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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi

From NH 4, turn west at Kittur (between Dharwad and Belgaum.) West of Kittur, turn left before Bidi to the village called Devgaon (alt. spellings include Degamve). What's to see? Hold your horses.

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Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 1

A bit of field preparation.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 2

A power pole carries a wire driving a tubewell pump.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 3

The result: bananas and cane.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 4

Village house.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 5

Village street.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 6

Some of the houses are surprisingly big.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 7

Cartwheel on a porch.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 8

A very substantial well, with crops drying on the shoulder.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 9

Another well, this one a popular gathering spot.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 10

And here it is, unsigned and scarcely visited. Kalla-Gudi is the name assigned by Henry Cousens in The Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts (Archaeological Survey of India, Volume XLII, New Imperial Series, 1926, p. 119), but the villagers call it the Kamala Narayana Temple, from the pair of deities in the central shrine. The view here is from the southeast. The pair of stairways indicate entrances now blocked. The only entrance now is from the north side.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 11

The east side seen from the northeast. The main axis of the temple runs longitudinally, with three shrines on the west side. A boy sits on one of the beams blocking a former entrance. There seems never to have been an entrance at the midpoint. Conceivably the central shrine was built first, with lateral additions.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 12

There are several inscriptions, two on walls and this on a pillar. They record that Kamaladevi, a 12th Century queen of the Kadamba chief of Goa, gave the village of Degamve to Brahmans and that the architect Tippoja built for the Brahmans shrines to Sri-Kamalanarayana and Sri-Mahalakshmi.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 13

The west side of the temple, with two of the temple's three cells; the central cell is set within the temple and does not project west like these two.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 14

Entrance at the north side, with lions between pyramidal towers.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 15

The main axis.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 16

A lotus pendant hangs from the ceiling of the dome visible in the pictures of the temple's east side.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 17

The customary deities in such temples are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, but Cousens believed that the original dedicatees here may have been their consorts: Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Mahakali.

Peninsular India: Kalla-Gudi picture 18

The central cell today contains an image of Lakshmi (sometimes called Kamala, or lotus) on the lap of Narayan (=Vishnu).


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