This temple is one of many such lesser known temples built during the Hoysala era. It is a “live” temple and daily puja is offered here. However, because of its relative obscurity most people visiting this temple are devotees and one is unlikely to see an art or culture lover.
The Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Javagal is a trikuta (three shrines) Vaishnava temple. It was built in 1250 AD by the Hoysala King Vira Someshwara (1235 – 1263), the 9 king of the dynasty. Javagal is just 12 km from the famous temple town of Halebeedu, the erstwhile capital of the Hoysalas. It was an important commercial centre in that era. Now only a village, it still tries to claim fame through its ancestral association with cricketing fast bowler Srinath Javagal.
|The temple, with Jaya and Vijaya standing guard at the entrance|
In front of the temple is a Garuda sthamba (pillar), two dwarapalas (gate-keepers) Jaya and Vijaya. This is followed by the ranga mantapa with its lathe-turned pillars, a common feature in Hoysala architecture. From there, one enters the main temple and its three shrines.
The presiding deity of this temple is Narasimha (an avatar of Vishnu), half-man and half-lion who killed the demon king Hiranyakashyap.
The 140 panels include the Chaturvimsati murtis (the 24 forms of Vishnu that personify and embody the 24 elements of the phenomenal world), Harihara, Brahma, Parvati, Tandav Ganesha and many more. The toran shows Krishna killing the serpent Kaliya, better known as Kaliya Mardan or Kaliya Samhara. Many of these sculptures have been sculpted by the famous Hoysala temple artisan Mallitamma. He was a very distinguished sculptor of the Hoysala period with a career spanning nearly 73 years.