Temples in Karnataka
The Hoysaleshwar Temple is located in Halebid, which was known as Dwara Samudra, the wealthy capital of the Hoysalas.
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The great city of Dwarasamudra flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries. During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana, it reached the peak of its enormity. Veeraballala II extended his empire from sea to sea between the Cauvery & Krishna Rivers. Halebid has several strikingly beautiful Hoysala temples and Jain shrines.
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The Hoysaleshwar temple, standing on platform like a casket, is a sculptural extravaganza, richly endowed with most finely detailed scroll work in
stone. The figure of mortals and immortals are large and are beautifully chiseled in shinning black stone. The walls of the temples are covered with variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls
It is believed that the temple derived its name from Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, the presiding ruler in those times. However, the erection of the temple was started and sponsored by the affluent Shaiva citizens (mainly Ketamalla and Kesarasetti) of Halebid. At the time of construction, a tough competition held between Hoysaleswara Temple and Chennakesava Temple at Belur.
Hoysaleswara Temple witnessed ransack of loot and raid by the Muslim invaders in the early 14th century. After the horrifying incident, the temple was reduced to rubble and fell into the state of sheer neglect.
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.
History of Hoysaleshwar Temple
The Hoysaleshwar Temple in Halebid, India was constructed in the 12th century A.D. under the supervision of King Vishnuvardhana Hoysala who was the ruler of the Kingdom of Hoysala. The temple also houses the idols of Hoysaleshwara and Santaleshwara which have got their name from that of the king and his wife Queen Santala.
Description of Hoysaleshwar Temple
Built amidst lush green lawns, the Hoysaleshwar Temple in Halebid, Karnataka is situated on a pedestal that is in the shape of a star. The walls of the Halebid Hoysaleshwar Temple bear ornate carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses, sages, birds, and animals. The sanctum has been constructed on astral plan and has structures like Sukhanasi, Navaranga, and Nandi Mandapa.
There is also a museum located in the temple complex that exhibits statues, busts, and sculptures of that have been recovered from the ruins by the Archaeological Department.
Some of the other important temples that are located in the vicinity of Halebid Hoysaleshwar Temple are the Jain Temples devoted to the Adinath, Santhinath, and Parshwanath.
Hoysaleshwar Temple stands at Halebid which was originally, the capital of the Kingdom of Hoysala. Halebid on the other hand is 17 kilometers away from Belur. Banavar is the nearest Railhead while the Mangalore Airport, which is 148 kilometers away from Belur, serves as the nearest airport.