''Dodda Basappa Temple'' at Dambal, an epitome of Western Chalukya temple architecture Karnataka.

12th CE Dodda Basappa temple, Dambal, KA commons.wikimedia.org

Dodda Basappa Temple (dedicated to Shiva) at Dambal, Karnataka has a unique 24-pointed, uninterrupted stellate (star-shaped), 7-tiered  Dravida  gopuram  (tower). The noted features of this 12th Century CE  temple  are besides  twenty-four pointed stellate plan of Vimana, reliefs on the walls of the temple -  in projections and recesses: Kirtimukha, Pilasters and Dravida style miniature towers (aedicule)

Chalukya style. Dodda Basappa temple, Dambal, KA.alamy.com

ornate stone pillar. Dodda Basappa temple at Dambalbl, KA .bl.uk

 Above image: The carved pillars in the south porch of the  12th century CE Dodda Basappa temple at Dambal,  Photo by taken by Henry Cousins in the 1880s. It is built on a stellar plan with many angled projections. The sanctuary covered by a multi-story roof has walls  decorated with pilasters and miniature temple towers in relief. The columns of the mandapa and of the sanctuary are similar to those of the Hoysala temples, polished and lathe-turned pillars. In the porch at the eastern end of the temple there is a stone Nandi which gives the temple its name..................................

Doddabasappa Temple,  a 12th-century Western Chalukyan architectural  splendor  in Dambal, Karnataka state is a popular destination for tourists interested in temple architecture.  Located at  Dambal 20 km  SE  Gadag city  in Koppal district, the temple is a good example of western chalukyan  temple design with reference to its exterior  ornamentation. 

 Dodda Basappa temple, Karnataka.  dreamstime.com

The presiding deity in the sanctum is God Shiva in the form of a linga.  The standard temple interior configuration includes a sanctum (cella),  a vestibule (antarala) and a main mantapa (also called navaranga or hall). The  sanctum is connected to the mantap through  the vestibule. The Chalukyan  temple designs  follow the tradition of Dravida style (of south India) with much emphasis on local elements.  A star shaped design  - stellate  design  obtained by rotating a square about its center is positively  a departure from basic Dradiva style. The temple has two doorways each with a porch, one facing south and the other facing east and in the court yard there is a  large recumbent  stone image of Nandi (bull) traditionally facing the main shrine where God Shiva is enshrined.

Gadag district, Karnataka. mapsofindia.com

This is the only temple in this state that has  24-pointed uninterrupted stellate (star-shaped) plan and  carved out of soapstone and the inspiration came from the stellate plans of  the Bhumija shrines of central India.  Here the temples have  32-pointed interrupted types.  The Dodda Basappa temple, is a rare exception. In the case of an 'interrupted' stellate plan, the stellate outline is interrupted by orthogonal (right-angle) projections in the cardinal directions,  imparting a star like points.  

The star projections are  found  right up the superstructure / gopuram or tower over the shrine — Shikhara),  No doubt, they offer a unique and  exotic look but in terms of strength  and rigidity, it is not as strong as the superstructure in square plan as in  conventional Dravida  style. The Dravida style tiers are not noticeable here

Lacking the elegance of the Kasivisvesvara Temple in Lakkundi the pillars are made in a complicated manner  .Quite interesting that there is a space over the  entrance to the shrine: it is  a decorative architrave with space for images (now missing) of the  Trinity Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  The God will  occupy the central position, depending on which god would be dedicated  - Vishnu or Shiva.

Dodda Basappa temple, Karnataka. Step-well, depositphotos.com

As for the garbagriha - sanctum, the entrance   carries  elaborate decorations on both sides with floral  designs  containing small  images of dancers, musicians and even a Mithuna couple (Gemini).

In the main mantapa (hall) there are fine decorations and one can see many gods' images from the Hindu pantheon such as Surya , Brahma, etc.God Brahma has 5 heads with his vahana  the goose,


Western Chalukya architecture, a brief note: 

Western Chalukya architecture, Karnataka. commons.wikimedia.org

Dodda Basappa Temple in Dambal, en.wikipedia.org/

Above image:  Twenty-four pointed stellate plan of vimana of Dodda Basappa Temple in Dambal, 12th century. Western Chalukya temple architecture. ..................

.Western Chalkya pillars in the temple. dreamstime.com

Western Chalukya architecture frequently referred to as Kalyani Chalukya or Later Chalukya architecture,  has a  distinctive style of ornamentation  that  was evolved during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire in the Tungabhadra region  (covering vast areas of the Deccan Plateau) of modern central Karnataka  during the 11th and 12th centuries. They also used lathe-turned stone pillars to support the roof of the halls (mantaps).  The  cultural and temple-building activates were at peak in the Tungabhadra region and it points out  their influence and opulence.  Here lies a large number of  medieval  numerous monuments forming  regional variants of pre-existing Dravida  style of  temple design; this local variants are called   Vesara or Karnata Dravida.  Chalukyan also built several decorative step wells in their region. Temples of all sizes built in  Chalukyan architecture (also called Gadag style)  to day bear testimony to their ingenuity and improvisation of  pre-existing architectural style.