of the open mantapa, the sculptures of Dwarapalakas in the closed mantapa, the wall panel images carved on the outer walls are noteworthy.
To the left of the temple stands a double temple with an intervening niche, which is of smaller proportions and without much ornamentation known as Halavukallu devasthana. Both the shrines have a garbhagriha with a linga and an open sukhanasi with a common hall in the front.
Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM