Monument or makeshift cow-shed?

APATHY Lack of maintenance has meant that the Mallikarjuna temple is being used by villagers as a cattle-shed.

Every monument here gains importance by virtue of this tag. However, not much attention seems to have been paid to the maintenance of these monuments, especially the lesser-known temples.

Take Malapana Gudi for instance. You will come across this village on the way from Hospet to Hampi. The deity of the village is Mallikarjuna, but the villagers are not too interested in the temple here. Way back, during the peak of the Vijayanagar empire’s glory, the Mallikarjuna temple in between Hampi and Nagalapura (today’s Hospet) had great importance.

Today, the temple has become a cattle-shed. Cow-dung has been stacked in a big heap right in the temple. Moss and weeds have grown over the temple’s walls and its tower. The temple which was built in the Vijayanagar period during the reign of Devaraya is in the Chalukya style of architecture. It has four sanctum sanctorums. Two huge (seven-foot-long) dwarapalakas (sentinels at the entrance of the temple) form the principal draw of the temple. There is a Nandi mantap and an edict at the entrance of the temple. The edict talks about the rejuvenation of a well in the temple premises. Today, the temple area has been encroached upon. More attention needs to be paid to the management and maintenance of these lesser-known temples in the historic Hampi region.

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