Brahmeshvara Temple - Kikkeri
Historical | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 15 km from Shravanabelagola, and 53 km from Hassan, the Brahmeshvara temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in the town of Kikkeri in the Mandya district of Karnataka. It is one of the stunning Hoysala temples in Karnataka and among the top Hassan tourist places.
The Brahmeshvara Temple was built in 1171 AD by a wealthy lady called Bommare Nayakiti during the rule of Hoysala King Narasimha I. The temple is dedicated to Eshwara and the presence of Brahma on the doorway leads to the naming of the diety as Brahmeshwara. It is a fine specimen of 12th century Hoysala architecture and is a protected monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The Brahmeshwara Temple is an Ekakuta (single shrine) temple and is facing East. This temple consists of a garbhagriha (sanctum), a sukhanasi (ante-chamber), a navaranga (hall), and a porch which is attached to a Nandi-mandapa. Entrance is provided via porch from north and south. Unlike other Hoysala temples that are built on an elevated platform, this temple is located on the ground level. Regular bands above the basement depicting animals and epic scenes, which are found on other Hoysala temples, are also missing here.
Two enormous dwarpalas are present at the navaranga entrance. Navaranga has four central pillars supporting its ceiling. Over these four central pillars are exquisite madanika statues. There is a four feet tall image of the Hindu god Shiva in one of the niches of the navaranga (hall). The navaranga central ceiling has a carved stone block having nine divisions. The central three divisions show Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. Musicians and dancers are depicted in other divisions. The inner sanctum houses Lord Shiva who is worshipped as Lord Brahmeshwara.
On the exteriors are found various icons. Hindu Trinity is present with their respective consorts on three different sides. These are namely, Uma-Maheshwar, Lakshmi-Narayana, and Brahma-Sarasvati. Apart from these are present Bhairavi, Varaha, Narasimha, Gajantaka, Nataraja, Ganesha, Vamana, and Mahishasura-Mardini. A foreigner, probably Portuguese, is also present in one of the panels. The large Kikkeri lake right in front of the temple, the swaying coconut palms, the farmlands, and the overall rustic atmosphere with the tiled roof houses add to the overall glamour of Kikker's Brahmeshvara temple.
Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM