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Ananthapadmanabha Temple, Karkala

DISTRICT: Udupi; TALUK: Karkala
LOCALITY: Karkala: (Lat.13° 10' N; Long. 74° 59' E)

Karkala , forming part of the Tulu country , was founded by the Karkala chiefs who claim to be descendents of Santaras. They hailed from Humcha in Shimoga district and were called Bairarasas. They are found to be ruling in this area from early 14th century. The Ananthapadmanabha temple built in 1567 AD, is also called Sheshashayi Ananteshwara temple. The temple facing north is sandhara and has a garbhagriha of sama-chaturasa type, devoid of sukanasi but fronted by a tirthamandapa with four pillars. The roof of the garbhagriha as well as the tirthamandapa is two-tiered. The roof over the garbhagriha is covered with copper sheets and the raised neck portion of the upper tier is made up of timber and has reliefs depicting gods and goddesses. Interestingly, horizontal stone slabs are provided over the roof of the tirthamandapa and around the garbhagriha. The whole complex is enclosed by a pillared cloister pierced with entrance from the north. A modern shrine abuts the southern wall. The main deity is Vishnu resting on the coils of Adisesha. The image is surrounded by Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha in the niches of the sanctum. Brahma rests on the lotus which issues from Vishnu's navel and Lakshmi attends on Vishnu near the feet. The entire composition is elegantly executed.