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Monday, 23 June 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 34: Someshwara Temple, Haranahalli

Just a few hundred meters from the Channakeshava temple at Haranahalli, is the less maintained but equally well ornated Someshwara Temple. The temple is an ekakuta shrine hosting the Someshwara Linga in the main sanctum sanctorum, and is believed to have been constructed at the same time period of the Keshava temple, in 1234 AD, by brothers Peddanna, Somanna and Keshanna. Sculptor Mallitamma's magical hands are at work here too.

A video of created out of some pictures taken in and around the temple:

Friday, 20 June 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 33: Lakshminarayana Temple, Hosaholalu

Hosaholalu is a village that has now become part of the extended town of Krishnarajapete (K. R. Pet), and it houses possibly the best carved Hoysala temple in the district of Mandya. Astonishingly, not much information is available about the temple and as to who commissioned it, but it is established that it was built around 1250 AD during the reign of King Vira Someshwara. Giving further credence to this belief is the design of the temple and the beauty of the carvings on the outer walls, which are extremely similar to the temples in Somanathapura, Nuggehalli, Javagal and Haranahalli, thus leading us to believe that this too was the work of magical sculptor Mallitamma, whose work peaked during this period.

The temple itself is of trikuta shrine with three sanctum sanctorums, with the main deity being Lakshminarayana. and other sanctums dedicated to Venugopala and Laksmi Narasimha. The outer carvings are exquisite, with the usual brilliance coming through in the carvings of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, Paravasudeva, Dancing Saraswati, and Indra atop his Airavata among others.

Here is a video:

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 32: Channakeshava Temple, Haranahalli

The village of Haranahalli is eight kilometers from Arasikere on the way to Hassan, and it is home to two temples from the Hoysala era. The more popular, complete and the better maintained one, thanks to the initiatives of the local folks and the current Archak Sri Nagendra, is the Channakeshava Temple, or the one that is more popular as the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

This trikuta temple has Channakeshava, Venugopala and Lakshmi Narasimha as the main deities in its sanctum sanctorums, and all around, has brilliant incarnations along the walls and on the shrines, indicative of the times of celebrated sculptor Mallitamma. The temple was built in 1234 AD according to the available inscriptions, by the brothers Peddanna, Somanna and Keshanna. The place is believed to be known as Hiriya Somanathapura earlier, and the temple has received major contributions from Hoysala king Veera Narasimha II.

The specialty of the temple is in the main Bhuvaneshwari, where the customary blooming lotus is ornated with a sorrounding set of the different forms of Vishnu. A garden around the temple adds to the beauty of the entire complex.

Here is a video of the photo collage from Haranahalli:

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 31: Sadashiva Temple, Nuggehalli

There is a charm about this temple that one can't find in many other temples of the Hoysala period, and that is evident right at the very first glance. The Sadashiva Temple at Nuggehalli, a town on the Channarayapatna-Tiptur state highway, is a rare architecture built with a Bhumija style shrine that is more popular in Western India. Also known as the Hoysala Nagara style, there is an inevitable ultra modern look to the main ekakuta shrine that almost reminds you of some spaceship that has just landed. The remarkable nature of the shrine is in its symmetry, which is the hallmark of Hoysala architecture, irrespective of the style they have followed.

The temple was constructed in 1249 AD by Bommanna Dandanayaka, a commander in the court of Hoysala king Veera Someshwara. Nuggehalli was definitely an important hub of that period, with another major architectural marvel, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, also coming up around the same time there. The place was a happening agrahara, with the name Vijaya Somanathapura.

Inside the temple, there are excellently carved statues of Ganesha, Shanmukha (sitting on top of an intricately decorated Peacock), life size standing sculpture of Parvati in a separate enclosure, Kalabhairava, among others. The main sanctum has a large Shiva linga, and opposite to that is another enclosure that contains Nandi.

Here are some of the pictures from the temple:

Sadashiva Temple, Nuggehalli from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 30: Channakeshava Temple, Anekere

After a wait of nearly five long years since I first began my Hoysala expeditions, and after having lived just 6 kilometers away from the place all through my childhood, this was the first time I was visiting Anekere and the Channakeshava Temple situated in this little sleepy hamlet. This temple belonging to the Hoysala period (built around 1119 AD according to the inscriptions available) near the town of Channarayapatna in Hassan District of Karnataka appears to be one of the first attempts at measuring the potential of extravagant carvings that is common in the architectures erected during the time. 

Simple, yet complete, this ekakuta (single main shrine) temple housing Lord Channakeshava in its sanctum, is specifically attractive for three reasons. One is the completeness of the temple complex with the surrounding veranda of  pillar-supported circumambulating platform. Second, the huge stone carved kalasha on top of  the vimana gopura above the main sanctum, and a third being the carving of a three headed cobra holding on to the shape of a shankha (conch) at the very center of the most elaborate bhuvaneshwari ceiling inside the temple.

Here is a small video of pictures I took at the temple: