Lakshmeshwara is a town in Shirahatti Taluk, Gadag district, North Karnataka, in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is about 50 km from Gadag and 55 km from Hubli.

Introduction

Lakshmeshwara is an agricultural trading town located in Gadag District of Karnataka state, India. The city has religious background as well, Shiva and Jain followers from time immemorial have settled here. There are many important temples in this historic town. A historic and beautifully sculpted stone temple is here for the god Shiva called Someshwara Temple.

You can also find two historical Jain temples (Sannabasadi and Shankabasadi) in the town. And also has many mosques including historical Jamma Masjid.

Lakshmeshwara is also home for many shrines, a dargah, Kodiyellamma temple, the Mukha Basavanna shrine, and a gigantic idol of Suryanarayana.

Lakshmeshwara has many historical and protected monuments, those comes under the purview of Archeological Survey of India.

History

Lakshmeshwara is famous for prolific culture and literature. It is a place with rich heritage in Karnataka hence it is called as Tirulugannada Nadu. Many kings of different royal dynasties have patronised the place.

Lakshmeshwar or ancient Huligere or Puligere. It was the capital of Puligere-300.

The previous name of Laxmeshwar is Puligere (The pond of tigers). There are 2 guesses how Laxmeshwar name came about: 1. From the King Laxmanarasa who was ruling Puligere. 2. There is temple called Laxmi-Lingana gudi, which means the temple of Goddess Laxmi and God Ishwar.

Various other names like Huligere, Purigere, Porigere, Purikanagar and Pulikanagar.

Adikavi Pampa wrote his famous poetry in Lakshmeshwar.

Lakshmeshwara was a well known Jain religious centre during rule of Badami Chalukyas.

Many Jain saints and writers have flourished here. They include Devachakra bhattaraka, Shankanacharya, Hemadevacharya, Padmasena, Tribhuvana chandra padmita and Rama devacharya.

Kannada Inscriptions

At Lakshmeshwara Someshwara temple complex, there are many Kannada inscription. Over 50 stone inscriptions (records), which shows the cultural importance.

  • The Kanarese (Kannadiga) poet Kayasena of Mulgund, who wrote in the Bharmamrita, was a disciple of Narendrasena II of the Lakshmeshwar inscription of 1081.
  • Lakshmeshwar Inscription of the reign of Jagadekamella II.
  • Two Jain Inscription of Mulgund and Lakshmeshwar
  • The Lakshmeshwar inscriptions (in Kannada dated January 13 735), during 733 – 744 CE Vikramaditya II was the son of King Vijayaditya and ascended the Badami Chalukyas throne following the death of his father.

Jainism

Jainism related to Lakshmeshwar has long history

  • At Lakshmeshwara, during the period of Kirtivarma II, the Jinalaya built by Kumkuma Mahadevi.
  • Kalyani Chalukyas most important Jinalayas Brahma Jinalaya at Lakkundi, Charantimatha at Aihole and Sankha Jinalya at Lakshmeswar. The Sankha Jinalaya at Lakshmeshwar is dedicated to Neminatha(as per many inscriptions this was an important Jinalaya). Sendraka Durgashakti, a feudatory of Pulakesi II is said to have given gifts to this temple. An inscription of Vinayaditya(dated 686 A.D.) refers to a grant to Jain acharya of Devagana and mulasangha.
  • Epigraph dated 729 A. D. of Vijayaditya mentions a grant to Niravadya Pandita who was to house pupil of Sri Pujyapada. Another inscription of Vikramaditya II (dated 734 A. D.) mentions gifts to Sweta Jinalaya.
  • The Jaina monument of the Rashtrakuta period found Lakshmeshwar.

Islamic rulers

During the rule of Adilshahi (Bijapur Sultanate), built Darga and Masjid at Lakshmeshwar. The Kali Masjid here is an ornate structure, built by Bijapur Commander Ankush Khan.

Tourism

Lakshmeshwar is one of the great tourist destination of historical monuments, which include Hindu Shiva temples, Jain Basadi and Islamic Masjid and Dargha.

Someshwara temple complex

The most important monuments are at Lakshemshwar is the Someshwara temple complex ( 11th century). The temple complex with three main entrances and surrounded by high walls look like a fort. It is a splendid specimen of Chalukya architecture.

In middle of the Temple complex, there is a Someshwara temple, surrounded by many small temples mainly dedicated to Shiva, along the compound wall, built with granite, some Halls in the complex meant for resting devotees.

Someshwara temple

Details

Someshwara temple with the traditional structures of a temple includes

  • Garbha griha (Sanctum sanctorum),
  • Ardha mantapa (Halfway hall),
  • Spacious navaranga and
  • Mukha mantapa (Entrance porch).

The Nandi and Shiva Parvati idols in the temple are exquisitely sculpted. These idols are referred to as Saurashtra Someshwara. Because these idols were brought by a Shiva devotee from Saurashtra and installed at Lakshmeshwara.

Open well

In side the someshwara temple complex, behind the temple there is open well, meant mainly for the use of the temple. This well is really a beautiful in this construction.

Jain Basadis

Lakshmeshwara is one of the ancient Jain centres. Many jain temples have been mentioned in the inscriptions these includes Ananthanatha basadi, Shanka basadi, Tirtha basadi, Mukkala basadi, Jannojana basadi, Gangapermadi basadi, Aane sajje basadi, Goggiya basadi, Pancha basadi, Malabashetty basadi, Dhavala jinalaya, Raya rachamalla basadi, Sri Vijaya basadi, Surahonne basadi, Marudevi basadi, Gavinda basadi and Shanthinatha basadi.

Now only two of the Basadis remaining.

Shanka Basadi

Of the two Historical Jinalayaa at Lakshmeswar the more famous is Sankha Jinalaya also called as Sahasrakuta Jinalaya is situated bastibana area. This takes back the history of Lakeshmeshwara to 8th century. though the temple is in Chalukya style it has undergone many 'modifactions and renovations.

Shanka basadi is located in Basti Bana locality of the Lakshmeshwara. Shantinath (Shankha is the symbol of Shantinath), the 16th Jain Thirthankara, is the presiding deity of this Jain Basadi.

Basadi which consists of a Garbhagriha, a large Ardhamandapa, larger Mahamandapa and a Rangamandapa.

  • The rangamandapa has 3 entrances (South, North and West). It has a chaturmukha structure in dim unitive model, each of which carries three figures. it has a rekhanagara sikhara. The unique feature of this temple is the Sahasrakuta Jinabimba in minute form.
  • There is a Manasthamba erected in front of the temple.
  • There are ventilated walls in front of the temple. Where as yakshas and yakshis can be found in the other walls. there are many splendid carvings of dancers and musicians.
  • Inside the temple one can find the rare monolithic piece of Sahasra Jinabimbas and the idols of Dharnendra and Padmavathi.
  • Many mutilated Jain idols can be found on the wall of a well near by.
  • As per History Adikavi Pampa wrote Adi Purana, seated in this Basadi.
  • Basadi is in ruins and renovated, it presents the interest of the Kalyani Chalukyas in Jain architecture.

The other Jinalaya in this place is a Trikuta dedicated to Adinatha.

Ananthanatha basadi

Another Jain temple at Lakshmeshwara is called as Ananthanatha Basadi built in AD 1250. Which is located in the middle of the Lakshmeshwara town. This Basadi is an example of the Chalukya style of architecture. The idol of Ananthanatha, one of the 24 Thirthankars, is installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine.

Islamic monuments


During Adilshahi rule (Bijapur Sultanate), they built some monuments like Masjid, Darga. They adapted the Indo-Saracenic Architectural style. The Jumma Masjid and Ankushkhan Darga are very attractive.

Jumma Masjid

At Lakshmeshwar there is an artistically raised mosque (masjid) in the style of a Hindu temple of Adilshahi times.

The Jumma Masjid at Lakshmeshwara which dates back to the time of the Adilshahi rule. The mosque was built in 1617 by one Ankush Khan.

Jumma Masjid is constructed in Indo-Saracenic Architectural style. The massive doors of the mosque are like a fort entrance. The mosque has 2 tall Minars and a large 'Semicircular dome. There are Dravidian style chains hanging across the ceiling of the mosque.

Historical Dagha

Ankushkhan Darga, it was named may be because Ankushkhan of Bijapur built. The Dargha is near the KSRTC bus stand of Lakshmeshwar. It is also as old as Jumma Masjid. It is constructed in Indo-Saracenic Architectural style.

Photo Gallery:

Someshwara temple at Lakshmeshwara

Main entrance and Hall at Someshwara temple at Lakshmeshwara

Open well at Someshwara temple complex at Lakshmeshwara

Kannda inscriptions at Someshwara temple complex at Lakshmeshwara

Historical Jain temple at Lakshmeshwara

Newly built Jain temple at Lakshmeshwara

Jumma Masjid at Lakshmeshwara



Dargha at Lakshmeshwara

Courtesy: Wikipedia

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