Shri Kanakachala Lakshminarasimha Devastana, Kanakagiri

July 27, 2012

Kanakagiri is about 36km from Koppal. According to Koppal district website: Swarnagiri is the former name of Kanakagiri. Kanaka Muni performed penance here. The word Kanakagiri means "Hill of God". (However, I remember the place and its surroundings are quite flat, no hills in immediate vicinity.) Swarnagiri is believed to be headquarters of southern viceroyalty of Mauryas. This town has several ancient temples built by the Naiks of Kanakgiri. Of all the temples, Kanakachalapathi Gidu is the largest and known for its architectural beauty of Vijayanagara era.

There's the temple and two of three yellow colored Gopuras. This picture is shot standing under the main Gopura.
The temple complex is quite spacious.

There's shelter for pilgrims.

This is the temple's sabha-mantapa. A ceremony was in progress.

I found the pillars extra white ...made me wonder if they are ancient or replaced with new ones. However, at the same time I was skeptical if such sculpturing could be in the present age. These pillars have received some kind of treatment.

We checked with one of the temple in-charges; these pillars had been sand-blasted. There you go! A layer has been removed thereby erasing some fine features in these sculptures.

The hall's top level has a series of plaster models of various gods, goddesses, saints and other heavenly characters.

Hanuman, Laxmana, Rama and Sita.

Ananthapadmanabha being served by Laxmi.

That must be the young Krishna and Gopikas.

A group of heavenly beings performing a ritual.

No idea what these scenes depict.

Lakshminarasimha Stotra.

I had read that one of Ashoka's edicts was at Swarnagiri. On inquiring a person pointed me to these three tablets besides the main Gopura. These inscriptions are Kannada not Brahmi or Prakit. I asked if there are any other inscriptions. Answer was no. Sigh!

Chakra and Shankha on one of the tablets.

Garbhagriha Shikharas.

That's the main Gopura...

...and the view as seen from the temple entrance. Ruins of fort walls can be seen here.

Just outside the walls is a stream-bed. We are on the bridge across the stream, not quite a stream even for the rainy season. About 300 meters to my right is a Triveni Sangama- confluence of three streams.

This once glorious place is in shambles today. This is the ruins of a Pushkarni, now it looks more like a trash pit.
In one corner of the Pushkarni evidence of quarrying can be seen.

Close to the Pushkarni are runs of two incomplete structures.

A five-minute walk from here is well designed royal bath constructed by Venkatappa Naik.

Kanakagiri Coordinates: 15°34'30"N   76°25'15"E
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