Devalaya Chakravartin – Mahadeva Temple, Itagi

From Gadag to Naregal to Kuknoor, we were finally on the way to the most beautiful Temple Complex.

This huge temple is located at 7 kms in Itagi from Shree Mahamaya Kshetra & Navalingeshwara temple, Kuknoor.

The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi is also called as Devalaya Chakravartin or Emperor among Temples. We found the name apt, when we first saw the glimpse of it. The Shikhara can be seen from far off, while entering the village. This temple is protected and maintained under ASI. There is a parking area for vehicles.

We knew we would take time, looking at the vast Temple complex. One of the most beautiful temple. It is said to be sculpted to perfection by the Kalyani Chalukyas, finest in the state and second only to the Halebidu Temple. As per the Historians, the Shikara is well proportionated from each side, Mandapa has beautifully sculpted pillars which still has a sparkling shine, one can see the reflection of themselves on it. A well maintained garden with pathway leads to the open Pillared Hall (Navaranga) which has about different beautifully carved 64 Pillars, out of these 24 Pillars are fully built and support the main ceiling, while rest of them are constructed for the parapet wall around Mandapa. Each Pillar has its own different design, some elaborate, some simple. It looked like Sculptors took liberty in crafting this masterpiece to the best.

This architectural masterpiece was built by the Western Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI’s Army Commander named Mahadev in 1112 CE and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is built with Soapstone, easily malleable.

The entrance of the Garbagriha / Sanctum Sanctorum has layers of carvings in minute detail.

The sanctum had a Linga. There is a Pushkarni within the complex and smaller 13 temples with its own Linga, surrounding the main temple. The over grown grasses around the main temple had some weeds with fine thorns; we avoided hopping over grasses to check the 13 smaller peripheral temples.

In front of the temple Complex, there is a huge Pond.

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

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