Keladi
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Keladi   |   Shivamogga

Keladi is a temple and historical town located near Sagar in Shimoga district of Karnataka. It is located about 8 km from the town of Sagara. Keladi was once the capital of the Keladi rulers also called as Keladi Nayakas, a feudatory of Vijayanagara Empire. After the breakdown of Vijayanagara Empire in the Battle of Talikota, the Keladi Nayakas formed an independent kingdom and it remained until it was captured by Hyder Ali.Shivappa Nayaka and Chennamma were the rulers of Keladi kingdom.

It is interesting as the place whence the Ikkeri chiefs derived their origin, which is thus related: Two brothers named Chavuda Gowda and Bhadra Gowda, living in the village of Hale-bayal, in the Keladi taluk of the Chandragutti paragana, had two servants or slaves, named Yadava and Murari, who cultivated their masters' fields. A cow they had was discovered to shed her milk over a certain ant-hill, which, on digging into, Chavuda Gowda found, contained a linga, over which, therefore, he built a small temple. A little time after, the servants, when ploughing, turned up an old sword, which they put into the thatch of the house, intending to make a scythe of it. But they discovered that if a crow perched on the shed the sword leaped out in the form of a serpent and killed it. On this, Chavuda Gowda took it and, carefully cleaning it, kept in his house, giving it the name of Nagaramuri. At another time, the ploughshare struck against the ring of a cauldron, which contained treasure. Afraid to disturb it, Chavuda Gowda covered it up again, but that night had a dream, in which he was directed to offer a human sacrifice and take the treasure. On hearing this, his two slaves volunteered to be the victims on condition that their memory was preserved. All the preparations being made, the place was dug up at night and the slaves, after ablutions, prostrated themselves to the cauldron and were beheaded with the sword Nagaramuri.

The main attraction of Keladi is Rameshwara Temple which is constructed in the Hoysala-Dravida style.

The Keladi Rameshwara temple complex built by the Nayakas in Keladi is a must visit to experience the Malanadu architecture. The wooden pillars supporting the sloping roof welcome you into a huge open courtyard. There are three shrines dedicated to Lord Ramesvara, Lord Veerabhadresvara and Goddess Parvathi.

Photography: [Amitra: #1]


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