Halae Mahakoota

While researching Badami's big hill- Hiregudda -I stumbled on the small area marked as Halae Mahakoota. Halae is the Kannada word for old. Besides Halae Mahakoota, Hiregudda is also home to Badami's rock-cut temples and forts, Ranganathaswamy temple, Naganatha temple, Sidlapadi, and Mahakoota.

September 16, 2012

Approximately midway between Shivayogi Mandir to Mahakoota a narrow dirt path on the left side leads to Hale Mahakoota. A large Aalada Mara with lots of aerial roots acts like a gateway to the monument.

Other side of the Aalada Mara.

Halae Mahakoota and Mahakoota are similar but the former is smaller and seems much older than the latter.

Three large Aalada Mara dominate Halae Mahakoota.

The trees look pretty ancient. Under this tree is a shrine, two elderly women were engrossed in a ritual. Folks living in villages nearby have a tradition of visiting the place regularly. They come here, bathe in the pond and perform pooja.

Ilkal saree hung for drying.

The pond is actually fed continously by a spring. The pond overflows continuously.. a good source of fresh clean water. Local folks not only take bath but also bathe their cattle and clean their vehicles.

That's the pond and the Shiva temple.

That's the main temple of Hale Mahakoota.

The temple's structure is similar to Durga temple at Aihole. Front portion has two corners while the rear part is rounded. The temple walls are half buried in earth. Architecture is Chalukyan.

Basavanna looking at the Shiva Linga in the Garbhagudi.

A temple without a deity in ruins.

A temple chariot chassis. Perhaps the chariot is under repair at a different place.

For some reason Chalukyan temple builders decided to build temples at the new site i.e at Mahakoota about 2km from here. Both Hale-Mahakoota and Mahakoota have fresh water springs but the number of temples is more at the new site. Perhaps, the new site had better source of water and that could be the reason to abandon Halae-Mahakoota.

A short video of the place:

Halae-Mahakuta coordinates: 15°55'27"N   75°44'20"E
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