Siddeshwara Temple




The Siddhesvara Temple is located in the town of Haveri in Haveri district, Karnataka state, India. It is considered an ornate example of 12th century Western Chalukyan art and is well known for the many loose sculptures of Hindu deities that exist in it. However, inscriptional evidence would suggest that the initial …

The Siddhesvara temple, which is built of soapstone, is located at the east end of the town. From inscriptions, Haveri was originally called Nalapuri and was one of the oldest agraharas (place of learning) in modern Karnataka. An inscription dated 1067 CE in the town mentions the grant of the village to 400 Brahmins. The temple bears close resemblance to a few other Chalukyan temples in the vicinity of Haveri; the Muktesvara temple at Chavudayyadanapura, the Somesvara temple at Haralhalli and the Siddharamesvara temple at Niralgi. The entire basement of this temple has sunk by a few feet, making it necessary to descend into the open mantapa (hall).

The temple may have been consecrated initially as a Vaishnava temple (to the God Vishnu), later taken over by Jains who may have removed some images from the temple and eventually become a Shaiva temple after coming under the procession of the worshippers of God Shiva. This conclusion is drawn because the image of the Sun God Surya exists below the little Kirtimukhas (gargoyle faces) on the eastern wall (back wall) of the temple, though, an image of Shiva, sculpted out of an independent slab of stone and mounted in front of the Shikhara (superstructure) above the mantapa roof, would suggest otherwise. Overall, the temple plan bears all the hallmarks of a standard 11th century Chalukyan construction with dravida architectural articulation to which some innovative 12th century elements such as aedicules, miniature decorative towers on pilasters, were added.

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