KALLESHWARA TEMPLE ARALAGUPPE
Kalleshwara temple is one of the major popular temples in Aralaguppe and was built by Nolambas style of the 9th century A.D. It represents the architectural features in which the Nolamba craftsmen show a high order of excellence and that warrant inclusion in an art historical account.
Kalleswara temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva and there is huge Lingam in the Sanctum. The Kalleshwara temple has two attractions which are worth many a visit -The extraordinary ceiling intricately carved and the sculpture of Umamaheshwara.
While the Adhishtana is made of granites, the temple's walls and towers are constructed with bricks may be a later day addition. There is an idol of Nandi in front of the main Deity of dark granite, 6 ft. in length and 4ft.in height is at the entrance.
The wall at a number of places has been ornamented by carved human figures. Its Mukhamantapa ceiling is considered the most beautiful sculpture found in the State which is something to be seen to be believed. Itís amazing but proved difficult to capture of the nine panels on the ceiling it has in Nolambas style portrayal of wonderful dancing Shiva (Tandaveswara) sculpture with musical accompanists and eight Dikpalas surrounding him depicted with their paraphernalia and vehicles.
Another unique feature of this ceiling is the flying Vidyadharas (Gandharvas), Four, with garlands in their hands at each corner of the panel. These garland-bearing Vidyadharas are quite common to Nolamba architecture; a clear evidence of the elegance and comprehensiveness of their style. The Nataraja (Tandaveswara) meanwhile, is a remarkable three-dimensional image, wearing jewels such as the Katibandana and tassels. The dancing lord is accompanied by three Bhutas playing a three-headed percussion instrument. They are also seen with Ayut and other symbols.
The northern and eastern lateral shrines contain idols of Keshava and Surya, while the southern one contains the Umasahita mounted over a large stele with a lotus pedestal and a Prabhavali with a couple of flying Vidyadharas. The extraordinary ceiling of the mukhamantapa, with the Nolambas style portrayal of Umamaheshwara at Consisting of garbagriha, antarala, and a mukhamantapa, the temple's sanctum sanctorum is adorned with a huge black-granite Shivalinga.
The outer walls are insipid without projections and recesses, but for the lone niche at the antarala that divides the Vimana from the Mukhamantapa. Pilasters built closer at the temple's interiors however, appears more refreshing.
There is also a small temple in the main temple complex which dedicated to Lord Uma Maheshwara and two more temples dedicated to the Ganapathi and Subramanya. The image of Gajalakshmi on the doorway adds charm to the place. This temple maintained by modern style but not in a systematic way.