Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The History

Built during the reign of King Vishnuvardhana in 0121 CE, the Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been financedby the prominent Shaivite citizens of the kingdom and was in direct competition to the construction of the Chennakesava temple being built in Belur. Its construction took about 105 years to complete. The temple was sacked and looted by Muslim invaders in the 14th century and fell into a state of disrepair and neglect.

The whole temple complex is built on a platform common to Hoysala architecture and made with potstone. It faces a large tank that was built in the 1st century. There are two shrines with two superstructures, one for the king (Hoysaleswara) and the other for his queen (Shantaleswara). Both these shrines are placed adjacent to each other facing east, each with a simple lingam inside and a mantapa in the front. There are 4 pillars in front of each shrine that are the most ornate. The exterior of the temple is much more intricate compared to the interiors due to the recesses and projections built into the various walls.

The temple is especially known for its sculptures and artwork that run all along the temple. Art critics all over the world state this temple as second to none in all of India. There are four porch entrances to the temple, with the most intricate sculptures found on the southern and eastern doorways. This temple also breaks the tradition of using the old style of 5 moldings with friezes at the base of the temple, and instead has incorporated the ‘horizontal treatment’ with 8 moldings.

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