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Lakshminarasimhaswamy Temple, Marehalli

DISTRICT: Mandya; TALUK: Malavalli
LOCALITY: Marehalli (Lat. 12° 42' N; Long. 77° O8' E)

Being an old agrahara during the time of Gangas, Marehalli was known as Rajasraya Vinnagaram during the time of Rajaraja I (985-1012 AD) of the Chola dynasty. With the victory of the Hoysalas over Cholas at Talkad, the agrahara passed to them and was subsequently ruled successively by Vijayanagara, and later by the Wodeyars of Mysore, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan in that order.

The temple built during the reign of Rajaraja Chola has on plan a garbhagriha, an antarala and a mukhamandapa in east-west orientation enclosed by a pillared prakara. In the sanctum, is enshrined an image of Lakshminarasimha. The temple subsequently was renovated and restored during the Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods. The temple has an imposing mahadvara of the typical Vijayanagara style. Another small Siva shrine is present to the north-east of the complex. Delineating Chola features, it contains an inscription on the foundation. It comprises of a garbhagriha preceded by an antarala and navaranga. Above the sanctum is a squattish Dravida vimana of brick and lime. The entrance leading from north and a pillared mandapa to the south-east are other edifices in this complex.