Keladi and Ikkeri of Sagar taluk in Shimoga district of Karnataka have been very famous as tourist spots. But very less people know about Kalasi, where situated twin temples, a fine specimen of Hoysala architecture, constructed during 12th century.Said to be constructed by father and son sculptors, Jankana and Dakkana, these temples reveal the artistic beauty of Hoysala architecture. They are constructed using the stone called `Somanatha Shile’, which was available in the village itself.

Both the temples have been built on star-shaped plinth and the roofs are also of star-shape. Both are Shaiva temples- one is Mallikarjuneshwara and the other, Neelakanteshwara temple.
Mallikarjuna temple, the bigger one, is formed of Garbhagriha, Sukanasi, Rangamantapa and Basavamantapa. It has eight circular pillars in the Navaranga, which are carved with pictures of different dance forms and animals. Except Sukanasi, the other frontal part of the temple feature with half walls, this has provided the temple with a unique brightness. This temple has three entrances at three directions.

Neelakanteshwara temple is about 30 feet away from Mallikarjuna temple and has only one entrance. It has a magnificent Gopuram over Garbhagriha where you can see the Hoysala emblem and a fine statue of Bhuvaneshwari. The walls on either side of the main entrance have been carved with statues related to Vatsayana Kamasutra.
This temple was built during 1218 AD, when Baleyanna Pergade ruled this place. He was the Mandalika of Hoysala Second Veeraballala. This region was called as Kundanadu or Kodanadu at that time. After Baleyanna this place was ruled by Beeradevarasa. Later, when Vijayanagara Dynasty was established, Samrat Krishna Devaraya gifted this place to Keladi King Chaudappa Nayaka.

One can see an ancient port in the forest around these temples in Kalasi with wells, ponds and the drainage system of that time.

Route:

This place is 8 kms from Sagar taluk in Shimoga district, Karnataka. On the way from Sagar to Sorab in Ulavi road a name board mentioning Kalasi is seen and from there it is only 1 km journey into the village.

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Courtesy: Wikipedia

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