Gundlupete is a small town in the Chamarajanagar district, the southernmost district in the state of Karnataka in southern India. It is about 200 km from Bengaluru, the state capital of Karnataka, and about 60 km from Mysore (Mysuru). It is located close to the border states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The town earned its epithet as ‘the flower pot of Karnataka’ because the farmers in the taluq cultivate sunflower crops and marigold.
The town is also the taluq headquarters, which has traces of history related to Hoyasala dynasty and the Wodeyars (the Maharajas of Mysore) and a stunning scenery. The temples spread across the taluq reflect the architectural styles of Hoyasala, Dravidian and Vijayanagara. Kalale, 5 km from Nanjagud, in Gundlupete was once the capital of the Kalale chiefs associated with Mysore Maharajas of Mysore.
Gundluepete is located at an elevation of 816 m and the town, which is a municipality, has more than 26,000 residents, and one of the National Highways of India passes through it.
Gundlupete is the last town in Karnataka en route to Ooty, Wayanad, Kozhikhode (Calicut), and on the Mysore-Ooty and Mysore-Calicut National Highway 766 (NH-766). NH-766 connects Kozhikode in Kerala with Kollegal in Karnataka via Mysore. It stretches for 272 km, joins National Highway 948 at Kollegal, which connects Bengaluru and Coimbatore. NH 766 passes through dense forests of Western Ghats in southern India; a distance of 19.7 km through Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve and Wayanad wild life sanctuary.
National Highway 181 (NH-181) begins in Gundlupete in Karnataka and connects Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. It passes through Gudallur, Ooty and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
VARIANT NAMES OF GUNDLUPETE:
Guṇḍlupēṭe, ಗುಂಡ್ಲುಪೇಟೆ,グンドルペット, ഗുണ്ടൽപേട്ട്
Gundlupete is spelt and written as variedly as Gundalpete, Gundlupet, Gundulpet, Gundalpet, Gundlupete. It was formerly known as Vijayapura for there is a temple in the name Vijayanarayana.
Vijayanarayana Temple is located in the town and dates back to the 10th century rule of the Western Ganga Dynasty.
Western Ganga Dynasty: 350 – 1000 CE, also known as Western Gangas to distinguish from the Eastern Gangas of Kalinga – modern Odisha. There are many legends and myths about Western Gangas than historical evidence. Their regal capital was Kolar (Kuvalala, later Talakad in Mysore district).
Vijayanarayana Temple received continuous patronage from successor kings of Western Ganga Dynasty up to the 15th century (Vijayanagar period).
The temple’s rise to importance is attributed to the Hoysala Empire and to its famous king Vishnuvardhana, who was responsible for the consecration of the deity Vijayanarayana (a version of Lord Narayana or Vishnu). The temple consists of garbhagriha (sanctum), sukhanasi (vestibule), navaranga (closed hall for devotees to pray) and mandapa (open hall). The temple has architectural significance with its moldings, slender decorative pilasters, open mantapa with ornate pillars, row of yali pillars (warriors riding lions), sculptures of Anantha, Garuda and Hanuman the monkey god from the Hindu epic Ramayana.
An article published in Deccan Herald December 5, 2016 mentions: “Terakanambi, a town whose history dates back to sixth century. Here, Moolasthaneswara Temple is perhaps the earliest one that has been built in the Hoyasala style. The main temple is the Lakshmi Varadarajaswamy and is built in the Dravidian-style. It has some well executed granite pillars that feature some intricate relief carvings. The original carvings have been said to have been taken to the Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple in Mysuru by Krishnaraja Wadiyar III and it has been replaced by metallic images.”
“Terakanambi, about 19 km from Gundlupet, was the secondary capital of Ummathur chiefs. Literary figures such as Chukkupadhyaya, the famous court poet at Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja of Mysore, belonged to Therakanambi. Here, on top of an enchanting hillock, is the Prasanna Venkataramanaswamy Temple. Built in 1629 AD, the temple is designed in the Vijayanagara style. The temple has three cells in a row, with Padmavathi on the left and a metallic utsava murthi on the right. A panoramic view of the countryside from atop the hill, which is also called Vyaghrachala, is worth a look.”
Triyambakeshwara Temple in Vijayanagara style (2.5 km from Terakanambi, built between 1250 and 1350 AD, Bukka Raya II, a Vijayanagar king from Sangama Dynasty). According to an article published in Deccan Herald December 5, 2016, this temple complex has mahadwara (main entrance) that is similar to entrances built during the Vijayanagar period. “The 12.2 metre deepasthamba, opposite the main entrance, is the main attraction. There is a similar structure on the south. The temple consists of an ardha mantapa and a garba griha, built by the Hoysalas. The dance poses on the thick granite pillars in the spacious front Navaranga pavilion are worth a study. Triyambakeshwara’s consort Parvathi’s shrine is located adjacent to the main temple. The reflected sunlight, where Nandi faces Triyambakeshwara, brightens up the sanctum sanctorum.” There is a temple for Goddess Durgadevi where a local resident found tears coming from the right eye of Goddess Durgadevi
Lord Anjaneya in Abhaya Hastha (Hanchipura village, near Kallahalli: one of the 750 images erected by Vysaraja, the Rajaguru of Vijayanagar rulers in 1510 AD).
PLACES of interest nearby:
Himavad Gopalswamy hills (20 km), Bandipur National Park (24 km), Huluganamuradi Venkataraman betta (26 km), Paarvati Betta (10 km), Terakanabi and Triyambakpura temples (12 km), Narasamangala Shiva temple (7 km), Manchalli cave temple (12 km), Padaguru lingayth math, or Adavi Math Padagur (11 km), Yeriyur Bisilu Basappa Temple, and Shri Shasana Basaveshvara temple in Bommanahalli (22km), Lakshmikanthaswamy Temple (Dravidian style), Someshwara and Parvathi Temple at Parvathi Bhetta, (10 km: The belief is Shanumkha performed penance after killing demon Tarakasura) and the Vijayanaraya Temple.
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta: Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill is in the Bandipur National Park, which rises to a height of 1450m above sea level. From here one can see the marigold and sunflower fields of Gundlupete taluq.