A Nostalgic trip to Hoysala Temples

I went on a Heritage tour to Hassan district, Karnataka to explore and study the Hoysala temples and it’s architecture in the beginning of the month. I was accompanied by some of my good friends Dr.Praveen, Dr.Girish & Dr.Vamsi mohan. This post is just an introductory post of few important Hoysala temples. I will be writing more in detail about these temples in my coming posts.

Sala fighting the Lion, the emblem of Hoysala Empire ..

Sala fighting the Lion, the emblem of Hoysala Empire ..

The finest expression of the artistic consciousness of humankind is what you see in the temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur in Karnataka.

How many years did this romance between chisel and the stone take to produce these rhapsodies in sculpture?

What provoked them to do extreme hard work in creating such marvels?

What motivation made them to create such art?

How did Hoysalas aesthetic sense found such beautiful art?

How did beauty find so many manifestations?

These are the questions that raised in my mind while wandering around these jewels in Hassan district which sprang from the kingdom of Hoysalas…These temples go beyond the limits and speak volumes, about it’s culture, civilization and most importantly its relentless pursuit of perfection.

Keshava Temple, Somnathpur:

This temple was built by Somanatha, a general of Hoysala Narasimha III funded by the king. It was completed in 1269. Somnathpur is just 36 kms from Mysore.

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (10)

Profile of Keshava temple, Somnathpur

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (7)

The experience of seeing these jewels is unparalleled..

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (2)

Visiting these temples was a wondrous experience I say..

Chennakeshava temple, Somnathpur (3)

This one proves that “Art & Architecture has no death”

Chennakesava Temple, Belur:

Belur was an early Hoysala capital in Hassan district. This temple was built in 12th century by the king Vishnuvardhana.   Belur is 220kms away from Bangalore.

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (23)

Main shrine of Kesava known as Vijaya Narayana & Gopura as a backdrop.

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (14)

Entrance of the Chennakesava temple

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (16)

Exquisite sculptures with a backdrop of entrance Gopura

Chennakeshava temple, Belur (21)

Total recall of the history..

Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebid:

Halebid was the original capital of Hoysalas. Hoysaleswara Temple was built by Ketamalla, an officer of King Vishnuvardhana. The construction was started around 1120 CE and completed in 1150 CE. This temple is older than Chennakesava temple, Belur. Halebid is 16kms from Belur and 150 kms from Mysore.

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (2)

Entrance of the Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (1)

The temple’s walls are replete with the most richly sculpted friezes. There are scene from the epics , the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Bhaghavata.

The Finest works of Human hand and Mind..

The Finest works of Human hand and Mind..

Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid (4)

The middle row is inscribed by a mythical creature called Yali. Which is a combination of 7 Animal body parts Lion legs, Crocodile Mouth, Peacock Tail, Monkey Eyes, Pigs Stomach, Cow have, Elephant body

Stay tuned to know more about these Marvels…!! 😉

38 thoughts on “A Nostalgic trip to Hoysala Temples

  1. The stonework is absolutely exquisite and is coupled with magnificent architectural forms. There were brilliant, inspired people back then. I wasn’t familiar at all with this work and am amazed at the scale and scope. Really breathtaking.

  2. Truly, truly awesome! Thank you for including me on this great journey of yours. I am truly amazed at what your minds eye has been able to take in and send out to the rest of the world. May God bless you abundantly on your journey through these many great walls of faith. Thank you also for following what we are doing here at the VABWM. Please click here and receive my welcome message.

  3. Belur and Halebidu, words are not enough to describe the beauty of these two temples, every time we visit these temples, the same question seem to boggle our minds, how did they do it? Amazing photography and description !

  4. Great post with basic details. Looking forward to the detailed posts. Thanks for liking my post in my blog. Will follow ur work. Did u visit Belavadi temple also? Not as exquisite as Belur or Halebedu but their Krishna statue is world famous if I am not mistaken.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate that.. No I haven’t been to Belavadi temple. I still have lot more to cover in Hassan district. I’ll do it when I get a chance to visit them again.. Good night! 🙂

  5. Thankyou for an amazing journey this morning , I appreciate the historical explanations , I’m overwhelmed at the beauty of these temples ! Blessings of love xxxmeg

  6. This is really fascinating!Sala fought tiger,not lion maybe.Sala was young boy and when he was with his teacher at temple,a tiger approached them and teacher said “poy sala” which means “strike sala”.Later on Sala used those words to name his kingdom “Hoysala”.Another interpretation is that it shows victory of Vishnuvardhana over Cholas,tiger depicts Chola dynasty.I just wonder about Yali in the middle row there!There must be some importance to it which I don’t know🙂.

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