story goes that the Hoyasalas, the rulers of this region were staunch supporters
of Jainism which came along with Candragupta Maurya, as early as in the 3rd
Century BC, and got entrenched itself with headquarters at Sravanabelagola - the
seat of Bhadrabahu, the renowned teacher of Chandra Gupta. It spread rapidly in
this region under the patronage of powerful monarchs of Kadamba dynasty first,
valorous Gangas and Kongalvas. Later Hoyasalas who rose to power and held it for
more than four centuries from tenth century were Jains in the beginning. Their
religious toleration was worthy of emulation. The versatile Santala Devi, the
queen - consort of Bittideva, the illustrious Hovasla king confessed -
"Vishnu is the God, of course, but I am fond of adoring Lord Jina = Vishnu
Daivam, Jinanatham tanagendu aptam". What transpired between Bittideva and
Ramanuja, when they met first at Tonnur, near Melkote records are silent, but
the impact is tremendous, more on religion than on anything else. Slowly the
Jain patron found himself drifting towards Vaishnavism. It was at this moment.
he chanced to visit the Mahalakshmi temple at Doddagaddahalli in Hassan
district, built by a merchant. Its architectural splendor exuding sculptural
profusion deliberately employed to play a predominant role touched his heart and
moved him most. And it became a turning point in his life. His faith in Jainism
shaken due to the contact of the Acharya slowly solidified into dynamic
Vaishnavism. Soon he launched the construction programme on a scale gigantic,
and vigor unheard of. That observation and belief ended in emancipation of
pancharamas to a certain degree. So hats of. Hasn't haste won laurels in this case?
The temple lies in Belur, accessible by four wheelers from Hassan Karnataka.