A vibrant ,colorful nation packed with diverse and charismatic cultures,history,traditions,beliefs and above all wonderful people.that’s India for me.
And I am blessed to be in a place like Bengaluru,where weekends can never be mundane or boring.Whether you got a thirst for history,art & culture or adventure,there is a place for you.
I always find our history to be fascinating.Our modern life is a continuation of our heritage.We are only where we are now because of the thousands of years that lie behind us.
My search ends this time in the glorified Hoysala kingdom and it’s complex temple architecture and intricate carvings.
The expedition started around 5 in the morning.Early morning drive on the highway.Oh,what can be the better way to start your Sunday ?
Around 5 hours of drive and few halt ,took me to the bygone era of Halebidu(Halebeedu or Halebid) in the Hassan district of Karnataka.
Halebidu (which used to be called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra) was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century.You will witness some of the best Hoysala architecture and the most notable are the ornate Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples.
Hoysaleswara Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva It has lord Hoysaleshwara and Lord Shantaleshwara.
The construction of the temple began in the 12th century by the King of Hoysala. This temple was then looted in the 14th century and it fell into ruins after that.
Now it’s been protected under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
It is known that the famous temple derived its name from the King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, who built the temple.
The temple has four porches for entry and the main shrine faces on the east.
As you approach the Hoysaleshwara, the main deity, it is stunningly amazing to look at such impressive Shiva in the form of a Linga nicely decorated with jewels and ornaments and dashing back drape.
There are exquisite sculptures and paintings inside the temple. There is an image of a dancing Ganesha at the entrance of the temple.
There are more than 240 images in the temple and no other temple has these many intricate sculptures.
It has about thousand figures on the walls which depict scenes of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Knowledge of Mahabharatha & Ramayana along with Hindu Gods, their avatars (forms) would be crucial to understand the workmanship exhibited on the outer walls.
There are six railings before the wall images are present.
The first railing has Elephants present surrounding the entire temple, the second railing consists of Mystic Lion which is exhibited in many postures.
The third railing consists of Cavalry forces with men and horses dressed in war attire, the fourth railing consists of Makara which is a mystical animal, and the sixth railing consists of Swans which hold set of beads in their beaks.
Above the sixth railing the seventh railing consists of Wall images of all Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
It reflects the Hoysala architecture and was built in soapstone.
The outer walls of this temple have intricate carvings and the temple has been described as an outstanding example of Hindu architecture.
The most interesting part of the temple is the Garuda Sthamba, which is a rare pillar that depicts the history of the bodyguards that lived with the Kings in olden days. These bodyguards committed suicide on the death of their master and this pillar pays homage to a bodyguard named Kuruva Lakshma who killed himself after the death of his master.
The event is narrated in detail on the pillar.
The two Nandi each present in front of Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara is carefully carved with great precision and all the detailing are worth inside the Nandi Mantapas.
The artistry of the Hoysalas in stone has been compared to the finesse of an ivory worker or a goldsmith.
The temple has a Museum on the lawns that showcases 12th century sculptures and gold coins in use at the time. It opens from 9 a.m -5 p.m.By spending mere INR 5,you can witness a collection of sculptures, some wood carvings, maps and photos(which is worth any day)
Note for the Amazing photohunters:
Videography and use of tripod is restricted in the zone.
Though photography allowed inside the temple premises, no additional fee for cameras(relief to the pocket,ain’t it?)
How to get there ?
Halebidu is 30Kms from the district head quarters, Hassan.
You can plan to visit Halebidu and Belur together as both are nearby.
By Train:The nearest railway station is Hassan
By Road :Well connected by road from all the major cities like Bangalore,Mangalore,Mysuru,Shimoga,Hassan
By Air:Nearest one is in Bangalore
Hi! I am Anushree Dash…
1 Part Entrepreneur
2 Parts Writer
3 Parts Social reformer
4 Parts explorer
5 Parts photographer, Too many Parts.
A free-spirited,non-conformist,,impenitent,independent,adventurous,boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian roots, Culture, Aesthetic Living, Saree, Poetry …