Hoysaleswara temple, also referred simply as the Halebidu temple, is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is the largest monument in Halebidu, a town in the state of Karnataka, India and the former capital of the Hoysala Empire.
Hoysaleswara Temple History
The temple is believed to have been built in the 12th century under the reign of King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire. The prosperous citizens of Shaiva contributed to the construction of the structure to compete with the Chennakesava temple at Belur. The temple is famous for its grandeur, opulence, and architectural style. It was ransacked and looted by hostile Muslim invaders in the early 14th century, who literally plunged it into rubble. Thus the city acquired the moniker ‘Halebeedu’ which means the ruined city
Importance of the Hoysaleswara temple
The Hoysaleshwara temple is famous for its many features and abounds with images of Lord Ganesh in various positions adorning the outer walls. In all, there are two hundred and forty paintings, beginning with a dancing image of Lord Ganesha at the south entrance and ending with another image of the elephant god at the north entrance. An 8-foot tall statue of Ganesha is installed on a platform at the south gate.
The roof of the temple is decorated with small terraces and attics that are in a state of ruins, but still reflect the greatness of the temple. Every sculpture of the temple is well defined and clearly visible, which speaks volumes about the builders of this magnificent structure.
The temple also has a museum within its premises, which is a treasure trove of excavated sculptures, wooden crafts, paintings, maps, and many other artifacts. It is a virtual treat for visitors who can spend time walking around campus and immerse themselves in the history that surrounds it.
Hoysaleswara temple architecture
The state of Karnataka in South India is replete with many unique temples and is famous for its architecture, especially from the Hoysala Empire. The Hoysaleshwara Temple is a remarkable structure and reflects the intensity of the Hindu architectural style. This temple is often considered an exemplary tribute to Indian crafts, with many aspects that have survived the onslaught of time. The exteriors are designed externally with many projections and repeatedly on the walls, the interiors are quite simple, with only the exquisitely carved lathe shaped pillars. The gleaming shrines of the temple were beautifully carved, characteristic of the artisanship of those times.
Festivals Related to Hoysaleswara temple
The Hoysaleswara temple is a prominent tourist spot where visitors come to witness the grandeur of ancient Indian architecture and the sheer brilliance of the craftsmanship. The deities are not worshipped at present and hence no Pujas, rituals or festivities take place in its precincts.
How to Reach Halebeedu
The nearest airport is Bangalore and Mysore, from there one will have to reach the temple by road.
The nearest railway station is located at Bangalore and Mysore and there are various trains running from Hassan to Mysore and Bangalore.
The temple is very close to Halebid and there are regular buses plying from Halebid to Hassan. One can easily take a bus or train to Hassan from Bangalore.