After Shravanabelagola, it was time for Hassan District!
11th November 2018: Next day, early morning checked out by 7.00 am from Dharamshala, got bus till Channarayapatna. Took another bus to Hassan, which was ready to depart. Reached Hassan by 9.00 am. Took auto till Hotel Suvarna Regency, booked a room for a night (1300).
Since, breakfast was complimentary, I was given a coupon for breakfast in the adjoining restaurant, which was part of Survarna Regency. Left at 9.30 am for sightsee.
I hired an Auto for a round trip of Doddagadavalli, Belur, Halebidu & Belavadi (Rs. 1000). First stop was Doddagaddavalli, located at 15 kms from Hassan.
The Lakshmi Devi temple of Doddagaddavalli was further 5 kms from the main Road. It is a 12th century temple built by King Vishnuvardhana of Hoyasala Dynasty.
An example of only Chatuskuta (four shrined – Quadruplet) order of temples built during Hoyasala period.
The door guarded by Vaishnava Dwarpalakas was closed, since it was unlocked, I gave a slight push and it opened. I don’t know why, but I got an eerie feeling, when I saw those two almost 6 feet Vetalas facing each other in the Sukhanasi area, guarding the Navranga shrine which was dedicated to Kali.
I went to opposite shrine dedicated to Vishnu. The other two shrines were of Bhutanatha (Shiva) & Laxmi Devi. I took some photos and came out and closed the door. Immediately, the temple priest came running and opened the door again. He asked me whether I saw the murtis. I replied affirmatively. I felt like going again, I went in, he explained to me that this Kali is saumya (calm) form, the ugra (angry) form is in Kolkatta. I told him I have never seen vetalas like this before. He laughed.
He said the speciality of this temple is all four of them Shiva – Shakti & Vishnu – Laxmi are in same building (hence, Chatuskuta). I was happy to see such a unique, beautiful temple full of carvings. I left after 30 minutes.