Hoysala architecture is a distinctive style of temple architecture that flourished in the region of Karnataka, India. During the 11thand 14th centuries, the rulers of Hoysala dynasty gave importance to art and architecture, especially for the temples. These temples are adorned with intricate and ornate designs, and exquisite carvings depicting various deities that narrate Hindu mythological tales preserving the heritage.
4 Significant Temples Of Hoysala Art In Belur
Dodda Gadduvalli Lakshmi temple Much of Hoysala temples are dedicated to Vishnu. As an exception, this temple dedicated to Lakshmi, concert of Vishnu. This temple built during 1114 has an effect of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Its quite natural, since this was built by businessmen couple of that State, by name Kalhana Raut and Sahajadevi.
They built this by the order of Vishnuvardhana, the then Hoysala king. This temple has four sanctum sanctorum with four shikhara on them. On the ceiling, Astadikpalakas with their concerts are seen and they are most beautiful. Hoysala emblem is seen on all four sides. As guardians, we can see giant statues in skeleton form. This temple being a combination of Shaiva and Vaishnava school of thoughts, a religious harmony is depicted by the works of famous sculptors namely, Malloja and Maniyoja. Along with statues of Durga, other statues of Lakshmi, Shiva, it is guessed that there must be statue of Narasimha in the empty sanctum. Kalabhiarava, an associate of Kali is also seen nearby.
Most of the Hoysala temples used to have a high raised compound wall around them. Due to encroachment and/or dilapidation, these walls must have been crumbled. But one such reference can be seen here in Doadda Gadduvalli, with a compound around the temple.
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Hoysala empire is remembered forever, for the two famous places at Beluru and Halebeedu, exclusively for their beautiful temples. Belur was once the capital of Hoysalas. Early name of this town was Velapuri. This is situated at a distance of 222kms from Bengaluru. Vishnu consecrated at this temple is popularly known as Soumya Keshava and Vijaya Narayana as well. From a distance, this temple looks like a chest of jewels, since it doesn’t have a tower on the top. Once it had a tower measuring 70’ high. Though construction of this temple started during the reign of Vishnuvardhana, it was completed during the period of Veera Ballala II. Apart from Soumya Keshava temple, there are other temples like Kappe Chennigaraya, Veera Narayana and Ranganayaki in the complex. (to be continued) Picture Credit : Prof. GIANLUIGI VEZOLI Born in Brescia ( Italy ) 10.10.
1950 Degree in Architecture, he taught Technic Education, History of Italian Art, support to Disabilitys Students in public schools. Scholar, teaching and learning of methodology in disorders disability, he was Member of the Superintendency Handicap Group in Brescia, and worked with Cooperatives, Universities, Rehabilitation Institutes. Already designer, actor and director in Theater was teacher, performing trainer, artistic director in Cultural Associations, Theater Companies and Universities of Performing Arts. Passionate about History of Arts, deals History of Indian Medioeval Architecture compared to Italian Art History. In this context, working with the University of Brescia (Departments of History Art and Theater ( Prof. M.Candida Toaldo) , University La Sapienza in Rome (Prof. Ciro Lo Muzio) and he’s in contact with Indian teachers of University of Dharwad (Prof. S. Padigar), Pune (Deccan College), Kadapah (Yogi Vemana University) where he gave lessons (lectures) in comparative History of Italian and Indian Art.
In Italy he’ s studying the sites of rock culture in Puglia and Basilicata regions, with particular regard to the medieval times, accompanies to the comparative study on Rock Cut Caves of Indian Architecture. For this theme in Italy he’ s in contact with Dr. Franco Dell’ Aquila ( collaborator of Archaeological Superintendence of Matera), Prof. Pina Belli D’Elia (University of Bari), Dr. Sergio Chiaffarata ( collaborator of Archaeological Superintendence of Bari) ecc. In Italy he has lectured on the comparison between rock dwellings of Italy and India.
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Hoysala Art & Architecture This peculiarly spelled village is near Halebeedu, on the outskirts of Dorasamudra of Hassan District in Karnataka. Once there were two temples and one is remaining now after renovation. It was a practice to build temples and dedicate them to the deity in their name, whenever kings, feudatories, army chiefs won war with neighbouring kingdoms.
Chattaiah, an army chief won a war. As a mark of gratitude he built a temple in the name of Chatteswara and renovated a water near tank this village. This temple houses three different deities namely, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu. Normally, consecration of Surya in Sanctum is rare. One such example can be found at Hirenallur, a small village in Chickmagalur District. Ceiling at Navaranga consists of simply carved Bhuvaneswaris. On the beams of Navarang, we can see many inscriptions relating to temple.
Outside walls are not much decorated. Since the design on the roof is also being very simple, it has been replaced with granite stones and the difference can be noticed easily.
The Nagareshwar temple is located near the Government College in Halebidu. At present, the surroundings of the temple are filled with vegetation and have turned into an open toilet. Had this temple been in full form today, it would have surpassed the Hoysaleshwara/Shantaleshwara temple in size and sculptural splendour. Unfortunately, this temple is completely ruined. Today, all you can see here is star-shaped jagati, broken ornate strips, scattered sculptures, etc. Fortunately, the archaeological department has preserved many of the sculptures lying here in a nearby museum.
The temple is said to have been destroyed in the invasions of Allauddin Khilji’s general Mallikafur and Tughlaq in 1310 and 1327. It was also hit by a leg and was further damaged. Even the palace that was nearby is no longer left. A lot of traces can be found if excavated. The parts of the same temple have been used for the construction of temples built elsewhere. People covered the temple complex with mud as the pujas were not held. The four-foot-high platform still has six- and seven-striped sculptures. There is a variety of stories from Capricorn, Ramayana, Mahabharata, vine, elephant, horse lines. Entrances have been created in the east, south and north. Looking at the temple complex here, it appears that the three main temples are adjacent to each other and a large entrance has been constructed in front of the central temple (see Google Maps image).
Halebidu, the capital of the Hoysalas, is surrounded by traces of a fort built with large stones. The fort used the present-day lake to encircle the Hoysaleshwara temple, pass through the Bennegudda side and protect the entire capital, including the Nagareshwara temple. The outer part is made of stone and the inner part is made of mud. There are batheries for every three hundred feet. According to experts, the Nagareshwar temple complex was a trading centre through which the main road went from west to east. The nearby Rudreswara temple has two lingas and idols of Veerabhadra. In the south-east of the city is the shula forest.
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