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The Incredible Architecture That Is The Pride Of Karnataka – Explore Now!

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 mythological tales preserving the heritage.

4 Significant Temples Of Hoysala Art In Karnataka

Rameshwara Temple

At the confluence of the river is the Rameshwara temple built by the Hoysalas. Apart from the existing temple, there are indications that there was another temple in the same premises. It has now been destroyed and only a few traces remain. Being under the protection of the Archaeological Department, the maintenance of the temple is easy as it is also a religious place. The Rameshwara Temple in Kudali is simple to look at, beautiful and small in size. It is in good condition due to good management. The history of Kudali shows the rule and influence of many dynasties. Kadambas of Banavasi, Chalukyas of Badami, Chalukyas of Kalyana, Rashtrakutas, Chutu Satavahanas, etc., have a history dating back to the third century.

The vijayanagara kings also seem to have revived the temples here. It is possible that many stone monuments were buried in the ground as the area has not been excavated. Because this becomes evident when one looks at the collection of sculptures found in the premises of this temple. It contains two Bhairava sculptures indicating that there may have been a Bhairava temple there. It contains an idol that appears to have been created by a sculptor with an early introduction to a sculpture. The other one is preserved in the Rameswaram temple. The Rameshwara temple, which is facing east, does not have a high verandah. The Hoysala emblem is placed on a very simple structure, vesara style, uncorrelated peak. There are linear structures on the outer wall of the temple. There are entrances from north, south and east and there are navaranga, garbhagriha and kiru mukha mantapas. There are two devakoshthas next to the sanctum sanctorum. There are no idols in it now. There is an inscription on the threshold of the mukhamantapa next to the Navaranga. The mandala of the ashtadikpalas at the top appears to be incomplete.

The Chintamani Narasimha Swamy Temple, located close to this temple, was renovated during the Vijayanagara period as it was a Hoysala structure and the next mantapa was constructedraised. The mortar idols are still in good condition. In lalatabimba, the Jain idol is seen in a meditative state. Whether it was a basadi and later became a Narasimha temple requires investigation. The walls have been whitewashed for many years and their original form has been destroyed. The temple premises have been converted into a mini garden and many idols have been stored. The details are beautifully shown in the hero stones found in them.

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Rameshwara temple in shivamogga

Soumyakeshava Temple

The 12th century Soumyakeshava temple at Nagamangala in Mandya district, located at a distance of 105 km from Mysuru, has a mythological touch. It is in the battle of Arjuna and his son Babhruvahana that Arjuna dies. It is believed that Babhruvahana went to the underworld and was brought back from there with the nagamani brought from there, as evidenced by the well in the premises of the Narasimha temple. But historically, it was an agrahara. The temple is historically significant as it is associated with many royal families. Similarly, its influence is evident in the sculpture and temple repair work that took place at different times.

History has it that the dynasties that ruled this town included the Gangas, the Vijayanagara and Mysore kings and later the British. This is the reason why we are able to remain in good condition even today without being ignored by the people. This is a trikuta temple. It is named Soumya Keshava because of the smiling gentleness of the presiding deity Keshava. Venugopala’s temple is situated on the southern side of the 10-feet-tall Soumyakeshava, who is wearing a conch, chakra, gada and padmadhari, while narasimha is residing in the northern temple. Like the Hoysala temples, there is a Soumyakeshava temple on a star-shaped verandah. The main features of the temples are the garbhagriha, sukanasi, navaranga, mukhamantapa structure. The outer wall of the temple is made up of very simple linear pillars. The fact that the mortar peak built on top of the sanctum sanctorum is designed to match the wall has not spoiled its beauty. From the very beginning, one can see a huge temple and garudagamba from the main entrance and the temple of Ganapati.

The tall prakara is reminiscent of the temples of Tamil Nadu. The nose-like structure of a banana flower in Bhuvaneswari is attractive. It is believed that the sculpture of Nagabandha, which is built around it, removes the serpent dosha. The structure on some of the pillars of the Vijayanagara period is attractive. They have been whitewashed and defaced. There are small shrines for Soumyanayaki and other deities in the temple premises. Idols with good sculpture can be seen in some of the pillars. While many Hoysala temples are in a state of disrepair and no worship, pujas are still going on here even today. The lamp post next to the temple, which is about 60 feet high, is a vijayanagara period structure. 

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Soumyakeshava temple in Nagamangala

Lakshminarayana Temple

In Shivamogga, the Hoysala structures of Sri Lakshminarayana Temple and the Anjaneya Temple in Fort have undergone a marked change. But the Sri Narasimha Temple at Bhadravathi is located in the old city part and the rituals are still going on as usual. Standing on a high verandah, the temple has the same design up to the star-shaped circumambulation path and peak. Idols of elephants were installed in the corners of the verandah. Now they are missing and only a few remain. The repair, which was covered with mortar as the peaks were dilapidated, appears to have worn a hat when viewed from a distance. The temple is not much deformed as it has done so in terms of protection.

A tall stone inscription is placed on the outer wall. The letters on it cannot be read as they are worn out. Built in the 13th century by Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veeranarasimha, this temple would have been as beautiful as the temple at Nuggehalli if it had not been destroyed. It is still a valuable structure in terms of the accuracy found in its structural design and the collection of sculptures. The exterior wall decoration rests on the design of the six strips. The outer wall of the temple is divided into two parts, Jangha and Punarjangha. The list at the point where the two meet is called Koota Chadya. One approach may be to find different sculptures elsewhere as an estimate and then install them in appropriate places.

As shown in the temple of Bhadravathi, the technique of first assembling the stones to be carved in a designated place and then making them into intended idols has been adopted. That is why the leela murtis found in the Jangha area range from the stones fitted for carving, to the half-made, incomplete sculptures and fully carved idols. This may have been due to various reasons such as lack of sculptors of those days, financial difficulties, time constraints, etc. But if you can enjoy seeing as many sculptures as you have, they too have been destroyed by the shock of time. Sculptures of various musical instruments, playing instruments, dancing, and a quarter feet tall abound. Apart from the idols depicting various forms of Vishnu, there are also idols of Bhairava, Saraswati, Mahishamardini, magicians and vishkanyas dressed in robes. Below one of the sculptures there is a mention of the name of a sculptor named Maba.

The temple peak designs found at Punarjangha and the pillars with many angles continue up to Chadya. Chadya means that this part, which appears to be a lid at the point where the peak begins and the reunion ends, is decorated with gubat-like structures. Since the peak is also a continuation of the lower angles, neither the fame faces nor the various idols are visible. The sanctum sanctorum inside the temple has beautiful idols of Lakshmi Narasimha on the west, Sthanaka Purushottama on the north and Venugopala on the south. Apart from this, there are idols of Ganapati and Saraswati in the navaranga premises. Since the temple is located in the city area, if the premises are kept more clean and arrangements are made to make the surroundings look green, the beauty of the temple will increase.

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Lakshminarayana temple in bhadravati

Madhavaraya Temple

The two main temples here are madhavaraya and sindeshwara temples. These may have been constructed during the period 1271-84. Peruma, the commander of Narasimha III, seems to have been a philanthropist from his actions. Inscriptions mention that he not only built the Agrahara but also made arrangements for the study of the Vedas. If you read this inscription, you will get a picture of the religious system of the time, the management of its finances and the materials used. It is recorded that financial arrangements have been made for all the arrangements required for the daily activities of the deity, such as amritapadi, rice, sesame oil, sesame powder, panchamrita, spices like cardamom, flakes,, chhatra, chamara, etc., on special festival days.

There Were Days When Many Of The Temples That Were Being Ruined Today Were Glorified. None of them may be visible today. But in these temples, which were nurtured as part of the culture, the beauty of Hoysala art has not yet faded. If they are preserved, their history will be known to the people for centuries to come. Jain abodes are also found. The Adi Madhavaraya temple stands on a verandah with five stripes. It was built between 1269 and 1284, according to inscriptions. It has halls connecting the inner and trikutas. The Soumyanayaki and Vasanthanayaki temples in front of it were later built during the Vijayanagara period. Tritala is a Trikuta temple with a Dravidian style peak of stupis. Though the same peak is visible on the surface, the peaks may have been destroyed for the other two sanctum sanctorums. The idol of Lord Vishnu in the main sanctum sanctorum facing east has the form of Madhava. According to those features, the right hand has a chakra and a mace, while in the left hand there is a abhayamudra with a conch shell and padma.

The main sanctum sanctorum is a unique structure with 32 corners. One of the 24 forms of Lord Vishnu, the idol is five feet tall and has carvings of Dasavatara in Prabhavali. In the sanctum sanctorum of the south, there is an idol of Venugopala and in the sanctum sanctorum of the north, there is an idol of Varadarajaswamy. Dasavatara is also installed in the prabhavali of this idol. Another special feature is that just as the original idol belongs to Madhava, the utsava murti has the characteristics of Keshava. On the outer wall there is only a depiction of the pillars. The navaranga in the interior has 9 columns. The design of the vitanas there is amazing. The six-column porch is also attractive. Though the temple has been renovated, due to lack of proper maintenance, vegetation has grown on the peak. Jagati’s stones have fallen down.

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Madhavaraya temple in nagamangala

Also Read;

Four Stunning Temples In Channarayapattana, Karnataka You’ve Never Heard Of! (thearchspace.com)

Exploring The Hoysala Art Temples In Belur, Karnataka (thearchspace.com)

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