Hooli - Temples & Temples


Hooli is a small village, about 10kms north-east of Saundatti, a major pilgrimage centre. The village is quite small, flanked by a small rising hill on the north and the Hooli lake on the east. The top of the hill has the small Hooli fort, while the rise of the hill has about 15 temples scattered throughout.

The Hooli village, along with the lake, temples and mobile towers ...
... as seen from the upper group of temples 

The major temple of Hooli - the Panchlingeshwar Temple - is maintained by the ASI, and has a small museum attached. The rest of the temples are at best partially dilapidated and are used by the locals as regular hang-outs. I've divided the temples as lower, middle and upper group according to their position on the rise of the hill for convenience.


Getting In And Around

Hooli is located 10km north-east of Saundatti. The connecting road is not in the best of conditions and is serviced by local buses and tum-tums. Once in Hooli, the Panchlingeshwar temple is close by, inside the main settlement. The rest of the temples are located outside the main village on a path that leads up the hill. The Hooli fort is located towards the west and has an approach of its own.

Hooli on the map

A shepherd's pen on the way to the temples


The Panchlingeshwar Temple

This is the main temple of interest in Hooli. The architecture resembles that of the Kalyani Chalukyas, though lacks in intricacy. True to the name, the temple has five shiv-lingas in their individual compartments inside the main sanctum. A makeshift museum maintained by the ASI houses some aretefacts found in the temples of Hooli. Photography is prohibited inside the sanctum and the museum.

The Panchlingeshwar Temple

The inner pillars of the Panchlingeshwar temple 

The spire of the Panchlingeshwar Temple


Lower Temples Of Hooli

The lower group of temples are located close to the Hooli lake (more like a pond). This probably includes Kallameshwar and Banashankari temples, but lack of signage and/or other identifiers makes it difficult to pinpoint. The approach is along the stream - Sivakashi - that feeds the lake.

 This temple looks rather sad ...

An upgraded and modernised stepwell ...

Probably the Kallameshwar Temple ... partially restored

 As seen from the rear

 The original doorframe

 Some temples on the other side of the lake too

 Another temple in the lower group

 The stark pillars of the dilapidated temple v/s a partially restored temple

 The entrance of the dilapidated temple


The Middle Group Of Temples

The middle group of temples are packed together in a common compound. The temple-fronts are white-washed to uniformity and are used by the local men as a den for playing cards.

The entrance to the compound

 A temple with Hooli Fort in the background

 A random temple

 Locals playing cards ...

The Upper Group Of Temples

The upper group is located uphill from the middle group, approached through a shepherd's trail. The main temple here is the Tarkeshwara Temple, with other ruins scattered about. Here again we found a few local men loitering. The stench of bats at the Tarkeshwara Temple was overpowering.

A ruined pillared temple

Some more ruins in the upper group

A ruined temple next to the Tarkeshwara Temple

The inside of the Tarkeshwara Temple - cue overpowering bat stench

The Tarkeshwara Temple ... and local men loitering


Signing Off

Hooli is an ancient village. Much here has been lost over the years - tales of burglary and treasure hunts in the old temples are very commonly told by the locals. Much remains to be conserved too, though. Some effort is being made by the ASI, but its still a long way off.

I'm hoping the best for the future of this place. Responsible tourism can be a good boost to this small village. Happy traveling!


Other Places on the Karnataka Chalukyan Trail

Lakkundi || Gadag || Badami (Monuments and Caves) || Aihole || Pattadakal


© © KP On The Go!


  1. Chalukyas built 101 temples and step Wells here of which only few remain today. Nicely penned.

    1. There's some conservation effort underway. Hope to see some more restored.


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