About Kodandarama Temple
Located at the Sampangi Rama Nagar of Hiremagalur (Chikmagalur), Kodandarama Temple is a holy shrine dedicated to Hindu Lord Rama. The term ‘Kodandarama’ signifies the bow of Lord Rama. The principle idol here is that of Lord Rama with a bow in his hand, and this is how the temple got its identity.
Kodandarama is equally well-known for its intricately carved idols and temple architecture as it is known for its religious significance. Right at the central heart of the temple, you will find the presence of the main shrine. Here, there are huge idols of Lord Rama with Goddess Sita towards his right and Sri Lakshmana towards his left.
What makes the onlookers go crazy about the idol architecture is the fact that they have been carved out from a single massive boulder. Besides, the minute detailing of these idols (from eyes to the ornaments and supporting accessories), makes them adorable masterpieces.
Adjacent to the Kodandarama Temple flows the mighty River Tungabhadra, which is a well-known water sporting adventurous site. Right in the front of the temple’s main entrance, you have a Chakratirtha ghat where lakhs and lakhs of pilgrims take holy dips in the river water. This spot is highly auspicious according to the beliefs of Hindu mythology.
Standing atop a large land cover, the temple’s architecture is appealing. Whatever massive pillars you come across here, are all inscribed various ancient and medieval sculptures. The central holy sanctum has been carved in the shape of a rectangle where you have the three main idols. If you are good with the architectural basics, you will immediately come to know that the temple reflects an amalgamation of Hoysala and Dravidian style.
History of Kodandarama Temple –
This is one of the most ancient temples of Karnataka and has many myths and legends to be associated with it. If we go according to the locals, the temple is located at the exact spot where Lord Rama assassinated Vali. It was after this assassination that Lord Rama went forward to crown Sugriva with the title of King of Kishkhinda.
The locals here believe that all the three idols that lie within the temple were carved by Sugriva himself. He brought the natural boulder from a nearby hillside and employed it for the construction of this stupendous marvel.
Some associate the idols to be the result of a meeting that brought Lord Rama and Purushottama in front of one another. Once, a sage named Purushottama was subdued by Lord Ram at Hiremagalur. It was then when the sage requested Lord Ram to display his marriage ceremony.
According to the Hindu mythology, Shri Rama stands at the centre with Goddess Sita on his right and Shri Laxman on his left. The same position has been depicted in the form of idols at Kodandarama Temple. Sita’s idols eyes were intricately carved in such a way that they were always directed towards the earth as a sign of due and respect towards her husband.
Yet another legendary tale narrates that the place where the temple stands today was once the place of residence of the nine Siddhas. They were once associated with the performance of a penance adjacent to a pond present within the village named Siddha Pushkarni. As the town was also a residential place for the Lord Parshurama, it was named as Bhargava Puri (town of Bhargava – Parashurama).
How to Reach Kodandarama Temple
Reaching Kodandarama temple is quite an easy task as the transportation facility is well-developed. Here’s a quick look at how to move to the temple –
By Air – The closest domestic airport to reach Kodandarama is located at Hubli (143 km). If you are an international traveller, you should seek an airline ticket to take you to the Kempegowda International Airport.
By Rail – Situated close to Hospet, Hampi Railway Station is the nearest railway junction to reach Kodandarama Temple. Hospet Junction is well-connected with other cities and towns of India. For your further movement to Hampi (13.2 KM), you can hire a taxi or an autorickshaw from Hospet Railway Junction. Besides, there are various state-run buses to transfer you between these two destinations.
By Road – Hampi has got good road connectivity. From almost all major and minor towns and cities of Bangalore, you have KSRTC buses plying to Hampi. Alternatively, if you are on a group tour, hired cabs or taxis are the best alternatives of all time.
Best Time to Visit Kodandarama Temple
The months of February and March are the best to plan your visit to the Kodandarama Temple of Hampi. It is during this period that the temple organises a fest inside its premises and the entire surroundings is decked with beautiful colours of light and flowers.
What Not to Miss at Kodandarama Temple
Places to visit near Kodandarama Temple -
Now, when you are in Hampi, you surely should not miss on other Hampi adventures; as Hampi is a pristine land for travellers. Here’s a list to grab before you set on your target to explore Hampi –
1. Virupaksha Temple – Standing tall along the banks of River Tungabhadra, Virupaksha Temple was built during the 7th century. This UNESCO’s world heritage site has got a seemingly charming architecture and stone inscriptions. If you are planning on a Hampi tour either somewhere between March or April, get the dates of Betotral Festival in hand and plan accordingly.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 800.00 metres
2. Lotus Palace – Lotus Palace lies within the proximity of the Zenana Enclosure and is known for both its unique style and design. It is so-called due to its dome, which resembles the shape of a lotus.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 3.9 kms
3. Hampi Bazaar – Hampi Bazaar faces the direction of the Virupaksha Temple and hence, is alternatively known as the Virupaksha Bazaar. You can hop in here for shopping some local souvenirs such as shawls, antique coins, and bags, etc.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 700 metres
4. Queen’s Bath – Queen’s Bath of Hampi is an undeniable part of the Royal Enclosure which was in its full-swing during the reign of Vijayanagar Empire. The walls were constructed in such a manner that it was never accessible for outsiders.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 3.9 km
5. Matanga Hills – This hill is closely associated with one of the epic mythological tales of Hindus -The Ramayana. It is believed that the place marks the significance of hermitage period of Saint Matanga. This is the reason how and why the hills got its name. In case you are looking for some adventurous fun, this place is known as a trekker’s paradise.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 600.0 metres
6. Monolith Bull – There’s a giant bull of Lord Shiva at Hampi relaxing on a high platform. Although the sculpture has been deteriorated a bit due to the wear and tear of the extremities caused by the weather conditions, the Monolith Bull of Hampi still accounts as a top-rated tourist destination.
Distance from Kodandarama Temple – 400.0 metres
If you are an adventure buff who loves to carry their hearts on their sleeves and enjoy their life to the fullest, here’s how you can enjoy your Hampi tour –
1. Hire a bicycle and take a tour of the Hampi:
Location – Kamalapura, Hampi Bazaar, Hospet.
2. Rock Climbing:
Location – Hemakuta Hill Boulders
3. Coracle Ride:
Location – Tungabhadra River
4. Lake Fishing:
Location – Tungabhadra River
5. Boat Ride:
Location – Tungabhadra Dam
6. Cliff Jumping:
Location – Tungabhadra River
7. Matanga Hill Climbing:
Location – Matanga Hills
Other Essential Information About Kodandarama Temple
Location – Double Rd, Sampangi Rama Nagara, Sampangi Rama Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560027
Timing – Kodandarama Temple of Chikmagalur remains functional on all seven days of the week between 05:00 am to 12:00 pm. Then, the temple doors are closed during lunch hours and are reopened again between 04:00 pm to 09:00 pm. You can explore the entire temple within a duration of 1 to 1&1/2 hours.
Price – You do not need to pay anything on behalf as entry fees for visiting this holy shrine of Kodandarama Temple.
Tips for visiting Kodandarama Temple –
Here are a few tips for you to explore this pristine paradise inside out –
1. Although there is no mandatory dress code, you are expected to maintain a decent dress code yourself.
2. On weekends, it may take a bit longer for you to reach the main shrine as the place tends to be more crowded than it is on weekdays. Thus, avoid visiting the Kodandarama Temple during weekends.
3. You will inevitably be asked to remove your footwear outside at the shoe rack while entering the shrine. Make sure that you keep a tag or the coin given by the person who took your footwear to get them back safely.
4. It is advisable not to carry too much of cash and/or any precious items such as heavy jewellery.
5. If you are visiting here during summers, make sure that you keep both sunscreen and moisturizer handy with you. This will help you shield against the sweltering heat of Hampi.
6. Photography is strictly prohibited. However, you can click some pictures of the premises of the Kodandarama temple once you step out completely.
7. Always keep a water bottle with you so that you stay hydrated. Kodandarama Temple has water refilling counters where you can get your bottle refilled instantly.
8. If any senior member of your family is accompanying you, you may make a request to the authorities there for the convenience of your older members.