We were in Sagar for a family function. Once the function was over, we had time till night before the beginning of next set of programs. I made a plan to visit the Bandalike temple complex which was about an hour drive from Sagar. Chaya and Tanu also joined this trip.
From the inscriptions available, Bandalike was an important town of Nagarkhanda-70. It was a well known centre for Jainism and Kalamukha sect. The importance of this place is well attested by the lithic records of the Rastrakutas (7th and 8th century AD) , Kalyani Chalukyas (11th and 12th century AD), Kalachuris, Hoysalas (12th century AD), Seunas (13th century) and Vijayanagara (15th and 16th century). It was a prosperous centre in the 11th and 12th century during Chalukyas of Kalyani.
Drive to Bandalike
While driving towards Bandalike, I saw a group of stone temples but quickly I realised that they were the temples of Balligavi. I had visited them earlier. We also crossed the temple of Talagunda. It was a kind of rewinding the journey we made few years ago. Anyway, it was an eventful drive to Bandalike. As we reached Bandalike, we saw a Basadi on our right side. But we decided to see it while returning back and continued further. Within few hundred meters, we reached the entrance of the temple complex.
We felt very happy looking at the temple complex. Unlike many other historical temple which are situated in the midst of the houses, this was a large area of about 10 acres secured by fence. The rainy season was a distant past and hence the greenery was all gone. It gave a kind of rusted feeling to the whole place.
Trimurthi Narayana Temple
At the entrance of the complex is the Trimurthi Nayarana Temple. Built in 1160 AD, it is a trikuta (triple celled) temple of the Kalyani Chalukyan period. While the two superstructures are intact, the third one has collapsed. But it is still one of the well preserved temple in Bandalike. The temple is in east west orientation and has Shiva lingas in western and southern cells and Vishnu in northern cell.
Unnamed temple 1
This temple is visible from Trimurthi Narayana Temple itself. Nothing much is known about this temple. Even the information boards were not available. The temple is almost in ruins and is only standing due to the preservation efforts.
Unnamed temple 2
Another temple completely in ruins. The view of the temple from the far away platform in the temple complex looks amazing. But once you come near the temple you realise that there is nothing much that is remaining. The whole area looked serene and silent. We were the only people at that time. I felt that I had experienced similar feeling before. It was while visiting lesser known remote temples in Kumbalgarh fort. (Read about my experience in Kumbalgarh fort here).
A broken Nandi statue indicates the state of the beautiful temple!!
This is the temple on the other side of the entrance. The temple looks very ordinary as you enter from the back side. But the front of the temple is ornate with nice sculptures. The temple was contracted by Boppa Setti in 1274 AD and hence it is also known as Boppeshwara temple.
The temple complex closes at 5:30 PM and we were already past that time. But since we were the only ones in the complex, the care taker did not force us to go out. I was surprised to see a young caretaker here!!
This was the Basadi that we had seen on the way. By the time we arrived at the temple, the caretaker was almost ready to close the gates. Seeing us, he decided to postpone it a bit.
The inscriptions say that this Basadi received endowments by Jakkiyabbe who was ruling Bandalike in 912 AD. Hence the temple is very old one. The basadi has a Garbhagriha, an antarala and a thirty two pillared Mukhamandapa. Inscriptions are seen on the pillars of the temples. Some mutilated sculptures also present around the temple.
Even though it was a short visit, Bandalike exceeded our exceptions on all count. A beautiful place indeed.