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Hoysaleswara Temple

Hoysaleshwara Temple is a magnificent Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The town is located in Halebidu (or Halebid) in the Hassan district of Karnataka, India. The temple is famous for its rich Hoysala architecture, intricate carvings, and elaborate sculptures. Here are some facts about Hoysaleswara Temple:

Location :

The Hoysaleshwara Temple is located in Halebidu, the ancient capital of the Hoysala Kingdom. It is located about 30 km east of Hassan and about 150 km west of Bangalore.

Construction Period :

The temple was built in the 12th century, during the Hoysala rule. Construction began in 1121 and continued for decades.

Architectural Style :

The temple is a typical example of Hoysala architecture, with intricate details, a rich design, and a star-shaped platform. The Hoysala style is known for its unique blend of Chalukya, Dravidian, and Nagara architectural elements.

Dedication :

The temple is named after Lord Shiva and after the presiding deity of Hoysaleshwar, meaning "Lord of the Hoysalas."

Construction Material :

The temple is built primarily of soapstone, which makes for a beautiful design. The soapstone was quarried from nearby.

Shrines :

The main shrine of Hoysaleswara Temple has a lingam (a symbol of Lord Shiva). There is also a small shrine dedicated to Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva.

Carvings and sculptures :

The temple is filled with intricate art depicting Hindu mythology, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and other epics, celestial bodies, animals, and scenes of daily life. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with friezes describing scenes from various Puranas and legends.

Nandi Mandapa :

The temple has a huge Nandi (sacred cow and vehicle of Shiva) pavilion in front of the main temple, with a single Nandi idol.

Musical Pillars :

The Hoysaleshwara temple is famous for its "pillars of music" in the mantapa (hall). The pillars produce a musical sound when they are struck.

Open Air Museum :

The entire temple, with its exterior walls, is a museum showcasing the Hoysala style of architecture and the artistry of the craftsmen.

Vimana and Kalasha :

The temple has a vimana (tower) above the sanctum sanctorum and is decorated with a kalasha (decorative finial).

UNESCO World Heritage Site :

The Hoysaleshwara Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, which is recognized for its cultural and historical importance.

Restoration and Conservation :

Over the years, efforts were made to restore the temple to preserve its architectural heritage. However, parts of the mosque have suffered damage due to various reasons, including attacks.

Accessibility :

Halebidu is best connected by roads, and the temple attracts tourists, historians, and art enthusiasts from different parts of the country and the world.

Hoysaleswara Temple image
Hoysaleswara Temple

The Hoysaleshwara Temple stands as a testament to the artistic architecture of the Hoysala dynasty. Its intricate carvings and sculptures make it an important cultural and historical treasure, and it remains a major attraction for those interested in Indian art and heritage.

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