The Mallikarjuna temple is situated in Basaralu, in Mandya district, Karnataka. Basaralu is about 17km from Nagamangala and 65 km from Mysore. The temple was built by Harihara Dhannayaka around 1234 A.D. during the rule of the Hoysala Empire King Vira Narasimha II. This temple is protected as a monument of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The temple is constructed on a raised platform. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva The temple is east-facing. It consists of a mandapa, navaranga and antarala. The temple is constructed in the trikuta-chala style, consisting of three sanctums. Only the main sanctum, in the west, is provided with antarala, the rest directly opens into the common mandapa. The central ceiling of this mandapa has ashta-dikpalas. This main sanctum is adorned with towers and antarala, the others are devoid of towers. Due to this the temple, from the outside, does not give an appearance of a trikuta structure.
This temple has several unique features of the Hoysala period architecture. It has double eaves, external walls embroidered with many images, and rows of bands on the adhishthana. There are six rows of bands consisting of a mural of elephants with human figures in between them, a panel of horse-riders, a mural of lions, Puranic and Epic scenes, a mural of makaras with kirti-mukhas, and a panel of swans. The mural of Puranic and Epic scenes illustrates various stories from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavata Purana. The story of Prahalada is portrayed elaborately in one of the carvings.