The Temples of Karnataka  

Karnataka has innumerable sites in the Temple Map of India, with its some of its still surviving monuments going back to the 7th century AD. The Badami Chalukyas were the builders of rock cut caves and ancient temple complexes.At Pattadakal, there are Temples in the Dravidian style along with Temples in styles that were later adopted in Eastern and Central India. The sculptural quality in these temples is outstanding. The subordinate rulers of the Chalukyas were the Gangas and the Kadambas.The colossal monolithic statue of Gomateswara was built by the Gangas in the 10th century AD. The Badami Chalukyas were succeeded by the Rashtrakutas and the Kalyani Chalukyas.In Southern Karnataka, the Hoysalas reigned supreme. The Hoysalas were great builders and they built great temples at Halebidu, Belur and Somanathapura. The Hoysalas built temples on raised complex star shaped platforms. This star shaped plan is carried all the way from the platform to the shikhara. Horizontal bands of sculptural motifs and monolithic pillars adorn these temples. There is a profusion of sculptural work in the Hoysala style of temple building. 

Next, the Vijayanagar Empire marks the period of great Temple building activity in Karnataka and these temples are characterized by the building of pillared mandapas and lofty entrance towers. The Vijayanagar Empire was destroyed by the Deccan Sultanates in the 16th century and the ruins can be seen at Hampi. The Mysore Maharajas (Wodeyars) who ruled from around 1400 AD through the British period, with the brief lapse during Tipu Sultans rule, have also made contributions to temples in this State. The temples of the coastal region are markedly different in architectural styles and they resemble the Keralite temples to a larger extent. 

Balakrishna Temple at Udupi near Mangalore(Karnataka) 
Deities: Krishna

This is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in Karnataka and is associated with Madhwacharya the religious leader and the pioneer of the Dvaita philosophy. This is a small temple and the beautiful image of Krishna is viewed through a grating called the Navagraha window. Also in Udupi are the Chandramowliswara and Ananteshwara Temples.

Access and Accomodation: Mangalore 

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple at Bangalore(Karnataka)
Deities: Gangadareshwara(Shiva)

This cave temple dedicated to Shiva in Bangalore is a well visited one. The temple yard here contains several monolithic sculptures.On Makara Shankaranti each year, the suns' rays pass through the horns of the Nandi and illuminates the deity.

Access and Accomodation: Bangalore 

Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu near Hassan(Karnataka) 
Deities: Hoysaleswara (Shiva)

Halebidu was the original capital of the Hoysala kingdom. The Hoysaleswara temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 12th century. This can be described as the most beautiful of the Hoysala Temples. Thousands and thousands of figures adorn the walls.This temple is indeed a masterpiece in design and it attracts visitors from around the world. The Kedareswara temple in Halebidu now in a dilapidated state is a masterpiece of creation. Three ornate Jain Temples also adorn Halebidu.

Access and Accomodation: Hassan 

Kesava Temple at Somnathapura near Mysore(Karnataka)  
Deities: Kesava (Vishnu)

This temple dating back to the 13th century is a masterpeice of Hoysala genius. It is a grand structure of great beauty, perfect symmetry and contains a wealth of sculpture. It attracts visitors from around the world.

Access and Accomodation: Mysore 

Mahadeva Temple at Itgi near Raichur(Karnataka) 
Deities: Mahadeva (Shiva)

This temple dedicated to Shiva is considered to be one of the best Chalukyan Temples. It is splendidly decorated. The richly carved pillars, beautiful inner hall, and the shikhara are its highlights.

Access and Accomodation: Raichur 

Markandeshwara Temple at Kallur near Raichur(Karnataka)  
Deities: Markandeshwara (Shiva)

Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar Empire is said to have worshipped at the six temples in this town with his family. The Markandeshwara is the oldest with beautifully carved, polished pillars.

Access and Accomodation: Raichur 

Nandi Temples at Nandi Hills near Bangalore(Karnataka) 
Deities: Bhoganandiswara, Yoganandiswara (Shiva)

The Bhoganandiswara temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills goes back to the period of the Banas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar Kings.. Bhoganandiswara, Umamaheswara and Arunachaleswara are enshrined here. The kalyanamandapa is of great beauty here.The Yoganandiswara temple atop the hill goes back to the Chola period. It received extensive patronage from the Vijayanagar Kings. The pillars and metalwork deserve special mention.

Access and Accomodation: Bangalore 

Navalinga Temples at Kuknur near Hospet(Karnataka) 
Deities: Shiva

This temple enshrines nine lingams in nine temples, with elegantly carved pillars and it dates back to the Rashtrakuta times. Kuknur is located near Yelbarga in Raichur District.

Access and Accomodation: Hospet 

Omkareshwara Temple at Madikeri(Karnataka) 
Deities: Omkareshwara (Shiva)

This temple deidcated to Shiva was built in the 19th century in a mix of Gothic and Islamic styles. It is built around a central pool. Mercara is situated in the beautiful Kodagu district in the Western Ghats.

Access and Accomodation: Madikeri 

Vidyashankara Temple at Sringeri near Mangalore(Karnataka) 
Deities: Vidyashankara

This temple combines the Hoysala and Dravida features. Twelve pillars in this temple mark the 12 zodiac signs, and the sun's rays fall on each of them in the order of the solar months. 
This temple dates back to the 14th century to the founding days of the Vijayanagar Kingdom. Sringeri is a grand seat of the Sankaracharya order established by the religious leader Adi Sankara.

Access and Accomodation: Mangalore 

Vithala Temple at Hampi near Hospet(Karnataka)  
Deities:  Vithala

This is one of the most ornate Vijayanagar Temples and was built over a period of time. This temple is known for extensive sculptural work. The ornate pillars deserve mention.

Access and Accomodation: Hospet   

Some of the places of worship
Temples of Tamil Nadu
Temples of Karnataka
Temples of Orissa
Temples of Maharashtra
Temples of Kerala
Temples of Andhra Pradesh
Temples of Madhya Pradesh
Temples of the Gangetic Plains