On the 15th we were in Halebidu. After lunch we proceeded to a small village called Doddagaddavalli about 25kms from Halebidu. We wished to visit the temple of Lakshmi Devi, the day being Vijaya Dashami. On the way we saw broad fields of jowar. Vegetables and ginger were also growing in other fields.
Asking the way at different places, we finally reached our destination, a small and beautiful temple. It is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in the Hoysala style of architecture. Unlike the temples in Belur and Halebidu, this one does not stand on a platform. There are lathe turned pillars in the front porch where the stone floor is a little uneven.
The person in charge told us a little about the place. He said that the temple was 907 years old. There are four shrines inside. As we enter, to the left is the shrine to Parvati. There are two body guards at the entrance. One has the hairstyle of an African, the other that of an Egyptian. We found it fascinating. Photography is not allowed inside. Exactly opposite to Parvati is the shrine to Lord Vishnu. To his right is the shrine to the main deity, Lakshmi Devi, and to his left, that of Shiva. According to the person relating the story this arrangement is found only here and at a temple in Bengal.
At the main shrine, a priest was offering prayers. This space was like a grotto. He gave us kumkum and turmeric powder as prasad. We wanted to prostrate before Lakshmi Devi but he told us do so outside. This is because if we offered salutations to one deity it would be as though we were turning our backs to the others. This was new to us.
We went around the whole temple in pradakshina (clockwise). There were not many sculptures on the outer walls. We asked some friendly people to click our pictures and they happily oblige, taking several from different angles 😊. They were from Tamilnadu.
We thought we would have to return to Belur via Halebidu. But we forgot to take a turn and drove straight on. That was good because it turned out to be a direct road to Belur. After resting for a while we walked to Chennakeshava temple. It was drizzling. We went inside and sat in the hall, against a pillar outside the sanctum. Many people were entering, and everybody’s eyes were drawn to the sculptures all around and above.