On reaching Ranebennur cross on the NH4 highway and realizing that Caudadanapura was situated close by, we were curious to see the temple of Muktheshwara that we had read about a while ago. We inquired about this place, but there seemed to be a lot of confusion with regards to the pronunciation of the name when finally, a jeep driver came to our rescue by correcting the same, from Caudadanapura to Chaudayyadanapura. On following his directions, we reached Chaudayyadanapura / Caudadanapura, a small village situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra of Ranebennur Taluk, Haveri District. This place gets its name from the Veerashaiva Saint and Boatman, Sharana Ambigara Chaudaiah who lived here during the 12th Century. The place is also called by various names such as Shivapura, Muktikshetra and Gope. As per our readings, a mantapa on the bank of the river Tungabhadra housed the samadhi (Gadduge) of Sharana Ambigara Chaudaiah. But, we found only a small structure on the banks which we thought to be the samadhi, though not confirmed.
|Samadhi of Sharana Ambigara Chaudaiah|
The temple of Mukteshwara in Chaudayyadanapura was built by the Chalukyas in the12th Century. According to a legend, this place is situated at place where river Tungabhadra changes its path or direction of flow indicating the beginning of a new course, symbolizing Mukti / Salvation (Redemption). Hence, this place is called as Mukthikshetra and the deity worshiped here is Lord Mukteshwara or the God of Salvation. From our observations, it seems like our ancestors chose places close to water bodies and the summit of hills for the construction of the temples as these places were considered to be sacred.
|Mukteshwara Temple Complex|
There are eight main inscriptions found in this place. As per the book referred below, one of the inscriptions states that, in the year 1191, an ascetic/saint by name Muktajiyar was at this place and performed rigorous rituals to please Lord Mukthinatha. Thus, the deity here came to be known as Muktesha. It further states that the name of Lord Mukteshwara was appropriate as he was bestowing Mukti on his disciples.
The temple complex consists of the main temple of Mukteshwara, the Kallideva temple, two small Shiva temples, another temple with four compartments of which two are dedicated to Lord Shiva, one for Lord Virabhadra and the other to goddess Chamundi. A Keerthistambha stands tall (about thirty feet) at the entrance of the complex. There is also a Gadduge of the saint Shivadeva inside the temple complex.
|Kallideva and two Shiva linga temples|
|Virabhadra , Shiva Linga and the Chamundi Temple|
|Samadhi (Gadduge) of Saint Shivadeva|
|Depiction of Disciples|
The entire temple complex is well maintained.
Reference: The Temple of Muktesvara at Caudadanapura: A Little-Known 12th-13th Century Temple in Dharwar District, Karnataka (Kalasamalocana) by Vasundhara Filliozat. Vasundhara Filliozat is a freelance historian and epigraphist. She has worked on many aspects of history of the Karnataka kings and the temple of Jakkanachari style in the Dharwar District. The above referred book contains a detailed study of the temple of Muktheswara and has been used for providing information in this post.