(Last Updated on : 02/03/2015)
Hoysaleswara temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
. It was built by King Hoysala Vishnuvardhana. It was completed in 1121 CE. As per historical data the temple derived its name from the Hoysala ruler King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara. However the temple construction was initiated and financed by wealthy Shaiva citizens of the city, Ketamalla and Kesarasetti are prominent among them.
Architecture of Hoysalewara Temple
The temple is two shrined, one for "Hoysaleswara" and the other for "Shantaleswara" and is mad of soapstone. The temple complex is elevated on a platform. The two shrines which are adjoining, face east and each have a hall in front. The two mandapas are connected giving a large view of the hall. Each shrine contains a simple linga. The temple interiors are simple. However the exterior looks different as many projections and recesses in the walls have been introduced. The superstructure of the hall is called sukanasi and the rows of decorated miniature roofs above the eaves of the hall have been destroyed. The temple was built at such a height that the architect could give horizontal and vertical space to depict large and small sculptures. The outer walls contain an intricate array of stone sculptures.
The temple has four porches for entry. There is one entry on the south side and two on the east side, facing two large detached open pavilions whose ceiling is supported by lathe turned pillars.
All entry porches have miniature shrines. There is a sanctuary for the Lord Surya
. The pavilions have images of Nandi. Originally this temple had an open mandapa but later on the outer walls were pierced with window screens that made it a close one. The window screens have no art work. The lathe turned pillars that run in rows between the north and south entrances are the only noteworthy structures in the temple interiors. The four pillars in front of each shrine are well decorated and they have madanika sculptures in their pillar brackets.
Sculptures of Hoysalewara Temple
This temple is most well-known for its wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall. It starts with an image of dancing Ganesha on the left hand side of the south entrance and ending with another image of Ganesha on the right hand side of the north entrance. There are 240 images altogether. Most intricate sculptures are found in the lintels of the southern and eastern doorways.
There are two eaves that run around the temple. The top eave is at the roof of the temple and the second eave is about a meter below. In between there are miniature towers that have been decorated. Below the lower eaves there are wall sculptures and eight friezes which are called horizontal treatment.
Garuda pillar is another striking feature of this temple. Garudas were bodyguards of the kings and queens who lived with the royal family and their only purpose was to protect their master. The rare pillar which is on the south side depicts heroes brandishing knives and cutting their own heads.