Sri Chintamani Narasimha Temple, Kudli, Shimoga District, Karnataka

The ancient city of Kudli at the confluence of the Tunga and Bhadra rivers is dotted with stunning temples built by the Nayakas of Keladi and the Hoysalas. This sacrosanct tirthasthala has been mentioned in the Mahabharat and Puranas as the tapobhumi of the pious Galava Rishi.


According to the Hindu scriptures, Tunga River is said to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu while Bhadra River is that of Lord Shiva. This sacred sangama (union) makes this land an important kshetra for tapas (penance and austerities), religious rites and rituals and charitable acts.


It has also been said in the Puranas that Lord Vishnu gave darshan to Prahlada in this place in the form of Chintamani Narasimhaswamy. Interestingly, the idol of Chintamani Narasimha believed to have been consecrated by Prahlada is deemed to be extremely rare and old. Lord Narasimha is in veerasana holding a small bowl in the right hand while the left is placed on the thigh.


The temple is said to have been built perhaps in the 12th century or later and has a closed sabha mandapasukanasi and garbha griha. There are entrances on the north, south and east side.


This east – facing temple has a three – tiered Rajagopuram that is adorned with sculptures, repetitive linear elements, miniature niches and the Hoysala royal crest. A Deepa sthamba is seen in front of the Rajagopuram. The walls, toranas and pillars are profusely decorated.


Written by Lakshmi Subramanian

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