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Hariharesvara Temple - Harihara

DISTRICT: Davangere; TALUK: Harihara
LOCALITY: Harihar (Lat. 140 30' N; Long. 750 50' E)

This temple built in 1224 AD by Polalva, a general of the Hoysala king Narasimha II is located on the right bank of the river Tungabhadra. This temple in Hoysala style has a spacious courtyard. The temple on plan has an indented garbhagriha, an antarala, a navaranga, a mahamandapa followed by a spacious multi-pillared mukhamandapa with entrances in the north, south and east, all in east-west orientation. The navaranga has a porch in the south and north. The northern porch has been extended and converted into an antarala of another subshrine. The garbhagriha has an image of Harihara, 1.21 m tall, resting on a pitha. The left portion of the image represents Vishnu with the attributes chakra and sankha in the hands and the right half representing Siva has the attributes trisula and japamala. The kirita exhibits both Vaishnava and Saiva elements of karandamukuta and jatamukuta. The jatamukuta has crescent. The mukhamandapa is indented with the provision of raised jagati with kakshasana at its periphery pierced by two lateral and three cardinal entrances. In all, there are fifty six circular lathe-turned pillars supporting massive heavy S-shaped eaves. Abutting the main sanctum towards the northwest is another shrine and to the north is the shrine dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. Built into the western enclosure wall is another shrine of Hariharesvara. The prakara has two entrances to the east and south. Many inscriptions speak of the endowments given to this temple by the Pandya rulers of Uchchangi as well as the rulers of Vijayanagara.