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Mr. P.V. Ananda of Saligrama, a graduate student of Dr.T.M.A. Pai College, Kunjibettu, Udupi, recently took up a study and produced a Visual Presentation C.D. on the famous Barkur Panchalingeshwara Temple as a part of his project, under the guidance of Mrs. Usha Hande, lecturer in history at the same college.

Barkur online is happy to present the extracts from the CD for the benefit of our visitors.

"Temples were the center of life in the olden days, according to the information gathered rom the history. They were functioning as the focal points of social, financial and cultural aspects of the day to day life and also were the educational centers.

With the evidence from the inscriptions, one could say that the State of Barkur was existing somewhere around 12th century. But the evidence from the statues and artifacts push this time backward to 7th-8th century. Out of the 365 temples that were said to be existed in Barkur, the Panchalingeshwara temple is the oldest one.

Mythological Background:

When Barkur was under the control of sage Markandeshwara, he undergoes a rigorous 'Thapasya' (meditation) in honor of Lord Shiva. The Lord Shiva pleased by the thapasya, reveals himself in front of the sage. So the sage decides to build the temple in the same place to incept the Shivalinga and sends his disciples to fetch the Shivalinga from Kashi. When his desciples fail to return on time, the sage incepts 5 stones from nearby River Sita in the temple.

Lord Shiva appears again and creates two wells namely Padarasa and Siddarasa that have the unique capacity to turn anything that are thrown into them into gold. Lord Shiva also names the temple as Markandeshwara Temple which later known as the famous Panchalingeshwara Temple.

Panchalingeshwara in the inscriptions:

The 1129-40 inscriptions reveal the information of the existence of the said temple at the time.

1425 inscriptions calls this temple as Markandeshwara Panchalingeshwara. It also says that Kavi Alupendra rented 20 Pandya Gadyana to Tholavas of Sooralu, the rent of which was to be used for the expenses the daily worship at Markandeshwara. The inscription also reveals the information about a Brahmin poet from Kashmir got some donations from Alupendra.

There are other inscriptions also which give a lot of information about the temple. 

Architectural Style:

This temple has Chalukya and Vijayanagara styles of architecture and statues.


Barkur was the capital of Alupas and records show that their palace was located at the 'Simhasana Gudde'.

Alupas shifted their capital from Udyavara to Barkur and were instrumental in the political, financial, social and cultural developments of Barkur. Once the Alupas got into marriage relationship with the Hoysalas, they also spread their political wings into the Thulunadu.

Once the Vijayanagara was founded in the year 1336, Hoysalas chose Barkur as their regional capital and many governors ruled Barkur under the directions from Vijayanagara.

Later Barkur experienced the ruling of Keladi, Hyder, Tippu and British empires.

During all these rulings, Barkur had a well-established administration. For administrational purposes Barkur was divided into 10 'Keris' namely, Kote keri, Balegara keri, Manegara keri, Chouli keri, Moodu keri, Patagara keri, Bhandara keri, Arasa keri, Rangana keri and Hosa keri. Every keri had an important or principal temple. Kotekeri had Panchalingeshwara as its principal temple."

P.V. Ananda, Saligrama.