MYSORE:The Archeology Department was unaware of the existence of an 800-yearold temple on the outskirts of the city.
The historical Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple at K Hemmanahalli was built by the Hoysalas around 1188 AD.
The temple housing rare sculptures, a Hoysala emblem, a Shivalinga and rare earthen pots was renovated in 1993.
It was reconstructed under the supervision of the trustees of Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple, with fund released by Dharmasthala Dharmadikari Veerendra Heggade.
Speaking to Express, temple secretary G N Anantha Vardhana said, “When the Muzrai Department was approached for the renovation of the temple, it refused and asked us to take care of it on our own.
It was then that we formed a trust, ‘Mahalingeshwara Seva Samiti’, and took up the renovation work.” He added that Devaraj Poornaiah Canal flowed under the temple.
A stone inscription with details of the temple, important events of the Hoysala period like the queen offering puja to the king before he left for the battlefield and sculptures of various gods and goddesses were also found during the excavation.
All discovered artifacts are exhibited in front of the temple.
But the villagers believe that the temple was older still.
Sage Bhagiratha apparently worshipped the Shivalinga in the temple before it came under the rule of the Hoysalas, they say.While renovating the temple, the authorities decided to extend the temple’s premises.
When contacted, Archaeology Department Director R Gopal acknowledged that the unearthed sculptures and artifacts were old but admitted he was unaware of the existence of the temple.
He added that he would visit the temple soon.