Batte Vinayaka Temple is one of the oldest shrines of the district. This Temple attracts large number of devotees on Sankashtahara Chaturdashi, Ganesha Chowthi and other auspicious days relating to Lord Ganapathi. The idol of Lord Ganesha is probably the only deity facing towards north. But, wearing a small piece of cloth around its waist and bells and plaited hair, the idol of Lord Ganesha is slightly leaning towards the west.
Believed to be a construction prior to Barkur Kingdom, Batte Ganapathi Temple is being visited by drivers and vehicle owners. Barkur is famous for Temples (some devotees figure it as exactly 365) so that one can visit one Temple a day. But most of such Temples have been deteriorated due to lapse of time, poor maintenance, natural calamities and ignorance.
Temple priest B Ganapathi Bhat says, “Earlier, there was no question of locking the Temple. But, we have started locking the Temple since two years as a safety measure.”
Renowned researcher Dr Gururaj Bhat and a research team from Mangalore University has suggested preserving the five footsteps in front of the Temple even when renovating shrine. The Temple is being renovated at a cost Rs 20 lakh
Chowlikeri Temple, Barkur
Sri Bairagi Ganapathi Temple at Chowlikeri is one of the oldest Temples in Barkur having beautiful sculptures on stonewall and surface. Probably, it is the only Temple not being deteriorated due to seasonal changes. Since the Temple was constructed during Chola rule, the area was named as Chowlikeri. The Temple is identified as Bairagi Ganapathi Temple, as it was installed by a Bairagi (mendicant or monk). Now devotees recognise this shrine as Bhairavi Ganapathi Temple.
It is said that an elephant was taking bath in the pond in front of the Temple. The sound of a bell was heard twice a day from the Temple tower, which was an example for the supremacy of the sculptor. For everybody’s surprise, it was an automatic clock, banging once in the noon and again in the night. The sound could no longer be heard as the Tower lost its magical powers after it was met with an accident with a speeding truck.
According to Temple trustee Sri Vishwanath Bhat, the stone-made ancient Temple is potential of throwing some light on the history. Though it has no source of income, poojas are offered regularly by a Brahmin family residing near the Temple.
Rathnagarbha Ganapathi, Ranganakere
You find the ruins of Rathnagarbha Ganapathi Temple at Ranganakere, three kilometre away from Barkur towards Mandarthi. It is said that rulers of Barkur province constructed the Temple and a pond, popularly known as “Rathna Kere’.
On knowing the meaning of the saying- ‘Ee Oorina Odeyana Hiriya Magana Koralu Muridu Karulu Bagedu Nodu.’ (Cut the throat and break open the stomach of the elder son (Ganapathi) of the Lord of this village -Shiva)- a wicked person cut the throat and break open the stomach of the idol Lord Ganapathi and robbed valuable jewels and diamonds, which were kept inside the idol. Leaving the shattered pieces of the idol on the ground, the thief flew away with the ornaments.
As the jewels were stored inside the idol, the deity is regarded as ‘Rathnagarbha Ganapathi’. We can also find the ruins of Sri Channa Keshava Temple here, but the miscreants have destroyed the sanctum sanctorum in search of the hoard (Nidhi). The Temple well has also been turned into garbage. People of Heradi village near Barkur have come forward for renovating the Temple.