Halasuru Someshwara Temple
Halasuru Someshwara Temple is located in the suburbs of Ulsoor in Bengaluru.It is a city dedicated to the deity of Someshwara. It is the oldest temple in the city and dates back to the Chola period.Historians believes there were major additions or modifications during the late Vijayanagara Empire period, during the rule of Hiriya Kempe Gowda II. The history goes like Kempe Gowda, while on a hunt, rode far away from his capital Yelahanka. When he was tired, he took rest under a tree and fell asleep. The local deity Someshwara appeared to him in his dream and instructed him to build a temple in his honor using the buried treasure. In return the chieftain would receive divine favor. Kempe Gowda found the treasure and dutifully completed constructing the temple.
According to the historians the temple plan follows many of the basic elements of Vijayanagara architecture, though at a lower scale. The temple has a square sanctum which is surrounded by a narrow passage way. The sanctum is connected to a closed mantapa whose walls are decorated with pilasters and sculptures in frieze. The closed mantapa is connected to a spacious open mantapa comsisting of four large projecting “bays”. The piers leading to the sanctum and those facing outward from the open mantapa are the standard Yali pillars. The eastern gopuram is a well executed, typical 16th century structure. There are several notable sculptures and decorative features in the complex. An impressive pillar stands near the tall tower over the entrance gate. The tower itself exhibits well sculptured images of gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology. The open mantapa consists of forty eight pillars with carvings of divinities in frieze. To the north is the navagraha temple with twelve pillars, each pillar representing a saint. The entrance to the sanctum exhibits sculptures of two “door keepers”. Other notable works of art include sculptures that depict King Ravana lifting Mount Kailash in a bid to appease the god Shiva, Durga slaying Mahishasura, images of the Nayanmar saints, depictions of the Girija Kalyana, the saptarishis. Recent excavations at the temple site has revealed the existence of a temple tank which is believed to be 1200 years old.