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Pranavesvara Temple, Talagunda

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Shikarpur
LOCALITY: Talagunda (Lat. 15O 35’ n; Long. 74o 18’ E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru; RAILWAY STATION: Shimoga; BUS STATION: Shiralakoppa

Talagunda was an ancient agrahara town called as Sthana-Kundura in Kadamba inscriptions, the original home of the Kadambas of Banavasi, the first indigenous kingdom in Karnataka. Sporadic explorations around Talagunda has brought to light Early Historic vestiges in the form of brick structures. An inscription in Prakrit of the Satavahana period found at Malavalli, 7 km north-east of Talagunda, proves that the place was under the occupation of the Satavahanas right from  1st- 2nd  century AD. The holy primeval god Bhava, found here, was said to have been worshipped by the Satakarnis in an inscription.

The Pranavesvara temple is a small square austere building with a garbhagriha and a sukanasi. The garbhagriha houses a large Siva-linga on a Bhadra pitha. The epigraphical evidence says that the Shivalinga in the garbhagriha was worshipped from the rule of Satakarni rulers and it appears to have been constructed around 4th century AD.  A Sanskrit inscription in box-headed characters with an invocation to god Pasupati engraved on the right door-jamb of the Pranavesvara temple, registers a grant of money for feeding thirty residents of Sthanakunjapura by Kakustha of the Bhatari family who was a feudatory of the Kadamba king.