Hoysaleswara Temple

Saivam

 

Overview

Hoysaleswara Temple is one of the largest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. The temple is a Dvikuta  -meaning temple with two Vimana/Gopura. Dedicated to Hoysaleshwara and Shantaleshwara. In front of the temple there are two Nandi Mantapas which are very beautifully carved and attracts ones attention immediately.  In the 12th century, the temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. The construction of this marvelous shrine got completed in 1121 CE. 
 
Hoysaleswara Temple has two shrines, one dedicated to Hoysaleswara and another for Shantaleswara (named after Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana). Standing on a raised platform, the temple is made out of Chloritic Schist (Soapstone, also known as potstone). Both of the shrines are located next to each other, facing the east direction. The shrine comprises the Shiva lingam (phallic form of Lord Shiva), the universal symbol of Lord Shiva. The Shiva and Parvathi temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana. It was the Shaivas who contributed money and wealth for building this beautiful temple. During this time, the Chennakesava temple which was a Vaishnava temple was being built. The building of the Hoysaleshwara temple was carried out as a competition to the Chennakesava temple. The temple has a very big tank which was built during the 11th century. The water to this tank is supplied from the Yagachi River.
 
The two mandapas are connected giving a large and imposing view of the hall. Individually, each shrine is smaller than the one at the Chennakesava temple at Belur and contains a simple Linga, the universal symbol of the god Shiva. The plan of the  temple is simple on the  inside, but the exterior looks different because of the introduction of many projections and recesses in the walls. The temple was built at a height that provided the architects, sufficient horizontal and vertical space to depict large and small sculptures. The temple has four porches for entry and the one normally used by visitors as main entry is actually a lateral entrance (north).  There is one entry on the south side and two on the east side, facing two large detached open pavilions, the ceiling of which is supported by lathe turned pillars. All entry porches have miniature shrines as flanking. In addition,  there is a sanctuary for the Sun god Surya, whose image stands 7 ft (2.1 m) tall. The pavilions enshrine large images of Nandi, the bull, an attendant of Shiva.  The pavilions share the same jagati as the main temple. The temple originally had an open mandapa to which outer walls with pierced window screens made with the same material were erected, making the mantapa a closed one. The interior of the temple is quite plain except for the lathe turned pillars that run in rows between the north and south entrances. There are no other madanikas in the temple.  temple is very famous for the scultptures that run all along the outer wall, starting with a dancing image of the god Ganesha on the left side of the south entrance and ending with another image of Ganesha on the right hand side of the north entrance.  In all, there are two hundred and forty such images. According to the art critic Gerard Foekema, perhaps no other Hoysala temple is as articulate in sculpture as this is and these sculptures are "second to none in the whole of India". the Hoysala architects have broken  from the tradition of using five moldings with friezes  at the base of the temple, below the large wall sculptures and the window screens. The outer walls have two eaves that run around the temple. The top eaves is at the roof of the temple where the superstructure meets the wall, and the second eaves is about a meter below. Below the lower eaves are the wall sculptures and below them, the eight moldings. The lowest frieze depicts charging elephants which symbolize strength and stability, above which, in order, are friezes with lions which symbolize courage, floral scrolls as decoration, horses symbolizing speed, another band of floral scrolls, depictions from the Hindu epics, mythical beasts called makara and finally a frieze with hamsas (swans).  According to Foekema, there are no two animals that are resembling each other over 200m. After the construction of this temple, Hoysala architects used this new kind of horizontal treatment only fifty years later, making it a standard style, though they reduced it to six molding friezes. Besides the other shrines, there is one shrine that is dedicated to Lord Surya. Here, Sun God is depicted in the 7 ft tall image. The halls comprise huge images of Nandi, the attendant of Lord Shiva. Hoysaleswara Temple stands as a testimonial of the bygone era. The outstanding structure of the temple has been accredited for being the epitome of Hindu architecture.  a large tank which received water through channels from an ancient dam, built over the Yagachi river. The tank preceded the temple by nearly 75 years.
 
The temple is also famous for the  rare Garuda Stambha (Pillar) is an attention-grabbing structure of Hoysaleswara Temple. Garudas were known to be the selected bodyguards of the kings and queens. They used to live and move with the Royalty with the sole aim to defend their master. At the death of their master, they committed suicide. In the southern side, the pillar demonstrates heroes flanking knives and cutting their own heads. The inscription on the pillar commemorates Kuruva Lakshma (bodyguard of Veera Ballala II).
 
Temple Timing: 7:00am to 7:00pm
 
How to reach:
Hoysaleshwara Temple can be easily reached from Belur (16 kms), Hassan (31 kms) and Mysore (149 kms) in Karnataka. Apart from these cities, Halebid is accessible from almost every city and town of Karnataka by regular buses and hired taxis. One can easily reach Hoysaleswara Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Karnataka.
 
Nearest Railway Station: Hassan
 
Nearest Airport: Mangalore Airport

Location

Country
India
State
Karnataka
City
Hassan
Location
Halebeedu
Address
Hoysaleswara Temple, Hassan, Halebeedu, Karnataka 573121
Contact Info
Phone: 081243 05845
Mobile :
Fax :
Near Cities
Nearest Bus Terminal
Hoysaleswara Temple, Hassan
Nearest Railway Station
Hassan (HAS)
Nearest Airport
Mangalore Airport
AU
latitude : -36.888301850 longitude :145.184005700
Corporation :
GPS Code : YMNG
Open Year
12th century
Architect
Hindu
Dedicated To
Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana
Visiting Hours
7:00am to 7:00pm

Nearest Places

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  • Hoysaleswara Temple is one of the largest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. The temple is a Dvikuta  -meaning temple with two Vimana/Gopura. Dedicated to Hoysaleshwara and Shantaleshwara. In front of the temple there are two Nandi Mantapas which are very beautifully carved and attracts ones attention immediately.  In the 12th century, the temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. The construction o

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