Nageswara temple complex, Begur, Karnataka built by Western Ganga Dynasty

Nageshvara temple,Begur,KA
 Contracted during the reign of the rule of Western Ganga Dynasty Kings Nitimarga I (also called Ereganga Neetimarga, r. 843-870) and Ereyappa Nitimarga II (also called Ereganga Neetimarga II, r. 907-921) the Nageshvara temple complex (two  shrines of Nageshvara and Nageshvarasvami), Begur, close to Bengaluru, Karnataka is popular one and lots of devotees visit this temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri  to get blessed by the primary god Shiva. The later additions were made by other dynasties like  the Chola, Hoysala Dynasty and Vijayanagara Empire at different times enriching the temple design.
1868 Nageshvara temple, Begur.KA

The main deity -Shiva Linga is enshrined in the square shaped sanctum / garbhagriha  which is connected to a  "great closed hall" (maha-mantapa or navaragna) through antarala- vestibule and this  takes you to the open hall (agra-mantapa). The open hall can be accessed via balustraded steps in the south-west and north-west corners.    and north-west corners.

Nageshvara temple, Begur. KA

The open hall the god's mount / vahana Nandi in sitting posture as in countless Shiva temples, facing the main shrine  and is placed on  padma-pitha -"lotus platform. The hall / matapam is not a big one and has many white granite pillars supporting the roof. Some are simple in design with fluted lower octagonal part.

The most attractive and fine artistic stone carvings of Western Ganga time can be seen on the ceiling of  the closed hall called navaranga. The note-worthy feature is the ashta-dik-palaka -consisting if intricately carved sculptures set in a square grids. The images include   which includes Uma-Maheshvara (the god Shiva with four arms) and his consort Parvati,  Mahishasuramardini (a form of the goddess Durga), a rare Ganesh with two arms, and the ubiquitous Kalabhairava (a form of Shiva) as in many Shiva temples. TOne can notice  carvings of creepers with ganas (mythological attendants of the god Shiva) in loops with lotuses (padma) on the vertical doorjamb and over it lies at the center of the lintel (lalata), an image of Gajalakshmi (a form of the goddess Lakshmi) with elephants on either side.

The Nageshvarasvami temple, also of  Western Ganga period has 

Small hall with Nandi (bull)

Above image:  Nageshvara temple complex, Begur, Karnataka.......... 

 a detached hall called mukha-mantapa  with just 8 pillars and it seves as the Nandi mantapa facing the sanctum in square plan.  The base of the entrance (dvara) has  niches on either side with mythological images of  river goddesses Ganga-Yamuna figures with attendant ladies highlighting the influence of  Chalukya-Rashtrakuta reign.,_Begur