Someshwara Temple, Balligavi, Shikaripura Taluka, Shimoga District, Karnataka

A lesser – known edifice of the Western Chalukya period is the Someshwara Temple in the ancient city of Balligavi. This temple according to the locals was built by a merchant named Sovisetti (spelling is unclear) in 1054 CE. The Shiva Linga consecrated in the garbha griha is of the same period.


The temple was then renovated with some details of the late Hoysala period in the 13th century. The temple in plan has a navaranga, an antarala and a garbha griha. The navaranga is supported by shiny lathe – turned pillars. There are two niches on the west wall that are bereft of sculptures.


The entrance doorways of the main shrine and the sukanasi are profusely decorated. However, the main entrance to the temple is very simple and has perforated windows on either side. There are intricately carved elephant balustraded steps leading to the temple.


The external facades are largely plain with a band of floral motifs in the middle. There are many inscriptions and stones dedicated to war heroes known locally as Viragal.


Written by Lakshmi Subramanian

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