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Bherundeshvara Temple, Belligavi

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Shikaripur
LOCALITY: Belligavi (Lat. 140 54' N; Long. 740 29' E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru: RAILWAY STATION: Shimoga; BUS STATION: Belligavi

Belligavi, also referred to as Belgami, Belligave, Balligamve, Ballipura in inscriptions was the royal city of Banavasi-12000. It is connected with the demon king Bali according to some lithic records. It was a place of such antiquity that even in the 12th  century AD it was called as Anadi rajadhani (capital of ancient cities) and the mother of cities. It was an important centre for learning and contained five mathas and three puras, besides seven Brahmapuris connected with temples. It is also called as Dakshina Kedara due to its religious importance. A huge pillar of 9.15m height, is raised over a two-tiered masonry platform of 3.05 m height. The pillar also called Vijaya Stambha was installed by Chamundarayarasa, a general of the Chalukyan emperor Trailokyamalla, in commemoration of a victory. The pillar platform has a shrine enclosing the base of the pillar whichhas a sculpture of a two headed mythical bird with human body and bird heads known 'Gandabherunda'. The rest of the circular shaft is held by median bands dividing it into many registers. An amalaka  cushion capital accommodates an octagonal or multi-faceted palagai.