Temple interiors and the sanctum

The temple has a boundary wall adorned with unique equally-spaced circular carvings, which have survived in their original state.

The shrine

The temple is an ekakuta temple (having a single shrine) dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Shivalinga, the idol of Lord Shiva, was brought to Amruthapura from the River Gandaki in Nepal. This Shiva Linga is believed to be an embodiment of the holy Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara.

Facing the sactum is an idol of Nandi, the bull who is Lord Shiva's mount.

Next to the Amruteshwara temple is the temple dedicated to Goddess Sharada Devi. Though it is customary to have Goddess Parvathi in the premises of a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, here we see Goddess Saraswathi (Sharada). The reason behind this, according to oral history, is that the Shivalinga here an embodiment of Trimurthis - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Hence, the consorts of any of the three Gods could be placed in the temple. Thus, Sharadadevi, the consort of Lord Brahma is established here. Sharadadevi or Saraswathi is the Goddess of knowledge and learning.

The perennial lamp - Nanda-Deepa

An interesting feature of the Temple is that a lamp inside the temple has been burning for the past 200 years. It consumes almost a litre of oil daily and the wick is replaced weekly. It is called the Nanda-Deepa - lamp that is lit forever before the deity.

There are other idols of the deities inside the sanctum.

Murtis (idols) adorn the interiors of the garbhgriha (sanctum)

Mantapa, the hall

The temple is medium-sized with two mantapas or halls, an open hall and a closed one. The open hall has twenty-nine bays and the closed hall has nine bays. There is a side porch that leads to a separate shrine on the south side.

*Bay, in architecture, is space between between two adjacent supports. In this case, bays are the spaces between columns.

The open mantapa with its unique black pillars

The rows of polished lathe-turned black pillars that support the ceiling of the mantapa is a Hoysala-Chalukya decorative idiom and an outstanding feature of the temple.

One intriguing fact is that till date no one actually knows the technology which was used to make the perfectly circular pillars since machines supposedly did not exist in that era.

Vimana, the tower above the shrine

The shrine is square in shape and has its original Vimana (tower over the sanctum), which is a seven story structure consisting of seven rows of indented square-shaped kirtimukhas (demon faces that symbolically protect the structure) with miniature decorative towers (aediculae). In each of these kirtimukhas are placed a form of Lord Rudra. The original stone kalasha (water pot at the top of the tower) is missing and it has been replaced with a metal kalasha.

The ornate panel on the roof of the temple.

The exquisite workmanship of a roof panel in the temple