8th October 2011
Hooli is a small village in Belagavi district which is about 10km from the religious place of Savadatti. It was once a great place of learning and art. It was a site of nearly 100 Temples!! That is history. Most of these Temples were looted, destroyed or neglected. All that remains now is Panchalingeshwara Temple which is well maintained by ASI. All other Temples are in ruins.
The Panchalingeshwara Temple was a welcome respite in the dusty village of Hooli. As mentioned earlier, it is well maintained Temple complex. As the name suggests, the Tempe has five garba gruhas.
The Temple complex also has a sort of museum where the sculptures restored are kept for public viewing.
The gate keeper of the Temple seemed to be knowledgeable about the history of Hooli. He gave a good description of the Temple and also listed other Temples and places to see. On hearing it, we felt that it was not a good idea to just plan little less than an hour for Hooli. Anyway, weather was hot and we were extremely hungry. I was tempted to visit few of the ruined Temples that were spread across the base of a mountain. But he mentioned that there is nothing to see there and “you have to close your nose” to reach those Temples at the base of the hill.
So, we went to the lake from which we could see a lot of Temples in ruins. Looking at the glory of Panchalingeshwara Temple, this place would have been one of the great historical site if all other Temples were intact (or restored).
There is also a fort near Hooli. But sadly we had not planned for it and the heat and hunger was taking a toll on us. So, we did not visit them. Hooli is a little known place but definitely worth a visit for its Temples.