Lakkundi is a treasure trove of edifices built by the mighty Kalyani Chalukyas (Western Chalukyas), the Hoysalas, the Seunas (Yadavas of Devagiri) and the Vijayanagara Empire. Though a sizeable portion of the temples constructed over centuries were looted, desecrated and flattened to the ground, the temples that managed to survive the savagery exude grandeur, charm and artistic excellence.
This historical site has the finest illustrations of the unique Lakkundi school of architecture (also known as Western Chalukya style of architecture) shaped by the Kalyani Chalukyas. The Sri Halagundi Basaveshwara Temple (also known as Sri Halugonda Basaveshvara Temple) built in the 11th – 12th century is one such example.
This temple is built near the famed Muskin Bhavi and within walking distance of the stunning twin temples of Kashi Vishweshwara and Surya Narayana. It is unclear by whom this temple was built as it has undergone extensive restoration over the years.
There is a majestic Nandi in black stone seated in the mandapa facing Lord Shiva who has been consecrated in the form of a Linga. The temple is being reconstructed part by part and hence, it is difficult to study the original architectural details and sculptures.
The entrance doorway is profusely decorated with floral and foliage patterns, repetitive motifs and linear and curved designs. There is a beautiful Gajalakshmi with an elephant on either side in the centre of the lintel.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian