Dambal – Ancient center of Buddhism

In continuation from earlier trip:

We left Itagi by 01:15 pm, we requested the driver to stop at some restaurant on the way to Dambal. There was a fine restaurant on the highway itself, 15 minutes prior to turning left to the Dambal road.

Around thousand years ago, Dambal village was a fortified town that went by the name Dharmavolal, or sometimes Dharmapuri and Dharmapura. Buddhism had flourished under the rule of the Mauryas and Satavahanas. Buddhist relics are found scattered around the town

The multi pointed star shaped Temple which looked like circle piqued my interest to visit this Temple.

In total, there were three spots to be visited in Dambal, main was Doddabasappa Temple, opposite to it is Someshwara Temple and an another interesting Stepwell called Japada Bavi.

After winding up lunch by 3:00 PM (Highway side Hotel, late food), We had one stopover on the way. There was flower (Marigold) field, we got to click some pictures.

We reached Doddabasappa Temple, 12th Century structure in next 10 minutes. There is a Someshwara Temple right opposite to it. We decided to first explore the Doddabasappa Temple.

Doddabasappa Temple is not named after some God, instead it is named after the Nandi or Basappa (as locally called).

Huge Nandi on left side in a open Mandapa

This temple is also maintained by ASI, there is a garden with a Neem tree surrounding this beautiful, 32 pointed Star-Shaped stellate temple. The 32 pointed star looks like a circle from far off, the projections are carried all the way  through the Vimana (A star shape is obtained by rotating a square about its centre. The star points form equidistant projections. The angles and reentrant angles thus formed make the perimeter of the outerwall  of the shrine)

As soon as we reached the steps, it started raining, we were greeted by a large stone Nandi called as Basappa locally, facing the eastern entrance of the temple.  The interiors of the temple are plain but the exteriors are exquisitely carved.

There is a Shiva Linga in the garbhagriha. The star shaped shikara is unique in India. There are carvings of miniature temples on the outer walls and friezes portraying decorative patterns and sculptures of elephants supporting the large wall reliefs.

After the rain stopped, we proceeded towards the Japada Bavi skipping the Someshwara temple, another 1,000-year-old Chalukyan shrine. We skipped it, because the gates were closed and rain was playing spoilsport, not allowing us to photograph. Also, we didn’t wish to perform another stunt of climbing the gate, because it was situated on the main Dambal Road.

Japa (meditating) da Bavi (well) is a 11th Century stone constructed Step well, used by Jain monks for meditation. The walls still looks strong, it is not maintained well. I hope ASI or locals will conserve it.

There are many miniature temples sculpted in the interiors of the walls. After short detour, we came back to the main road hoping to cover Lakkundi on the same day, it was already 05:00 PM.

Lakkundi had many temples to visit and hoping to cover it from 06:00 Pm onwards would have been futile, we had to reach back to Gadag too.

So, we dropped Lakkundi, spend some time on the way back to Gadag at one of the Sunflower Field, my happiness was unbound when I found yellow field after watching many of the dried Sunflower fields pass by. Then, there was another stopover at one of the windmills too. We reached Gadag by 06:30 PM. Total kms covered for the day was 140, hence, the earlier estimation of Rs. 3300-3500 came down to Rs. 2300.

We again went around Hotel to explore for dinner, there was a Samudra Family Restaurant at 500 meter, we decided to have dinner there. We called it a day by 09:00 PM.

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