Kopeshwara Temple located near the Khidrapur village is considered as one of the masterpieces of temple architecture in Western India. The temple is built using rocks, and has some of the best carved pillars, panels and ceiling that makes it outstanding.
Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India.
Kopeshwar Temple is one of the masterpieces of Shilahara art dating back to the 12th century CE. The temple is in the enclosure near the Khidrapur village. The superstructure of the temple was entirely damaged and renovated by local villagers.
The temple plinth has elephants carved in the stone, and are shown as holding the temple on their back. These elephants are well-ornamented with jewellery. Several divine figures are shown as riders on these elephants. The walls of the temple have sculptures of the divine women; the smaller niches have images of various gods and protectors of all directions according to Hindu mythology.
The mandapa (hall) of the temple has three entrances, highly decorated with sculptural ornamentation. The hall has a half wall and rows of pillars resulting in the circular inner core. Each of these pillars is highly decorated with sculptures and artwork. Pillar brackets and pillar capitals are ornamented with divine images. The centre of the ceiling is circular with beautiful geometric patterns. This hall is called Swargamandapa, i.e. ‘Heavenly Hall’.
The main Mandapa is rectangular and has three entrances, one from circular Mandapa and two others from the temple courtyard. The hall has lattice windows carved in stone. The pillars inside are also ornamented similar to the ones in the circular hall. Each of the medallions in the temple is a unique piece of art with concentric circles and geometric patterns.
At the entrance of the sanctum, there are more or less life-size attendants carved in one stone. The sanctum is suncun, and a shivalinga (symbolic representation of the lord Shiva) is in the centre of the same. The temple is known for its intricate carving, graceful sculptures, majestic hall and delicate ornamentation.
Not far from the temple of Shiva exists another temple belonging to the Jain faith. This temple is dedicated to Jain Tirthankar Adinath. This temple is of more or less the same period as the Hindu temple, though smaller in size and little lesser in sculptural ornamentation on outer walls. The temple is affiliated with the Digambar tradition of Jains.
The superstructure of the temple was renovated in the recent past. The lower portion is the original from the 12th century CE. Ornamentation on the pillars and interior of the temple is equally stunning as of Kopeshwara temple. Both these temples are made of local black stone and are dry masonry structures.
This temple is around 75.1 KM from the city of Kolhapur, on the bank of river Krishna. It is on the borders of the state of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The region has a hot-semi arid climate year-round with an average temperature ranging from 19-33 degrees Celsius.
April and May are the hottest months in the region when the temperature reaches up to 42 degrees Celsius.
Winters are extreme, and the temperature can go as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night, but the average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius.
The annual rainfall in the region is around 763 mm.
Things to do
The temple at Khidrapur has beautiful architectural work. One can spend time seeing the intricate carvings on the temple made in stone.
Nearest tourist places
There are various places that one can visit near this temple.:
- Shalini Palace (62.2 KM)
- New Palace (60.9 KM)
- Rankala Lake (63.7 KM)
- Laxmi Vilas Palace (62.7 KM)
- Town Hall Museum (59.8 KM)
- Narsobawadi (17.5 KM)
Special food speciality and hotel
The local Maharashtrian cuisine includes pithala- bhakri, thecha, eggplant curry etc in vegetarian food and mutton, kolhapuri rice, pandhara and tambada rassa in non-veg speciality.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
Several hotels and lodges are available in this region.
Shiroli Police station is the nearest Police Station (23.1 KM).
Chougule Hospital is the nearest Hospital (30.3 KM)
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
- Tourists can visit this temple all around the year.
- The best time to visit this temple is from October to March as the climate is pleasant during this time.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi, Marathi