The Lost Hoysala Town of Dindagur by TeamGSquare

Fourth in the series of the celebration series of guest posts is by TeamGSquare – Dhiraj and Amrutha, a wonderful couple who love to explore the places. You name place in Karnataka and these guys have already visited that. You will find detailed information on various places across India on their blog TeamGSquare and they have blogged only about 10% of the places they’ve explored so far. I was fortunate to go on couple of adventures with Dhiraj (Trek to Bandalli durga and Cycling in Sharavathi valley).

Dindagur Lake - TeamGSquare

Dindagur is a sleepy town located off the Channarayapatna – Tiptur highway, about 6 km from CR Patna. While travelling on this highway route, the board of Dindagur caught our attention and on inquiry it was confirmed that this town is home to two ancient temples. Hence we took a deviation towards this town and were directed to the priest’s house. The priest was more than happy to guide us to the temples.

The Lord Eshwara Temple
Entrance to Lord Eshwara Temple
Inside Lord Eshwara Temple

Following the directions given by the priest, we reached the Malleshwara (Eshwara) temple located by a big lake. While waiting for the priest to reach the temple, we enjoyed the picturesque lake. The Eshwara temple has undergone restoration with a few additional buttresses in order to support the exterior walls of the temple and keep it intact. Though the Shikara of the temple is now plain, it serves to be the most magnificent part of the temple. We only wondered about how it would have looked in its full glory. Most of the temple exteriors remain plain and simple in style, while only the central ceiling inside the temple has survived post-restoration. The temple has surely withstood the test of time and other exploitation.

The Shikara of Eshwara temple
Keshava Swami Temple
Keshava Swami Temple

Unlike the Eshwara temple, the Lord Keshava Swamy Temple is situated in the middle of the town. This temple also has been restored but has been able to maintain its original shape. Though this temple is pretty much similar to the Eshwara temple in design and shape, its beautiful Mahadwara (entrance) is unique and would have only been grander in its heyday. The idol of Keshava Swamy is of typical Hoysala style. Both the temples are believed to have been built during the 13th century AD. This place was an ancient agrahara called Mallikarjunapura agrahara and was founded by Pandita Dandanatha. The priest was not much aware about the history of this place.

Keshava Swami
The Grand Entrance


  1. You’ve said it – we’ve really “LOST” it. It pains me to see such gems in the order that they are in today.
    Each and every of Hoysala temples has been set up in majestic formats, in calm environments, intrinsically carved, of a specific type, but each unique in itself(!).
    Every Shiva temple (Trikuta or Ekakuta or Panchakuta) would be on a lake bed or suspended in some field outside a village and a Vishnu temple in a congested fort area of a village (Agrahara) and having huge space dedicated for itself.
    Agraharas were the settlement of Brahmans of the yore, gifted by the ruler of that land in those periods. Usually an Agrahara would be accompanied by these huge temples (for Brahmans to worship, use as school, meeting place, practice daily rituals), a lake and some tax-free lands that could get regular income for the temple and help in its maintenance and also of the people associated with it.
    However, what is more interesting is the fact that these Hoysala temples are not much decorated with mythological stories (Sthala Puranas).
    According to one of my cousins, who does much reading of the ancient history and architecture, the fact that the stories are absent from these temples is the cause for the lack of interest and the apathy shown by the general public towards these temples!!! On the other hands, the grand temples built or promoted by Vijayanagara kings have much intertwined mythological stories that brings people to them!! Did Vijayanagara chieftains learn from the mistakes of their Hoysala counterpart? May be!
    Anyways, some history, some legacy, some pride and much of the treasure has been lost in the transition (of time), somewhere…
    We’ve ‘LOST’ those Agraharas, those people, we’ve lost many, and much, of these temples!
    Thanks Dheeraj and Amrutha for a fantastic blog post.

  2. Such a nice piece. It’s a shame to see our heritage in this pathetic conditions. What more, as responsible travelers & writers can we do to wake & shake the concerned authorities?

  3. Thanks for putting this up. Just recently when we went in search of Mosale, I was wondering how many more such Hoysala wonders, and other architectural marvels in general, are ‘lost’ across our country!

  4. What a fantastic place and try, it’s in decay. My fear is, too much attention also brings the completely wrong kind of attention, over commercialising and ruining the place. Like I have seen with so many places. One famous place of worship, now. Fashionable go to for many, had the priests asking me for money for a quicker queue free ‘worship’, ‘worship packages’, and of course, the horrendous architectural disasters of ‘place of workshop extensions’,
    Sometimes I feel an unknown broken down beautiful structure is so much better than the rampant commercialisation of it.

  5. Thanks for the wonderful post! My father was from Dindagur and came for education and settled in Mysuru. These small villages are jewels of our rich heritage.

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