Charmed by Hubballi's quaint attractions

Charmed by Hubballi's quaint attractions

During my recent visit to Hubballi, I decided to take the path less trodden to explore some of the ancient temples of the city, and got a glimpse of the grandeur of an era gone by. The city of Hubballi itself is quaint and has a culture of its own. While it is well known for its musical connections (especially Dharwad, its twin city), the historical and ancient temples here have a charm of their own. Here are some of the temples and attractions that the city houses:

Chandramouleshwara Temple

Located close to the Unkal circle and Unkal Lake between Hubballi and Dharwad, the Chandramouleshwara Temple is a fine example of the Chalukya architecture. Dating back to the 12th century, this temple belongs to the Badami Chalukyan era. The temple is dedicated to Chandramouleshwara, or Lord Shiva.

It houses two Shivalingas and one Shivalinga is enclosed in a shrine. This is the main shrine of Chandramouleshwara. The other shrine is  known for the Chaturmukha Linga, a four-faced linga. It also has two Nandi statutes at the entrance.

Pujas are performed everyday in the temple. The temple has pillars built of black granite, and the walls and pillars are decorated with sculptures. The figure of a dancing Ganesha is beautiful and this is a key element here. The temple walls, pillars and pilasters have detailed etchings, and most of them are still intact. So, you can get an insight into the calibre of the craftsmen of those times.

In fact, the temple has been modelled along the lines of the temples found in
Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has declared this temple as a protected monument. The best time to visit this temple would be during Shivaratri.

Banashankari Temple
My next stop was at the ancient Banashankari Temple. Located in Amargol, a busy village located about nine km away from Hubballi city centre, the temple is of historical and architectural importance. This beautiful Chalukyan temple, dedicated to Goddess Banashankari (a form of Goddess Parvati) and Lord Shiva is believed to have been constructed in the 12th century.

A rustic village road leads to this temple and once you are at the temple premises, the elegant exterior catches your attention almost immediately. The four pillars of the kalyana mantapa have detailed carvings of gods and goddesses. Built in the Nagara style, the temple has a two-celled raised platform. While there is some damage seen on the exterior walls, the Archaeological Survey of India is doing some restoration work. There are several stone pillars in the temple and if you  observe, you will see some beautiful carvings of gods and goddesses like Narasimha, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Ganesha and Parvati.

Located near the scenic Unkal Lake and the Chandramouleshwara Temple, the temple is close to a jowar processing mill, and provides an opportunity for one to get an insight into the food culture of this place.

I would recommend that you strike a conversation with the friendly village
residents and if you are lucky like I was, you can actually get a demonstration of how to make the famed jolada rotti. So, the next time you are in Hubballi, take off the beaten path and you will discover some of these historical gems that are sure to take your breath away.

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