Why is it in the news?
- The three Hoysala-era temples in Karnataka recently made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, under the collective entry of ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’.
- Hoysala temples are known for the rare beauty and finesse of their wall sculptures, and have been described as “art which applies to stone the technique of the ivory worker or the goldsmith”.
History of the Temples
- Chennakeshava Temple (Belur): Built around 1117 AD by Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana to commemorate his victories against the Cholas.
- Keshava Temple (Somanathapura): Constructed in 1268 by Hoysala General Somanatha, dedicated to Lord Kesava.
- Hoysaleswara Temple (Halebidu): A 12th-century Shiva temple, believed to be the largest Hoysala-built Shiva temple.
Distinctive features of Hoysala Architecture
- Use of soapstone, enabling intricate sculptures on temple walls depicting animals, daily life, and epic scenes.
- Blend of architectural styles: Dravidian, Vesara, and North Indian Nagara.
- Temples often built on stellate (star-shaped) platforms.
- Sculptors and masons left their names on the structures.
- Transition from Jainism to Hinduism reflected in the temple construction.
|About the Hoysalas|
· Ruled Karnataka from the 10th to 14th century.
· Originated as provincial governors under the Western Chalukyas but later established themselves as rulers.
· Capital cities included Belur and Halebidu.