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Veiled beauty of Belakavadi

Situated on the banks of River Cauvery, close to Shivanasamudra, is a village called Belakavadi. About 20 km southwest of Malavalli, this nondescript village was once an important centre of administration during the Hoysala period. Losing prominence over time, it eventually faded into oblivion and is now a quiet village that one passes by on the way to Talakadu.

Belakavadi is home to many small shrines dating back to the 14th and 15th Century. The most prominent among them are the Kashi Vishweshwara and Shambhulingeshwara temples. The now-renovated 15th Century Kashi Vishweshwara Temple, located on the river bank, is a quiet and serene spot and one can find locals relaxing here during afternoons, under the cool shade of the trees surrounding it. During monsoons, the area around the temple gets submerged in the river water, making it picturesque.

The Shambhulingeshwara Temple here is said to be built in 1342 AD. A small linga adorns the sanctum sanctorum sheltered under the statue of a hooded cobra. In front of the temple are stone edicts engraved in halegannada. Situated amidst fields under the shade of a huge tree, the temple offers a calm and serene atmosphere to visitors.

One can also find other shrines like the Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Kattebasappa and Upparige Basaveshwara temples, among others, in the village. Several ancient veeragallu (hero stones) and masti stones can also be found partly embedded in the ground on the way to the Shambhulingeshwara Temple. An archaeological survey conducted found red, black and Rousette coated pottery dating back to the Megalithic age from a site close to the river bank.

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