Lakshmi Narasimha Temple - Haranhalli


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Hassan): 34 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2 Hours

Place Location: At Haranahalli

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 9 km from Arasikere, 34 km from Hassan, and 59 km from Shravanabelagola, the Lakshminarasimha Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located at Haranahalli village in the Hassan district of Karnataka. It is one of the Hoysala temples in Karnataka and among the top places to visit in Hassan.

The Lakshminarasimha Temple, also known as Kesava Temple, is a complete and good example of 13th century Hoysala architecture. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple was built in 1235 AD by the Hoysala King Vira Someshwara. Mallitamma, one of the best-known Hoysala sculptors of the 13th century, is the main sculptor of the Kesava Temple. This is a protected monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Stands on a jagati or the raised platform, the Lakshminarasimha Temple is built-in the trikuta style (3 shrines) with a strong focus on the middle shrine which has a shikhara and a sukhanasi. The three shrines are connected by a common hall (mantapa). The lateral shrines are connected directly to the hall while the middle shrine has a vestibule that connects the sanctum to the hall. Since the lateral shrines do not have a tower, they do not appear like shrines at all from the outside but rather as a part of the hall. The sanctum of the three shrines contain the idols of Venugopala, Kesava, and Lakshminarasimha.

The tower over the central shrine and its vestibule are intact and intricate. Since the lateral shrines have no towers, their superstructure comprises a stylish row of miniature roofs above the upper eaves. The decorative plan of the walls of the shrines and the hall is of the 'new kind' with two eaves that run around the temple. The first heavy eave runs below the superstructure while the second eave runs around the temple about a meter below the first. In between the two eaves are the miniature decorative towers on pilasters. Below the second eave is the wall panel of images of Hindu deities and their attendants. Below this, at the base are the six equal width rectangular moldings depict swans, makara, leafy scrolls, horse riders, and elephants.

A few hundred meters from Lakshminarasimha Temple is the architecturally complete though less ornate Someshvara temple. The main deity in this temple is Lord Shiva represented by his universal symbol, the linga. The temple was built in 1235 AD by the Hoysala Empire King Vira Someshwara. The temple plan is an ekakuta (single shrine). The main shrine is star-shaped and has a superstructure and a sukhanasi which is similar to that in the Lakshminarasimha temple. The temple stands on a platform called jagati, a feature common to many Hoysala temples.

Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM

Entry: Free