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Rameswara Temple, Keladi

DISTRICT:  Shimoga; TALUK: Tirtahalli
LOCALITY: Keladi (Lat. 14° 13' N, Long. 75° 01' E)

Keladi was directly under Kadambas of Banavasi, Chalukyas of Badami, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas of Kalyana, Hoysalas and Vijayanagara rulers. It was a small feudatory principality of the Vijayanagara empire in the intial days of its existence. After the dismemberment of the mighty Vijayanagara empire in 1565 AD, the Keladi principally grew into a powerful kingdom. Keladi was the first capital of the illustrious Keladi Nayakas. The capital was subsequently shifted to Ikkeri under Chandrappa Nayaka (1499-1544 AD) and to Bidanur in 1639 AD under Virabhadra Nayaka (1629-1645 AD).

Constructed of greenish grey schist stone the temple of Ramesvara is a medium sized structure built in mixed Hoysala and Dravida styles around 16th century AD. The temple  in east-west orientation, has a small garbhagriha with its own pradakshinapatha, a small mahamandapa (navaranga) and a mukhamandapa. The mahamandapa has relief sculptures of devotees towards east and west ends.  Similar in outlay the Virabhadra temple has a projected porch and both the Ramesvara and Virabhadra temples have a common mukhamandapa with jagati at the periphery. One of the ceilings of Virabhadra temple has the mythical twin-headed bird Gandabherunda. The triple shrines are enclosed by a tile-roofed cloister carried by wooden pillars.