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Lakkundi[1][2] in Gadag District (North Karnataka) of Karnataka is a tiny village on the way to Hampi (Hospet) from Hubli. Lakkundi 11 km from Gadag in the east. It is 14 km from Dambal and 25 km from Mahadeva Temple (Itagi).



Lakkundi, full of ruined temples[3] like Mallikarjuna, Virabhadra, Manikeshwara, Nanneshwara, Lakshminarayana, Someshwara, Nilakanteshwara and many more.

Lakkundi is a place of antiquarian interest with as many as 50 temples, 101 stepped wells (called Kalyani or Pushkarni) and 29 inscriptions, spread over the period of the later Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Seuna and the Hoysalas. A great center of Kalyani Chalukyas art, there are several temples of note here. Among them Kasivisvesvara temple, Lakkundi is the most ornate and elaborately furnished. There is also a Jain Temple dedicated to Mahavira, the largest and oldest shrines at Lakkundi. There is sculpture gallery (Museum) maintained by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).

Lakkundi also has a darga of Zindeshah Wali.


Core area of Western Chalukya architectural activity in modern Karnataka state, India Kirthimukha decoration at Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi A pierced window screen brings light into the mantapa at Manikesvara Temple in Lakkundi Nanneshwara Temple at Lakkundi

Lakkundi is known for the temple archietecture and Danachintamani Attimabbe (patronage for Kannada literature and Jainism).

Other name for Lakkundi was called as LokkiGundi[4] in the inscriptions.

Lakkundi was ruled by later Chalukyas, Kalachuris, Seuna and the Hoysalas.

The Chalukyas who wrested power from the Rashtrakutas (9th-10th centuries), made Kalyani their capital. Nothing remains of this city now. Most of the later Chalukya temples are preserved in Lakkundi,

The Jaina temple at Lakkundi near Gadag forms the next step in the improvement of Kalyani Chalukyas[5] style introducing a greater ornamental effect in the treatment of the surface.

In 12th century, the Kalyani Chalukyas style of architecture reaches its maturity and culmination. 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 are said to be a link between those of the early Chalukyas of Badami and the Hoysalas who succeeded them.


At Lakkundi 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.

Currently Lakkundi has about 50 temples of various stature and antiquity. Some of the temples of note are Halagunda Basavanna Temple, Laxmianarayana Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Manikeshwara Temple, Nadayadeva Temple, Nagaradeva Shrine, Neelakanteshwara Temple, Suryanarayana Shrine (of Sun God facing the Kashi Vishweshwara Temple ), Someshwara Temple, Virabhadara Temple, Vishwantha Temple, Virupaksha Temple. Most of them are dedicated to Lord Siva and his various aspects.

Gadag, the district center itself have a few attractive temples. Trikuteshwara Shiva temple is impressive with its intricately ornate pillars, screens of carved stones and friezes.


Attimabbe built a Jain temple at Lakkundi[6] to which the king (Satyasraya) provided a golden Kalasa.

Attimabbe, known as Danachintamani is a well known personality of the Kalyani Chalukyas period. She made 1000 copies of great poet Ponna's Santi purana and distributed as Sastradana.

The Brahma jinalaya was constructed by Attimabbe. Attimabbe wife of Nagadeva who was the chieftain and soldier of Chalukya King Ahavamalla and mother of Ahniga Masavadi who was ruling Lakkundi for some time.

Attimabbe sheltered the poet Ranna.


Lakkundi is also a treasure house of many important Inscriptions[7] (about 29).

Ajithanatha Purana the details of the construction of the Brahmajinalaya by Attimabbe and the donations.

  • The inscriptions of the Kalachuri King Sovideva (1173 A.D.) reveals the donation of gold to a Basadi by Gunanidi Keshava.
  • The important inscriptions of Kalyani Chalukyas Somashekara VI (1185 A.D.), reveals the donation for conducting Ashtavidharchana. And other 12th century period inscription mentions the donation of land to Tribhuvana tilaka Shantinatha. Also an inscription mentions the existence of Jain saints Mulasangha Devanga.


Lakkundi is known for the Chalukya style temples, stepped wells and historic inscriptions. Owing to its uniqueness, sometimes these temples are simply referred to as Kalyani Chalukyas Temples.

Lakkundi is often a gem missed by majority of tourists.[8] One take the trouble of making visit to Lakkundi is rewarded with one of the fine architectural feasts of the Kalyana Chalukya period (about 10 century CE).

Brahma Jinalaya (Basadi)

Jaina]] image in sanctum and door panel decoration at Jain Temple in Lakkundi

Chaturmukha, a four-faced Brahma image at Jain Temple in Lakkundi, 11th century CE

Brahmajinalaya stands as the testimony of the high rank in the Karnataka temple Archietecture.

Brahma Jainalaya was built by queen Attimabbe is the largest of many Jain temples in Lakkundi. This Basadi is dedicated to Mahavira, the most revered saint of Jainism.

This Basadi is perhaps one of the earliest examples of temples in this area built of a kind of fine textured chloritic schist as distinct from the hitherto used sandstone of this region. The new material, because of its less thick quarry sizes and tractability, reacted on the workmanship, with the result that the masonry courses became reduced in size and the carvings more delicate and highly finished. The temple, perhaps built in the latter half of the eleventh century, has a five-storeyed vimana, square on plan from the base to the sikhara, and had originally a closed square navaranga in front, though an open mandapawas added in front later on.

Basadi has a well fastened Mukha mantapa. and Open hall proped by central pillars decorated with beautiful carving. The Garbagudi holds the idol of Vardhamana Mahavira Tirthankara. The central bay of the navaranga is a larger square than the peripheral eight around it. The second storey, as in the Jaina temple at Pattadakal, is functional and has an antarala-mantapa in front over the vestibule of the lower storey. This raises the total height of the vimana considerably.

Kashivishvanatha Temple

Kashi Vishweshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is meticulous for its carvings on the towers and the doorways. The heavy circular pillars were made using some kind of lathe.

A great deal of care has gone into the construction of the Kashivishvanatha temple in Lakkundi which deifies Shiva. This temple has a unique feature: a small surya shrine faces the main shrine on the west. There is a common platform between both which must have been an open mandapa originally. Hence the Kashivishvanatha temple has an entrance on the east side and south side of the mandapa. The entrance doorway and the towers are covered with close intricate carving. The shikhara is in the North-Indian style and it looks like a lathe must have been used to make the complex circular pillars.

Nanneshwara Temple

Nanneshwara Temple at Lakkundi Nanneshwara Temple at Lakkundi

Nanneshwara Temple located to its north is worth a visit. This temple looks like a simple and small replica of the much elaborate Kashi Vishweshwara Temple. Probably the Nanneshwara Temple was built as a prototype before the grand Kashi Vishweshwara Temple was executed.

Stepped wells

Stepped well (muskin bhanvi) at the Manikesvara Temple in Lakkundi

Lakkundi is also noted for its step wells, artistically built with small canopied niches inside the walls of the wells enshrining lingas.

There are numerous ancient wells in Lakkundi, of which the Chateer Bavi, Kanne Bavi and Musukina Bavi are popular for their carvings architectural beauty. Most of the wells are carved with tiny Siva shrines in the form of niches into the walls.

Manikesvara Temple with Stepped Kalyani is one of the Tourist attractions of Lakkundi

At Lakkundi there is a stepped well of the Chalukya period next to the Manikeshwara temple.[9] On 3 sides of the Kalyani there are steps and The approach to the mandapa of the temples forms a bridge on the fourth side.

Weaving of Ambasi panje

Contrast bordered Lungi (Ambasi Phadiki Dhadi Panje) woven at Lakkundi,[10] the Dhoti (Lingi), daily wear woven with a contrast border using traditional motifs.


Once you get dropped at the Lakkundi bus stand, you can practically cover all the temples and other monuments on foot. Nevertheless you can hire a local taxi for better convenience.Kuknur. There are more than 15 Hindu and Jain temples in this town which was a prominent city a thousand years back.


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