Entrance of Tripurantaka temple with
erotic sculptures at the base
The Tripurantaka Temple
) was built around c. 1070 CE by
the Western Chalukyas
temple, which is in a dilapidated state, is in the historically
important town of Balligavi (also called Balagamve), modern Shivamogga
district, Karnataka state, India.
exterior walls of the temple have erotic sculptures on friezes
. These depictions are considered rare in
miniature in size, these are visible only upon close examination.
During medieval times, Balligavi was a seat of learning to multiple
religious faiths and was home to many monuments and structures
built by the Chalukyas. More than 80 medieval inscriptions
have been discovered in Balligavi and
belong to the Shaiva
faiths. These inscriptions describe, among
other things, the building of temples.
Kamasutra art sculpture
This temple is noted for its windows and screens which comprise of
very intricate perforated stone work. The two sides of the doorway
to the shrine have a window panels, each filled entirely by three
pairs of nāga
The long intertwined and knotted bodies of these nagas
create a virtual mesh to fill up the panels. Above the entrance to
the shrine is a decorative architrave
with sculptures of the Hindu
, with Shiva being depicted in his Bhairava
form. Other figures here are the
(the guardians). Some
interesting larger sized figure sculptures exist, such as the
sculpture of a Hoysala
king slaying a lion.
This piece of sculpture comes with its own inscription and depicts
a hunting expedition in which the king, in the company of his
hunting dogs, speared and killed a wild boar. Also depicted is the
king on foot, fighting a lion which sprang out of the forest.
Ganda-Bherunda (Two headed mythical bird) at town centre in
An interesting piece of sculpture near the temple in the town
centre is the Ganda-Bherunda Stambha
two-headed bird"). The column on which the sculpture stands is
about tall and the shaft is about in diameter. The top of the
column has an octagonal capital surmounted by a broad slab of
stone. Upon this is mounted the statue of the mythical two-headed
, which, according to legend was an
enemy of elephants and fed on their flesh. The statue has the body
of a human standing upright with two bird like heads, looking in
oppostite directions. In its hands, it holds the prey that it feeds
inscription at the base of the column describes its erection in
1047 CE by Chamundaraya Arasa of the Kadamba
dynasty of Banavasi.
Legend has it that the column may have been erected to scare away
marauding elephants from local plantations.