THE LAKSHMIDEVI TEMPLE AT DODDA GADDAVALLI.
Gaddavalli is a small in the Hassan Taluk of the Hassan
District in the Mysore State, situated at a distance of about 12 miles to the north-west of Hassan and about 2 miles to the left of the Hassan-Belar road. It is called Dodda (or Big) Gaddavalli to distinguish it from another village close to it known as Chikka (or Little) Gaddavalli. The latter is men- tioned by this name in an inscription in the Bölür temple, dated 1548, which states that during the rule of the Vijayanagar king Sadasiva-Raya a chief named Singapa-Nayaka made a grant of this village to provide for the car festival of the god Košava of Bölür. But in the old inscriptions at Dodda Gaddavalli the village is named simply Gaddumballi without the prefix Dodda, and the epithet abhinava-Kollapura or the modern Kollapura is applied to it owing to the existence there of a temple of Lakshmidevi, in allusion to the famous ancient temple of the same goddess at Kolhapur.
The Lakshmidevi temple at Dodda Gaddavalli is a typical example of the Hoysala style of architecture. It is quadruple, i.e., has four cells, and appears to be the only Hoysala building of this kind in the State. Plate I givos the full view of the temple from the west. From an inscription in the temple (Plate XIV) we learn that during the rule of the Hoysala king Vishnu the great merchant (maha-vadḍavyavahari) Kullahana-Rahuta and his wife Sahajadevi founded the village Abhinava-Kollapura and caused to be erected in it the temple of the goddess Mahalakshmi in A. D. 1113. It is thus one of the earliest temples of the Hoysala style, built four years before the Kesava temple at Belar which was founded by king Vishnu in 1117.
The temple is situated in the middle of a court, measuring 118 6 by 112 9 , enclosed by an old stone wall, about 7 feet high, with two mahadvaras or outer gates on the cast and west (Plate II). It is worthy of note that the raised terrace which forms a characteristic feature of most of the build- ings of this style is wanting here. To the west gate is attached a fine entrance porch or mantapa supported by sixteen pillars and adorned with seven artistically executed ceilings. The central ceiling shows fine bead work with a circular panel in the middle sculptured with a figure of Tanda- vēšvara, while the others have floral ornaments in the middle with circular panels carved with the figures of the ashța-dikpalakas (or regents of the eight directions) around. The porch has verandas all round. There was likewise a small porch attached to the east outer gate, but this has now fallen along with a portion of the enclosing wall. The doorway of the east mahadvara is elegantly carved (Plate IV). At each corner of the enclosure is a small neat shrine surmounted by a stone tower and a Hoysala orest, ie., a figure of Sala, the progenitor of the Hoysala family, stabbing a tiger. The doorways of the shrines are well carved. Plates V and VI show the shrines at the south-west and north-west corners respectively of the enclosure. The former has a floral ornament in front of the Hoysals crest, while the latter has a figure of Tandavesvara. In the north-east of the temple enclosure, at some interval from the corner shrine, is situated a small temple of Bhairava, consisting of a garbha-griha or adytum and an open sukhanasi or vestibule, also surmounted by a stone tower and a Hoysala crest. There are thus five towers in the enclosure, and adding to these the four over the four cells of the main temple, we have in all nine beautiful stone towers with Hoysala orests, a feature not found in any other Hoysala building in the State. Six of these towers are seen in Plate I, while Plate III shows only the four towers of the quadruple temple in the middle.
As stated above, the temple consists of four cells, all surmounted by stone towers and Hoysala crests, of which three are in the southern portion and one in the northern. Of the former, the east cell enshrines Lakshmi- devi, the west a linga named Bhatanatha and the south Bhairava, not the original figure which must have been Vishnu as indicated by the Garuda emblem on the podestal. The cell in the northern portion is dedicated to Kali. Plate VII shows the east view of the Lakshmīdēvi shrine and Plate VIII the north view. The Kali shrine, of which the west view is exhibited on Plate IX, has in the navaranga or middle hall two entrances on the east and west. The west doorway, flanked by Vaishnava dvarapalakas or door-keepers, shows good work (Plate X). There are two seated elephants at the sides of the cast doorway (Plate VIII). The outer walls of all the cells have single or double pilasters surmounted by ornamental turrets with a few figures here and there. The east outer wall of the Kali cell has sculptured on it a figure of Kali. The turrets on the outer walls of the Lakshmidevi and Vishnu cells show finer work than those on the outer walls of the others. There is a pretty large number of niches in the shape of miniature shrines on the outer walls, but unlike in other temples most of them bear inscrip- tions instead of figures. Of the towers, that over the Lakshmidevi cell shows here and there figures of Yakshas.
Of the four cells, the Lakshmidevi and the Bhutanatha cells face cach other; so also do the Vishnu and the Kali cells, only at a greater interval. Each cell consists of a garbha-griha and a sukhanasi, and with the exception of the Lakshmidevi cell all have open sukhanasis. The three cells in the southern portion are attached to a common navaranga or middle hall. The garbha-griha and sukhanasi of these three cells have ceilings carved with lotuses. The lintel of the garbha-griha doorway of the Lakshmiidevi coll has sculptured on it a figure of Tandaväsvara, that of the Vishnu cell a figure of Yoga-Narasimha and that of the Bhatanatha cell a figure of Gaja- lakshmi. Lakshmidevi is a fine standing figure, about 34 feet high, flanked by female attendants (Plate XI). She has four hands, the upper right hold- ing a conch, the upper left a discus, the lower right a rosary with the abhaya or fear-removing pose and the lower left a mace. It is stated that the Vishnu cell had once a figure of Kesava. The common navaranga has verandas on all the three sides and nine good ceilings of a square shape with projecting circular panels, the central one having what looks like Tandavee- vara and the others the ashța-dikpalakas. It is attached without any partition to the nataranga of the Kali cell. Both the navarangas measure about 30 feet in length, the width being about 15 feet. They are supported by ten pillars, exclusive of the four on the verandas.
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