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.
A bit of field preparation.
A power pole carries a wire driving a tubewell pump.
The result: bananas and cane.
Some of the houses are surprisingly big.
Cartwheel on a porch.
A very substantial well, with crops drying on the shoulder.
Another well, this one a popular gathering spot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entrance at the north side, with lions between pyramidal towers.
The main axis.
A lotus pendant hangs from the ceiling of the dome visible in the pictures of the temple's east side.
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.
The central cell today contains an image of Lakshmi (sometimes called Kamala, or lotus) on the lap of Narayan (=Vishnu).
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