The Hoysaleswara temple was constructed in the 12th century, within the time period of 1120 CE and 1150 CE, and was built by the Hoysala ruler King Vishnuvardhana. It is believed that the temple was named Hoysaleswara Temple after Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara. When the Hoysaleswara temple was built the place was known as Dwarasamudra.
Temple was ransacked twice by the Delhi sultans in the 14th This led to the name of the city as Haldebeedu, which means the ruined city.
The construction of the Hoysaleswara temple was financed by the Shaivas (devotees of Lord Shiva). It is believed that the Chennakesava Temple was built during this time and was a Vaishnava temple. The Hoysaleswara temple was constructed by the Shaivas as a competition to the Chennakesava Temple.
The temple complex has a couple of temples within it; one is dedicated to Hoysaleswara and the other is dedicated to Shantaladevi, the queen of King Vishnuvardhana, who built the temple. The temples consist of Shiva Lingum. There are other shrines within the temple complex, dedicated to other gods and goddesses. One of the shrines is dedicated to the Sun God. This temple has 7 feet tall statue of the Sun God along with a massive stone bull (Nandi, the Vahana of Lord Shiva).
Another marvel of the Hoysaleswara temple is the set of sculptures of Lord Ganesha. While the right part of the external wall of the temple starts with an image of a dancing Ganesha, there are almost 240 images of Lord Ganesha in different poses.
The four pillars which lie within the temple are characterized with images of Madanika, within brackets. The Garuda Pillar is an important part of the temple. Garudas refer to the bodyguards of the monarchs and their queens. These inseparable guards used to commit suicide with the death of their master. This complete story is depicted at the Garuda Pillar, where the guards are seen cutting their heads with knives. There is also an inscription engraved over the pillar which commemorates the death of one such guard, Kuruva Lakshma, the bodyguard of Veera Ballala II. The ceiling of the temple is also unique.
Known as Sunakasi, this part of the temple is decorated with miniature roofs and attics which are in a ruined state. The layout of the Hoysaleswara temple is also well defined and hence every sculpture is easily visible.
The museum within the temple complex is another important part of the site. This is a treasure house of the excavated sculptures, wooden handicrafts, maps, and photos of the deities and the temples.
Timings to visit
06:30 AM – 09:00 PM
The Museum located at the Temple premises is open only Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM.
How to reach Hoysaleswara Temple
By Air: The Mangalore Airport – 168 km, Bangalore – 222 km
By Train: Hassan Railway Station – 33.6 km, Mysore Junction – 141 km, Belur Railway Station – 14.7 km
By Road: Belur – 16 km, Hassan – 31 km, Mysore – 149 km.
Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka 573121, India.
Karnataka Tourism Official Site for Hoysaleshwara Temple
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