Have you ever wondered what the Hoysala Architecture looks like? For many years, you may have been exploring famous Indian architectural styles such as Mughal, Dravidian ,Vijayanagara, etc. One of its unique kind of Indian-born style is the Hoysala architecture.
Let us delve into the examples of the impressive temples in the Belur region.
4 Indian-Born Style Hoysala Art Temple In Belur
Lakshmi Narayana Temple
The presiding deity of this temple is Channakeshava Swamy. Built in 1100 B.C.E., it appears that the time has not yet come for the restoration of this Trikuta temple. Because even though there have been two attempts in a span of thirty years so far, it has not been successful. It is still incomplete due to the negligence of government departments. Facing east in the centre of the town, the temple resembles the Lakshmi temple at Doddagadduvalli. This is a trikutachala temple. The main deity is Channakeshava.
The other two sanctum sanctorums have idols of Saraswati and Venugopala. The outer wall of the temple has simple vertical pillars and patterns of peaks. There is an incomplete idol of Sri Ramanuja in the temple premises.
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Hoysala Temple Series One of the strangest of the Hoysala structures is that of Kalyani of Hulikere village in Hassan district. As we analyze its structure, the principles of mystery unfold. To respect those principles, one must have at least some understanding of what it is saying. There are many calculations in astrology which have equation 3. There are many factors like 27 stars, 12 zodiac signs, 9 planets, etc. If you look at this Kalyani of Hulikere, there are many such things on the surface.
Though there are no pushkarinis near all the temples of the Hoysalas, there is no temple built by them in this Hulikere village, where there is only a big pushkarini. So it is interesting to see if Pushkarini was the temple. It would not be wrong to describe it as a submarine temple. Because on the four sides of this structure, below the ground level, there are a total of twenty-seven small shrine-like structures. Apart from the central entrance, there are a total of eleven large structures which appear to have all the features of temples. The remaining sixteen look like sub-sanctum sanctorums. In this ground-level temple complex, there may have been idols of deities in the sanctum sanctorum in the past. While the twelve temples do not indicate twelve signs, the twenty-seven existing structures correspond to the number of stars. All stars have gods, and all signs have symbols since time immemorial.
Similarly, if the forms of the navagrahas are taken into account and their presiding deity, the pratyadhi devata, it also indicates twenty-seven. A confluence of art and divine elements, this magnificent structure on the surface seems to be a decorative reservoir. But its purpose is not limited to that. With all these features, pushkarini does not even have the support of inscriptions. If pushkarini itself is so big, there is no temple to match it. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to call this pushkarini a temple complex.
The Kedareshwara Temple here is one of the unknown temples of Halebidu, comparable to the Hoysaleshwara Temple in terms of artistic beauty, which, though once ruined, has been reclaiming its past glory after repairs. The temple is situated amidst lush greenery near the lake if you move ahead from the basadi complex in Bastihalli. Due to lack of information, tourists do not visit this place and then regret it. The department has also not put up a signboard of the temples here. Though the Kedareshwar temple is not directly facing east, it is turned 15 degrees southeast. Western scholars such as Ferguson, Henry Cousins and Percy Brown have greatly appreciated its artistic expression.
The Kedareshwar temple looks like an octagonal structure on the surface, especially when its back is visible from the road. This structure resembles the rear structure of Kedareshwara and Channakeshava temples of Nagalapura. Standing in the front, it resembles the design of the temple at Somanathapura. Initially, it was a single kuta temple, but later two more temples were created to form trikuta. The reason why the beauty of this ruined temple, which may have once had a high peak, has not faded is because of its structure. Six strips are installed on the outer wall of the temple which is structured on a 5 feet high jagati/platform. It contains a series of traditional flowers, swans, scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The main attraction here is the Leelamurtis on the jangha section above it. The number is more than 188. Many of the sculptures here are located abroad. The name of Revoja, the founder of Balligave, appears in some of the sculptures. According to inscriptions, the builders of this temple were Ballala II and his queen Ketaladevi. The period of construction was 1219 A.D. It is mentioned in the inscriptions that it was built extensively based on the design of the Kedareshwara temple at Balligave. Though all the three sanctum sanctorums are now idolless, an alternate Shivalinga is placed in the main sanctum sanctorum and worshipped once a year. There are porches, sukhanasi and inner sanctions.
Interestingly, though it is a Saiva temple, there are many idols of avatars of Lord Vishnu. A collection of 24 Vishnu idols can be found here. Apart from these, there are vishnu sculptures of Vamana-Trivikrama, Varahamurthy, Lakshminarayana, Govardhanagiridhari, Venugopala, etc., as well as Nandivahana, Shiva and Parvati, Kankala Murti, Veerabhadra, Bhairava, Gajasura Samhara, etc. It is a matter of relief that this temple is protected under the Department of Archaeology.
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Parshvanatha Basadi Temple
There are three Jain basadis nearby, Adinatheswara (1138 A.D.), Shanthinatha (1192 A.D.) and Parshvanatheshvara, (1133 A.D.), The last one being the largest and is known to have been built by General Bopanna, son of Gangaraja. The Veerabhadra temple to the south-east of the town is another notable monument.
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