Koppal is a town in Koppal district in Karnataka. Koppal is surrounded on three sides by hillocks and was an important town in the history of Karnataka, popularly known as Kopana Nagar. It contains historical locations such as Koppal Fort, Gavimath and the Male Mallappa Temple and it is known as Jaina Kashi meaning sacred place for Jains, named because there were more than 72 Basadis (also called Basti) - Jain Prarthana mandir.
Most notable of the many buildings dating from this period are the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in the Koppal district, the former capital of Vijayanagar emperors, Anegondi, the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi in the Gadag district, and the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatti and the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali, both in the Davangere district. Other monuments notable for their craftsmanship include the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri in the Haveri district, the Amruteshvara Temple at Annigeri in the Dharwad district, the Sarasvati Temple in Gadag, and the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal, both in the Gadag district.
The Mahadeva Temple
The Mahadeva temple at Itagi dedicated to Shiva is among the larger temples built by the Western Chalukyas and perhaps the most famous. Inscriptions hail it as the 'Emperor among temples'. Here, the main temple, the sanctum of which has a linga, is surrounded by thirteen minor shrines, each with its own linga. The temple has two other shrines, dedicated to Murthinarayana and Chandraleshwari, parents of Mahadeva, the Chalukya commander who consecrated the temple in 1112 CE. Soapstone is found in abundance in the regions of Haveri, Savanur, Byadgi, Motebennur and Hangal. The great archaic sandstone building blocks used by the Badami Chalukyas were superseded with smaller blocks of soapstone and with smaller masonry. The first temple to be built from this material was the Amrtesvara Temple in Annigeri in the Dharwad district in 1050 CE. This building was to be the prototype for later, more articulated structures such as the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi. The 11th-century temple-building boom continued in the 12th century with the addition of new features. The Mahadeva Temple at Itagi and the Siddhesvara Temple in Haveri are standard constructions incorporating these developments. Based on the general plan of the Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri, the Mahadeva Temple was built in 1112 CE and has the same architectural components as its predecessor. There are however differences in their articulation; the sala roof (roof under the finial of the superstructure) and the miniature towers on pilasters are chiseled instead of moulded.
The difference between the two temples, built fifty years apart, is the more rigid modelling and decoration found in many components of the Mahadeva Temple. The voluptuous carvings of the 11th century were replaced with a more severe chiselling.
Koppal Fort is one of the major attractions in Koppal. Sources say that Tipu Sultan captured Koppal fort in 1786 and with the help of French engineers made it one of the strongest forts. In 1790 Tipu lost Koppal fort to British and Nizam forces. Ex-Governor of Bombay state, Sir John Malcolm had participated in the siege.
In Karnataka their most famous temples are the Kashivishvanatha temple and the Jain Narayana temple at Pattadakal, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Other well known temples are the Parameshwara temple at Konnur, Brahmadeva temple at Savadi, the Settavva, Kontigudi II, Jadaragudi and Ambigeragudi temples at Aihole, Mallikarjuna temple at Ron, Andhakeshwara temple at Huli, Someshwara temple at Sogal, Jain temples at Lokapura, Navalinga Temple at Kuknur, Kumaraswamy temple at Sandur, at Shirival in Gulbarga and the Trikunteshwara temple at Gadag which was later expanded by Kalyani Chalukyas. Archeological study of these temples show some have the stellar (multigonal) plan later to be used profusely by the Hoysalas of Belur and Halebidu. One of the richest traditions in Indian architecture took shape in the Deccan during this time and one writer calls it Karnata dravida style as opposed to traditional Dravida style.
Hideout for Balkrishna Hari Chapekar
In the year 1897 Balakrishna Hari Chapekar, one of the three Chapekar brothers, involved in the shooting of Ryand and Ayrest in Pune, was arrested by one Mr. Stephenson in the district of Raichur. For this arrest the Hyerabad Police received a reward from the Government of Bombay. Balakrishna Hari Chapekar seems to have stayed for more than six months in the hills between Koppal and Gangavathi which were then in the district of Raicur. He attracted a great deal of sympathy from the local people. In spite of the enquiries made by the Government of Bombay, the Hyderabad Police refused to reveal the names of the informers who were responsible for the arrest of Balakrishna Hari Chapekar. Their names have not been mentioned, in the statement of the distribution of rewards. This demonstrates the strong sympathy among the local population for the Chapekars and how deeply were the informers afraid of the revelation of their names. The arrest of Chapekar, which took place at the end of 1898, reveals the movements of Maratha revolutionaries in the State of Hyderabad.
State Protected Monuments in Koppal
State Protected Monuments officially reported by Archeological Survey of India in Koppal, Karnataka is listed below
|State Protected Monuments in Koppal|
- Venkateswara Govindaraj temple
- Mahadeva temple Koppal
- Someswara Gurudeswara temple
- Chandralinga temple
- Koppal Fort
- Mahadev (Rameswara) temple
- Somanath Temple Koppal
- Koppal Mosque
- Bahadurbanda Fort
- Koppal Fort Koppal
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- Balaji's Temple Koppal
- Kanak Chalni Temple and remains of other Hindu temples
- Eswara Temple