Balligavi / Belagami, Karnataka (with photos)

Balligavi / Belagami / Belligavi / Belagame or also known as Dakshina Kedara is an ancient Temple town in the Shikaripura taluk of Shivamogga district of the Indian state of Karnataka. Its also famous as the birth place of the great 12th century Veerashaiva saint & Vachanakara Allama Prabhu. Its is also closely associated with the great Vachana poetess of the 12th century Veerashaiva bhakti movement  Akka Mahadevi.

Front view of Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi

Balligavi was a prominent place during the Western Chalukyan period 10 - 12th century. It was considered to be an important learning center with many mathas & vidyapeethas. Records indicate that there was an ancient University at this place. Historically this place dates back to the Mahabaratha times as the capital of Asura King (Balipura) but the earliest inscription of the name Balligavi is mentioned by the Badami Chalukya during 7th century. There are inscriptions by the Kadambas also in a nearby place called Talagunda. Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana came to this place & was impressed by the Natya/Dance of Shantala Devi of Balligavi & later he married her. Hence this place was also ruled by the Hoysalas after the Western Chalukyas. Many sculptures in Belur are actually native of this place.

Side view of Kedareshvara Temple, Balligavi

There are many famous temples in Balligavi, in that few important ones are
Kedareshwara Temple, Tripurantakeshvara Temple, Veerabhadreshvara Temple.

Kedareshvara Temple: This temple is of the Chalukyan Hoysala transitional type of architecture built during the 11th century. The foundation, gopuras & the interior looks most likely to be Chalukyan architecture, later additions might have been done by the Hoysalas. The two Hoysala emblem on the top of the gopuras were added by the Hoysala Vinayaditya. Hoysala style temples are generally of the star shape which can be found in Belur & Halebidu.

Tripurantakeshvara Temple: This temple was built around 1070 AD by the Western Chalukyas. The carvings in this temple being miniature in size is only visible on close observation. The windows carved out of stones are very attractive at this place.

 Kedareshvara Temple Gopura carvings
Getting There:
By Road:
Balligavi is around 4-5 km from Siralkoppa Town towards Anavatti.
From Bengaluru: Its around 354 km (5 - 6 hrs)
Route: Bengaluru --NH4--> Tumkur --NH4--> Chitradurga --NH4--> Davangere --NH4--> Ranebennur bypass --> Hirekerur -> Siralkoppa -> Balligavi

By Train:
The nearest railway station to Balligavi is Ranebennur. One has to get down at Ranebenur railway station while coming from Bengaluru & take a local bus to Siralkoppa & reach Balligavi.

 Chalukyan style architecture at  Kedareshvara Temple

Places of Interest nearby Balligavi:

* Udutadi (6-8 km) - Birth place of the famous Kannada poet of Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of 12th century - Akka Mahadevi
* Talagunda (8-10 km) - Pranaveshwara Temple built during 5th century by Kadambas
* Kaitabeshwara Temple, Kotipura, near Anavatti (25 km)
* Banavasi (40 km) - The capital of the Kadamba Dynasty
* Gudavi Bird Sanctuary (35 km)
* Abalur (30 km) -Birth place of the famous Kannada poet - Sarvagnya
* Chandragutti (35 km) - Renukamba Temple
* Madagh Masur Lake (32 km) - A very beautiful lake surrounded by big mountains, there is a small water falls also at this place.
* Hangal (50 km) - Once capital of Kadambas, this place has the beautiful Tarakeshwara Temple built by the Chalukyas during 12th century
* Keladi (45 km) - First capital of the Keladi Dyanasty.

More photos of Kedareshvara Temple & Tripurantakeshvara Temple, Balligavi

  Kedareshvara Temple

 Side full view of  Kedareshvara Temple

  Kedareshvara Shrine (Shiva Lingu)

 Nandi at  Kedareshvara Temple

 Pakashala at  Kedareshvara Temple

  Kedareshvara Temple rear view

 Another Rear view of  Kedareshvara Temple

 Shiva Parvathi Temple at  Kedareshvara Temple complex

Shiva Parvathi Temple.

 Gopura with Hoysala Emblem

Hoysala Emblem

Museum of ancient monuments

 Tripurantakeshvara Temple, Ballagavi

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple, Balligavi

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple ceiling carving 

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple window carving

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple carvings

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple inside

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple inside

  Tripurantakeshvara Temple inside shiva lingu

 Tripurantakeshvara Temple ceiling carvings

A video on Balligavi giving the details of the place & how to reach it from Bengaluru

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