Kopeshwar Temple is at Khidrapur, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. It is at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka It is also accessible from Sangli as well. It was built in the 12th century by Shilahara king Gandaraditya between 1109 and 1178 CE. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is to the east of Kolhapur, ancient & artistic on the bank of the Krishna river.
Apart from the legend, the name might have originated from the ancient name of the town, which was "Koppam". The town witnessed two major battles. The first one took place in 1058 CE between Chalukya king Ahavamalla and Chola king Rajendra. The Chola king Rajadhiraja was killed during the battle, and coronation of second king, Rajendra Chola took place right on the battlefield.
The second battle took place between Shilahara king Bhoj-II and Devagiri Yadav king Singhan-II, during which king Bhoj-II was captured by Yadavas and was kept captive on the fort of Panhala. This event is recorded in the 1213 CE inscription near the south entrance of the temple. This battle brought rule of Kolhapur branch of Shilaharas to end.
There are about a dozen inscriptions on the inside and outside of this temple, out of which only a couple of inscriptions are in good condition now. These inscriptions reveal names of few kings and their officers. All these inscriptions except one are in Kannada language and script. The only Devanagari inscription in Sanskrit language is by Singhan-II and is located on the outer wall near South entrance of the temple.
Architecturally, so as per Shilpa Shastra, this is probably the richest temple of Maharashtra.
The stone used in this temple is hard basalt rock, that is found in the Sahyadri range of mountains, the closest point being at 60 km away. So, the stone must have been ported here via Panch Ganga and Krishna rivers. Most of our rivers had good waterways once upon a time.
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