Apathy mars Gauthameshwara temple in Aldoor

Of late this temple has ceased to be a spiritual centre and has been transformed into a safe abode for miscreant and anti-social elements.

Hoysalas were one of the greatest rulers who ruled over Karnataka and this district has the glory of being the mother land of Hoysalas. Unfortunately, the creations and remains of the Hoysalas are being distintegrated and are waiting for immediate attention.
The contribution of the Hoysalas to the architecture in the region is invaluable. Belur, Halebeedu temples are the testimony for this. Angadi Grama in Chikmagalur is said to be the mother land of the Hoysalas and during reign of the Hoysalas, hundreds of temples were built by them all over the district.

One such temple built by Hoysalas is the Gauthameshwara temple. Located about one kilometre from Aldoor-Chikmagalur state highway, at a place called Aldoorpura.’ However, the temple is in such a pathetic condition that it might collapse any day, thereby cutting off the link to the Hoysalan era forever.

It is said that this temple, which today stands amidst a coffee plantation was built by Samantha Arasa, a chieftain of Hoysala kingdom during 13th century. This temple has been carved out of stone and has all features of the Hoysalan architecture. Sanctum sanctorum (Garbha gudi), Mukhyamantap and navaranga are the three usual chambers in Hoysala temples, which is found even in this temple.

Inside the sanctum sanctorum, there is Bhuvaneshwari, which is again a typical Hoysalan feature and outside the sanctum sanctorum, there is a pyramid like structure of about 10 feet height. In front of the sanctum sanctorum are the statues of Ganesha and Mahishasura mardini.

In the Navaranga, one can find over 12 pillars with intricate sculptures and outside the Navaranga there are 8 pillars with unique sculptures. At the entrance of Mukhamantapa, there are two statues of ‘Dwarapalakas’. There is another statue of Kalabhairava too situated in close proximity. An inscriptionis also found in the temple, which speaks about the history of the temple.

The temple with such great importance to the region has failed to gain attention of the people concerned. The temple was not renovated so far. The temple is only heading towards its end after attacks by the miscreants and weather. The ceiling of the garbha gudi is leaking and over 2 feet water has already clogging inside the garbha gudi.
A local resident named Chandrashekar Gowda after witnessing the sorry state of the temple  put up a asbrestoes covering over the temple, which is the only developmental work that the temple has seen so far.

This temple has become a den for anti -social elements and many local residents say that several ancient idols have been missing from the temple. Many more idols stand with arms and legs broken.

The temple has no electricity connection and does not even have proper approach road. The only time when Gram Panchayat remembers this temple is during the Shivarathri festival when a small prayer is offered here.

It is said that the temple had over 1,000 acre land belonging to it but today the land has been encroached and only 20 guntas of land have been left for the temple.
The only person who shares a emotional bond with the temple is the 70-year-old K R Sheshachala who has been offering prayers at the temple over the past 50 years, without expecting any gains.

He says that legend has it that this was the place where Gauthama Maharshi had sat on penance and installed a Shiva linga. Since it is said to be the place where Ahalya attained salvation, Hoysalas built a temple here.  “I have gone to people asking for help to keep this temple in good condition but nobody came forth to help me. I even went to the Endowment department.

This temple is the property of our village this should not die a miserable death,” says Sheshachala.

DH News Service

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