Narasimha Temple

Narasimha Temple

The Narasimha Temple, also sometimes referred as the Jain Temple, is built on a sheet of rocky slop of the Gandhamadana hill facing the river. A long flight of steps projecting out of the temple compound takes you to the temple courtyard.

The shrine is devoid of any idols. So it is not sure to which deity this temple was dedicated to. However there are enough evidences to of Vaishnava iconography on the temple walls.

The door lintel to the main shrine is decorated with the image of goddess Lakshmi in the seating position. Image of lord Vishnu is carved on either side of the doorjambs as the doorkeeper deity. These ornate doorjambs with its fluted design with a series of floral motifs stand out against a rather plain wall of the shrine structure. Also you can see a band of floral motif go around the wall of the shrine at a height. Above this band are the images of Hanuman, Garuda and an elephant. At some points the above floral band breaks where the perforated stone windows are located. Just go around the shrine to see them all.

The roof is of special note. The stepped pyramidal roof makes it look more like the type of architecture used in the Jain Temples.

Further up on the slops is a two storied gateway that makes the rear entrance point to the temple compound. This is in fact a vantage point to survey the panorama of the riverside.

Just outside the temple campus’ southwest corner is a tall stone carved lamppost.

Architecture used in this temple (known as Kadamba style) predates that of Vijayanagara. Stylistically the temple looks very close to the temples of the Hemakuta Hill. But the Hemakuta temples are Shaivite in affiliation, whereas this temple is more likely a Vaishnavite shrine.

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