Dec 2, 2017

Guddada Siddeshwara Devalaya, Bilagi

August 18, 2017
Plan for the day was to leave Dharwad morning, reach Bijapur afternoon and visits some historical spots of Bijapur. I'd heard of Bilagi, since it was on the way, we decided to visit the ancient temple dedicated to Siddeshwara. The temple is situated in a cleft on the slope of a hill. The distance between Bilagi cross (on Hubli-Bijapur road) and Siddeshwara Devalaya is about 5 kilometers., the road passes through Bilagi town.

The ambiance in and around the temple is peaceful except during Amavasya and Jaatre when the place is crowded. So, this is the temple entrance. This temple seems to be renovated recently, may be 30 years ago.

The gateway to the temple enclosure. On two sides of the enclosure are sheltered platforms for visitors to rest or camp overnight.

Plants and trees welcome visitors here. Summer days are warm here, the trees help cool down and also reduce the glare. In this enclosure are two main temples. This one is dedicated to Sri Siddeshwara, a form of Lord Shiva.

The temple has two doors facing east and north. The temple itself is east facing. The design is architecture is Chalukyan. The Sabha Mantapa has four pillars in the center, where Basavaana sits facing his lord inside the Garbhagudi. Notice the stone screen separating the Sabha Mantap and Garbhagudi.

Basavanna and the deity. Pushpa beating the drum gently ..boom boom.

The other temple ..can't remember to which god this is dedicated to. It is said that in this complex there are shrines dedicated to gods namely Parvati Devi, Veerabhadreshwara, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, Banashankari and Mela Siddappa.

View of the gateway from the temple. Visitors can sit in peace and feel relaxed.

 Ancient sculptures.. Nandi and Parvatidevi?

Just outside the temple is this rock face. A cavern at the top, its mouth was blocked with thorns, probably to prevent people venturing into it.

 The slope has been excavated to create flat ground to accommodate people during fairs. Its amazing to see the layers of rock, thickness is uniform throughout.

On the opposite slope are two more shrines which we did not visit. I'm guessing the one with the big Basavanna is dedicated to another form of Shiva. During rains the place would be amazing with torrents cascading down the rocky slopes. Wish people had planted more trees on these slopes, they would help retain water.

It was almost 1-PM, we moved on to move on. While researching, I learnt there's a well in Bilagi town named "Aarettina Baavi" which translates to "Six Bull Well." It would have been interesting to see the well ..perhaps some other time.
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