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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hoysala Expedition Part 24: Chandramoulishwara Temple, Shivalaya, Arasikere

Back after a long hiatus is my Hoysala expedition, restarting fittingly from our ancestral native place, Arasikere, a taluk head quarters in Hassan district, Karnataka. Shivalaya on the outskirts of the town resembles the shape of a shiva linga from far away, and is one of the unsung architectural marvels of the Hoysala period. 

Constructed during the period of Veera Ballala II, this Chandramoulishwara temple dates back to 1220 AD, and its beauty is concentrated at the specially constructed navaranga, and the bhuvaneshwari design on top of it.

Here is a video of a compilation of photographs I took there when I visited last week:


KamalStudios said...

this one is nice and different!
placing Nandi at that point is strange. is this a common style in Hoysala Architecture? - i guess not.
does that mean the main deity is placed, in a way, under the Nandi statue on top of the temple?

although the dome resembles Shiva Lingam (with a Nandi opposite to it, to suggest the same), it seemed like a Buddhist Stupa in the very first glance - not a good comparison, though. but it did look so. does Hoysala have other temples which have this kind of dome shaped mantapas?

Prasanna said...

Good observations Arun. Indeed Nandi is generally not up there. In most temples of their times, it is generally the Hoysala Emblem of King Sala slaying the lion which adorns that place. That is what we see in Belur, Halebidu, Doddagaddavalli, etc. This is quite different.

Again, the dome shape is unique to Arasikere temple. What is more intriguing is the fact that the dome, made out of rock, is hollow from inside, and one has to wonder as to how they managed to massage it into this shape from outside. The inner part has stunning carvings - one of the most beautiful "Bhuvaneshwari"s I have come across till date.

But can't think of any Buddhist connection. Hoysalas obviously began as a Jain dynasty and later on embraced Vaishnavite followed by Shivite beliefs.

Call me Vijay said...

Excellent work!! 24 expeditions... I could not check all the entries but have you been to Nuggehalli?? Very old temple .... 12th century I believe. Also if you happen to visit it, try and visit this village called BeLaguli about 5-10 Km from Nuggehalli towards Tiptur. Another old and spectacular temple on the verge of ruin. The pillars themselves are quite magnificent.

Prasanna said...

Thank you, Nuggehalli and BeLaguli are in the list, haven't been there yet. Hopefully, sometime soon...