Temples in Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur's beauty unfolds in layers: lush green coffee estates, captivating waterfalls, serene lakes and ancient temples. Beyond the coffee estates and trekking trails, Chikmagalur is home to some ancient temples. These temple complexes whisper tales of a bygone era and marvellous architecture. 

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Image of a series of stone sculptures depicting lions elephants and a cavalry of soldiers mounted on horses
interior view of a temple in which a woman is praying in the distance

Sringeri Sharada Peetham 

Sringeri Sharada Peetham is one of the four cardinal Shankaracharya Peethams established by the Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century CE. This is the most famous temple in Chikmagalur dedicated to Goddess Sharadamba who is worshipped for knowledge and wisdom. According to the legends, Goddess Sharada is said to have guided  Adi Shankaracharya herself to choose this sacred spot on the banks of the Tunga River. The Sringeri Sharada Peeth temple is a significant pilgrimage site for the followers of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. 

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sadhus on temple ruins

Amrutesvara Temple

Only 67 km from Chikmagalur, stands the Amurtesvara Temple. The temple was built in the 12th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The complex is made of black soapstone with circular carvings on the exterior. The inner sanctum exudes an aura of peace and the walls are decorated with sculptures of demons from local folklore. The carvings on the pillars depict stories of Hindu Mythology such as Shiva defeating Gajasura. The temple also bears the emblem of the Hoyasala Dynasty on the temple towers.

Marle Twin Temples 

A short ride of 12km from Chikmagalur will lead you to Marle Twin Temples, one of the lesser-known temples from the Hoyasala Dynasty. The two temples are built beside each other and date back to 1150 AD. One of the temples is dedicated to Lord Keshava and is beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and pictures of Lord Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi. The temple also houses the typical Hoyasala architecture style with several pillars of elaborate carvings. The second temple is not as elaborate as the first one but is decked with carvings that tell stories. The second temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the carvings include him with his consort Parvati along with Ganesha and Kartikeya.

A ancient temple in belur with amazing architechture
ancient temple

Kondadarama Temple 

This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and was built by the Hoyasala Dynasty. The temple was later expanded during the Vijayanagara dynasty to house Sita and Lakshmana. This is a temple that has seen changes throughout the years as different dynasties took over to expand it. However, the Hoyasala style of architecture remains the same while the idols and images reflect the Chalukyan style.

Chennakesava Temple

A scenic drive through Chikmagalur's lush landscapes brings you to Belur, renowned for its stunning Chennakesava Temple. Built by the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century, this temple is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. As you approach the temple complex, the intricacy of the sculptures mesmerises—a celebration of devotion and craftsmanship frozen in stone. Each pillar tells a story through its sculptures, from the divine dance of Lord Shiva to scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana, showcasing the Hoysala artisans' unparalleled skill and dedication.


Hoysaleswara Temple

A short journey from Belur leads you to Halebidu, another gem in Chikmagalur's temple heritage. The Hoysaleswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, stands as a testament to the grandeur of Hoysala architecture. Constructed in the 12th century, this temple is renowned for its intricate carvings, which adorn every surface with a symphony of mythological narratives, divine beings, and intricate floral motifs. The outer walls of the Hoysaleswara Temple are a canvas of artistic expression, depicting gods, goddesses, and celestial beings in various poses—a testament to the Hoysala dynasty's patronage of arts and culture.

After a day of exploring ancient temples in and around Chikmagalur, call it a day at The Serai Chikmagalur. The resort is located in the lush wilderness of the hill station that was once the hot seat of the Hoyasala Dynasty. The resort has 29 villas with windows overlooking dense coffee plantations, a splendid view that you will not forget anytime soon after your stay. When at the resort, you can indulge in different cuisines at the in-house restaurants be it the local dishes of the hill station or the wide range of culinary flavours that Malenadu cuisine has to provide.