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Fortress and Renuka Temple, Chandragutti

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Soraba     
LOCALITY: Chandragutti (Lat. 14° 45’ N; Long. 740 12' E)

Chandragutti lies 16 km northwest of Soraba town. Anciently known as Chandraguptapura, it was a stronghold of the Kadambas of Banavasi (3rd -6th centuries AD) In an inscription dated 1396 AD of the reign of Vijayanagara king Harihara II (1377-1404 AD), Bachanna, a local chieftain claims to have established himself and said to have ruled over Chandragutti. Later the area was under the Keladi Nayakas. The Renuka temple situated on the summit of an elevated spot is a large natural cave approached by a flight of steps enshrining a small masked Sivalinga. The place being associated with Saint Jamadagni, and his wife, Renuka, the colossal hip like boulders in the cave are identified as Renuka in hiding when Parashurama pursued her. The outer facade of the cave forms the vestibule which is in the Chalukyan style. A pillared sabhamandapa was added during Viiayanagara period, all in east west orientation.  Almost at the foot of the Renukamba temple facing west is a temple of Bhairava with modem alterations like tiled roof etc.