“A MINIATURE OF OUR UNIVERSE”
REVIEW OF THE HOYSALESHWARA TEMPLE, HALEBID
Recently, our class was taken for a South India trip.It was an unusual trip but was the best. We were taken to the temples in Belur, Halebid and Somnathpur, not sure if you’ve heard of these places. Our stay was in a three star hotel called “THE PRESIDENT HOTEL” in Mysore and it was a pretty decent one. The first temple we visited was the “HOYSALESHWARA TEMPLE” in Halebid. It was a 3-hour journey from Mysore which was a bit hectic.But,as soon as we reached our destination and took a look at the temple, we were satisfied that the whole bus ride was totally worth it. Among all the temples we visited, the Hoysaleshwara temple grabbed the most attention.
Hoysaleswara Temple is one amongst the largest shrines that are dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. 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. Located at Halebid, Hoysaleshwara Temple can be easily reached from Belur (16 kms), Hassan (31 kms) and Mysore (149 kms) in Karnataka. 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.
After learning about the history of this temple, a tour guide explained each and every piece of sculpture and the story behind them. Hoysaleswara Temple has two shrines, one dedicated to Hoysaleswara and another for Shantaleswara (named after...