Kopeshwar Temple (12 CE) in Kolhapur district - here God Vishnu acts as a pacifier of God Shiva

Kopeshwar temple,Kolhapur dist.  MH tripadvisorin

Kopeshwar Temple, a  12th century Shiva temple on the banks of Krishna river in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra bordering the Karnataka state is a richly ornamental temple.  It has neither  lost its  architectural splendor  and beauty nor   its aura despite the passage of time.

Elephants at the base, Kopeswar temple, MH 123rf.com

Kopeshwar Temple  was built by Shilahara (Shelara) rulers who were  followers of Jainism. and were  vessels of Chalukya rulers.   King Gandaraditya who had  built it between 1109 and 1178 CE dedicated this temple  to God Shiva. He is known here a Kopeshwar meaning angry Shiva or Shiva in rage. Some historians say the temple came up in the 7th CE during the reign of Badami Chalukyas. 

Kopeshwar temple,Kolhapur dist.  MHnewsbharati.com

This  simple temple complex had four parts --  Swargamandapa, Sabhamandapa, Antaral kaksha and Garbhagriha. The unique feature of this temple is there are two moolavars - main gods  enshrined in the conical shaped sanctum;  the one is that of Kopeshwar, the other being Sri Vishnu as Dopeshwar.  Here Vishnu plays the role of a pacifier of God Shiva who had been in rage over the loss of his consort- Sati.  Both idols in the garbagriha face north direction.

Kopeswar temple, exterior stone carvings, MHw.123rf.com

The Swargamandapa  that has a  vestibule with an open top is richly ornate.  The ceiling is semi-circular with matchless engravings. Old ornamental pillars, carvings of gods and male and female artists in various poses,  the semicircular ceiling with intricate carvings are breath-taking.  The exterior has fascinating  carvings of deities and some animal figures like Elephant bear the weight of the temple at the base. 

Here the Shiva's anger was over Daksh, father of Sati and father in law of Shiva, Sati made a futile attempt to get Daksh invite God Shiva. In anger and mental agony, sati jumped into the Yaha kundam and killed herself over her father's ego. Infuriated Shiva killed Dhaksha for his ego and arrogance and was in rage over the loss of his consort. According to the Purana- myology, Vishnu brought infuriated Shiva to this place to calm him down. Hence Shiva is called  Kopeshwar (wrathful god) and God Vishnu is in the form of a linga.  There is no Nandi in this temple