It’s a small village called Lakkundi situated in Gadag district of Northern Karnataka. As per the 2011 census, population of this village was less than 12,000. It’s a small village which many people even in Karnataka may not be aware of. However, of late it’s being mentioned more frequently than it used to be. Do you know why?
To put it in simple words, it’s the history and not the present situation that makes this place significant and rich. History pages suggest that Lakkundi was ruled by later Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Seuna and the Hoysalas who have left their indelible mark behind by way of innumerable stepwells, temples and many inscriptions. These monuments make Lakkundi a place of antiquarian interest.
Lakkundi has 50 temples, 101 stepwells and 29 inscriptions. There is sculpture gallery (Museum) maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Most of the temples here are in bad condition, partly due to invasions by outsiders in the past and mainly because of our utter disrespect to antiquities.
A close observation of the temples in Lakkundi displays a discipline that is maintained in their construction. All the temples are made of green schist and the outer walls and entrances are very richly decorated. The shikhara is an in-between-style type and the parapet and the artistic division of the wall with pilasters is typical of the south-Indian style.
Among the several temples in Lakkundi, Kasivisvesvara temple is the most ornate and elaborately furnished. There is also the Brahma Jinalaya, a Jain temple, the largest and oldest shrine. Kasivisvesvara temple, Lakkundi, Mallikarjuna at Kuruvatii and Mahadeva Temple (Itagi) are the finest examples produced by the later Chalukya architects. The architecture of the Kalyani Chalukyas of Kalyani is said to be a link between those of the early Chalukyas of Badami and the Hoysalas who succeeded them.
Archaeologists and historians believe that heritage of Lakkundi is comparable, in its antiquity and heritage wealth, to that of Hampi heritage sites. Now the state government is planning to develop Lakkundi as a heritage site. If that happens it will be a good news for the heritage lovers.