Hoysaleswara Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is located in Halebidu, Karnataka at the banks of an enchanting lake, this temple is encircled with manicured gardens, while the atmosphere is serene.
It is known that the famous temple derived its name from the King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, who built the temple. A large amount of contribution was received from the Shaivas for the construction of the temple. It was built to compete with the Chennakesava temple which was under construction as a Vaishnava temple.
Halebeedu (formerly known as Dwarasamudra) was the ancient capital of the Hoysalas just 17 km away from Belur. The Hoysala dynasty ruled over much of South India for close to 200 years and during this time they built spectacular temples, Both Hindu as well as Jain. In the 14th century, the armies of Alauddin Khilji and Muhammad Tughlak defeated the Hoysalas and raided their empire. It is recorded that enormous wealth and riches were looted.
The city was never rebuild. In fact, Halebeedu means “old house/ old ruins“. However, some temples survived the devastation like the ones in Halebeedu and today when you see them, you will be mesmerized by some the most stupendous expressions ever sculpted in stone.
Architecture of Hoysaleswara Temple
Halebidu temple is another great example of temple architecture the twin temples of Hoysaleshwara, Kedareshwara built by Vishnuvardhana and Ballala-II at Halabidu.
The Hoysaleswara Temple poised on a star-shaped base on the lawn is an architectural marvel. This twin-shrined temple is perhaps the largest Shiva temple built by the Hoysalas. Its base consists of 8 rows of friezes carved with elephants, lions, horses and floral scrolls.
Its walls are adorned with intricately carved Hindu deities, sages, stylised animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of Hoysala kings.
Also Read: ABOUT MURUDESHWAR TEMPLE
Imagery from epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavad Gita adorn the outer walls with highly ornate temple doorways. It is believed that no other temple in the country captures the Indian epics as elegantly as Hoysaleswara Temple.
The Nandimantapa is positioned right in front of the temple wherein there is a huge Nandi richly decorated with stone ornaments. Behind this is a shrine dedicated to Surya with a 2 m tall image. There are exquisite carvings in the interiors of the temple as well. The most striking item is the highly polished lathe-turned pillars.
Garuda Stambha (Pillar) is an attention-grabbing structure of Hoysaleswara Temple. Garudas were known to be the selected bodyguards of the kings and queens. They used to live and move with the Royalty with the sole aim to defend their master.
At the death of their master, they committed suicide. In the southern side, the pillar demonstrates heroes flanking knives and cutting their own heads. The inscription on the pillar commemorates Kuruva Lakshma (bodyguard of Veera Ballala II).
- Address: Halebeedu, Karnataka 573121
- District: Hassan
- Deity: Shiva
- Timings : 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM
- Time Required : 1-2 hrs
- Photography: inside the sanctums is not allowed.
- Entry Fee: nil
- Best Time To Visit: October to March
Interesting Facts about Hoysaleswara Temple
- Hoysaleswara temple is one of the largest temples of Lord Shiva in South India.
- The temple structure of the Hoysaleswara temple is considered to be very complex due to the presence of projections and recesses.
- The temple complex has 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.
- 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 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.
- Hoysaleswara Temple is open to tourists for sightseeing and the deities are not worshiped here. Hence there is no ritual of serving ‘Prasada.’
How to Reach Hoysaleswara Temple ?
The nearest airport to Halebeedu is Bengaluru which is 210 kms and Mangaluru which is 170 kms from the temple.
Banavara is the nearest railway station which is located at about 30 km from the temple. Cabs and buses are readily available for devotees.
Halebeedu has good bus service from district head quarter Hasana which is about 33 KM from the temple. There are regular buses and taxis available that can directly take the tourists to the temple.
Where To Stay?
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