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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 45: Adi Madhavaraya Temple, Bellur

A couple of hundred meters away from the Moola Sindheshwara Temple at Bellur is the Adi Madhavaraya Temple, continuing the tradition of Hoysalas building both Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples at the same place indicating religious harmony of their times. In fact, further justifying this, just a kilometer away from these two temples, there was also a Parshvanatha Jain Temple too, built during their times. But I could not succeed in tracking down the Basadi (or any remains of it, near Yalladahalli, next to Bellur).

Coming back to the Adi Madhavaraya Temple, it is believed to have been built around 1284 AD, and although it has received some updates in the post Hoysala era and some more paintings of late, its typical Hoysala structure still remains on the outer walls. Less ornate, the temple houses the Madhava statue in its main sanctum. The temple also houses the slightly disunited statues of Venugopala and Lakshmi Narayana, moved here from the Moola Sindheshwara Temple. The temple was closed when I visited it so no further details of the inner parts of the temple could be obtained, but it definitely is another lesser known temple worth a visit. Daily puja is still offered at the temple.

Here's a short video:

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 44: Rameshwara Temple, Nadakalasi

Part of the double temple complex mentioned in the previous blog entry about the Mallikarjuna Temple, the Rameshwara Temple at Nadakalasi is less extravagant, but equally well decorated, and has, to its credit, a stunning Sala slaying the lion statue next to its Shikhara. Nadakalasi's closeness to Sagara hasn't still ensured its visibility on the tourist map, although, equally closer towns of Keladi and Ikkeri enjoy better recall among visitors.

The main deity is the Rameshwara Linga, but it has been referred to as Sadashiva in the past. Again, this temple has been identified as having been constructed by Baleyanna Vergade around 1218 AD, during Veera Ballala II's reign.

Here's a video:

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 43: Mallikarjuna Temple, Nadakalasi

Nadakalasi is a small village about 8 kilometers away from Sagara in Shivamogga district of Karnataka. Hidden in its densely populated flora and fauna is a temple complex from the Hoysala times. Baleyanna Vergade (Heggade), a local ruler who had accepted the mighty Hoysalas as the overseeing authority of his regions during that time, has constructed two temples next to each other in 1218 AD, during the rule of Veera Ballala II. The temples are a mix of Hoysala and Dravidian temple architectures, but the Hoysala influences are there to be seen in abundance.

The larger of the two temples is the Mallikarjuna Temple dedicated to the Mallikarjuna Shiva Linga in its only sanctum sanctorum. A highlight of this temple are the stunningly smooth looking lathe turned pillars inside. They seem to have such a fine finish despite the fact that the stones used don't appear to be the best quality soap stones that we witness at Belur or Belavadi. The main shikhara is of Kadamba Nagara style.

Here is a video:

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 42: Nageshawara Temple, Mosale

Right next to the Channakeshava Temple, as its mirror image, is the Nageshwara Temple in the village of Mosale near Hassan. Slightly taller and slightly more intricately carved on the outside compared ti the Channakeshava Temple, the Nageshwara temple also has a more attractive stone kalasha as well as multiple statues of Sala slaying the lion in different shapes and sizes all around the temple.

The year of construction is believed to be 1200 AD under the reign of Veera Ballala II, with the temple covered with statues of the 24 forms of Vishnu, his 10 incarnations, Mahishamardhini, Saraswati and more, despite the main sanctum housing the Shiva linga of Nageshwara.

Here's a video:

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hoysala Expedition Part 41: Channakeshava Temple, Mosale

About 10 kilometers from the city of Hassan on the way towards Holenarasipur is the village of Mosale - one half of the twin villages of Mosale and Hosahalli. Mosale houses two of the most stunning Hoysala architectural beauties that very few people are aware of. Known as the twin temple complex of Nageshwara and Channakeshava, both  the temples have their own individual brilliance to exude, while being remarkably similar to each other to the extent that one would feel they are mirror images of each other.

Focus of this blog post is the Channakeshava Temple, built in 1200 AD by Emperor Veera Ballala II. The temple is a clear indication of the beginning of the golden era of the Mallitamma school of handsome and intricate carvings on the outer walls, while the Bhuvaneshwaris on the inner ceilings continue to take your breath away. The huge stone Kalasas are a real specialty too.

I happened to visit the place around dusk, and the setting sun gave it a beauty that can only be experienced in person. No words or photographs can do justice. This brought memories of the well researched novel of K. V. Iyer, "Shantala", where he says in the foreword that his inspiration to write that novel came about when he saw the beauty of the Belur Channakeshava Temple during sunset. The Hoysala architecture can surely bring that effect on you, especially in solitude.

Here's a video of the Channakeshava Temple at Mosale: