Friday, 2 April 2021

Agara Sri Durga Temple, Agra, Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka.

The visit to this temple at Agara was a part of our Chozha period temples Visit on the ancient trade route from Chamarajanagar to Kollegal ( Gangapadi ), in Karnataka State. This place was called as Durgaiyur Agara, which is now called as Agara. Agara.-Agara, a village in the Yelandur taluk in the Mysore District. Population 4,261. It has four old temples dedicated to Ramesvara, Narasimha, Varadaraja and Durga. In that except Varadharaja Temple, the other temples were recently renovated. The Varadharaja temple was encroached by a private person.

In the Tamil inscriptions, the village is named Durgaiyur- agaram and in the Kannada Durgagrahara, thus showing that it derived its name from the goddess Durga of the place, though latterly the first portion was left out and the place came to be known as merely Agara. It will be seen from the Kannada and Tamil names of the village as given in the inscriptions that agara is only a Tamil corruption of the Sanskrit agrahara.

Deity        : Sri Durga.

Some of the Salient features of this temple are.....
The temple is facing west with a balipeedam and Simha ( Looks like Hoysala emblem simha ). Nagars are under a tree.

The goddess in the Durga temple is a standing figure, about four feet high, with four hands, the upper holding a discus and a conch, the right lower in the abhaya hasta and the left lower banging by the side. Outside, the base is decorated with a frieze of what look like yazhis.

The temple consists of sanctum sanctorum, antarala, artha mandapam and a mukha mandapam.  The adhisthana is of pradhibandha adhisthana with three vrutha kumuda and yazhivari. A Nagara Vimana is over the sanctum with stucco images of Simha on the four sides on the bhoomi desa level.

All the walls of the Durga temple are engraved from the top to the bottom, but many slabs have fallen from the walls and are now scattered here and there or are buried in the debris. The was renovated now and the wall are plain with out any pillars or pilasters.

The temple was built during Chozha period. The earliest record here belongs to Kulothunga-Chozha-I. Inscriptions are found on the Kumuda of adhisthana.  There are nearly fifty Tamil inscriptions in the four temples of Agara.

During the restoration of the temple, inscribed the four temples stones have been broken or chiselled out, several shelled have been displaced and some more left on the site in an condition, so that there is scarcely any epigraph at which is complete. One of the fragments temple mentioning the god, which may on palaeographical grounds be assigned to the close of the 10th  century, bears testimony to the antiquity of the temple. There are also other fragments recording grants to the by the Hoysala king temple by Vishnu Vardhana and the general Vishnu-dandadhipa.  

A 11th Century inscription records the gift of 5 panas for a sandhi lamp to goddess Durggayar.

Another 11th to 12th Century inscription records the endowment of a lamp by Tirunallulan Pichchan-devan.

Another inscription records the endowment of burning a perpetual lamp for which 3 gadayanas, by Madhusudan.

As per the Sthala purana, a king of the name of Vishnu Sharma, who, when on a visit to the place, was bitten by a cobra, got rid of the poison by his prayers to the deities Rameswara and Narasimha, and that thence forward the village became known as Agara ( free from gara or poison).

Since orukala pooja is conducted the closing and opening times are unpredictable.  

This place Agara is on the bus route Chamarajanagar to Kollegal. 31.2 KM from Chamarajanagar, 7 Km from Kollegal, 61.8 KM from Mysore and 147 KM from Bangalore.

LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE : CLICK HERE ( GPS Co-ordination   12.1178978,77.0732267 ).

REFERENCE : Mysore District Gazetteer

Inscriptions on the vrutha Kumuda

Simha vahana

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