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Amritesvara Temple (Amruthapura)

DISTRCT: Chikmagalur;
TALUK: Tarikere
LOCALITY: Amruthapura (Lat. 13°44' N; Long. 75° 52' E)
APPROACH  AIRPORT: Bengaluru;
RAILWAY STATION; Tarikere;
BUS STATION; Tarikere

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This is a compact, elegant ekatala temple facing east, built in 1196 AD by a Hoysala General Amritesvara Dandanayaka under Ballala II (1173-1220 AD). The temple has on plan a garbhagriha, antarala, a navaranga, a mukhamandapa in the south and east. The mukhamandapa in the east is extended into a multi-pillared sabhamandapa which is the most ornate part of this exquisite temple. The superstructure of the garbhagriha is of the dvitala Vesara type with a stupi sikhara and finial. The mahanasa of the sukanasi is treated with Siva as Gajasuramardana and over the gable top, the royal emblem of Sala slaying the lion is depicted. The sabhamandapa is provided with a jagati with kakshasana. The twenty eight Ceilings of the mandapa are adorned with floral decorations. The mandapa is also known for its narrative panels of the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata. Towards the southern side is a non-ornate shrine for goddess Sarasvati which is one of the best specimens of Hoysala art. Some of the ceilings of navaranga have labels on the sides below giving the names of sculptors who made them. Among the names may be mentioned Mallitamma, Padumann, Baluga, Malaya, etc. A Kannada inscription of 1196 AD in the temple mentions that it was composed by the renowned court poet "Kavi Chakravarti" Janna who contributed immensely to the Kannada literature of medieval Karnataka.