Hoysaleswara Temple or commonly known as the Halebid Temple is an important
Shiva Temple of Karnataka located in Halebidu town of Hassan district. It was
built in 12th Century and is situated to the west of the Dwarasamudra lake.
This temple is one of the three most important monumental monuments of Hoysala
Empire and is the most significant in south India due to housing the Lord of
lords Shiva. The temple was well decorated by the famous artist(Shilpkar),
Kedoraja. The wall of Hoysaleswara Temple speak the untold and rich history and
culture of Hoysala Empire through different intricate carvings and beautiful
and sculptures. Lots of devotees and pilgrims flock to this Shiva temple
throughout the years to get the blessing of Lord Shiva along with getting a
glimpse of its architectures and designs belong to the Hoysala period.
The name of this majestic temple has derived its name from the ruler of Hoysala
dynasty who started the construction work of this temple, king Vishnuvardhana
Hoysaleswara. The construction work of the temple was started in the year 1121
CE and completed in 1160 CE. The temple is basically a double shrine structure,
that is why it is called Dvikuta Vimala.
Out of the two shrines, one shrine is dedicated to Hoysaleswara(Lord Shiva) and
another one is dedicated to the wife of king Vishnuvardhana, Shantala Devi.
Apart from that, you can notice an image of 7 ft tall Sun Godor Lord Surya deva
and a gigantic sculpture of Nandi(the attendant of Lord Shiva)
Today, you can see the temple is not in a
good condition due to the attack of Muslim invader in 14th century. However, it
has still preserved most of its glorious art work and attracts lots of curious
tourists to have a look at the trails of this magnificent temple.
More on Hoysaleswara
Important Monuments in
you are in the Hoysaleswara
Temple, you can visit the archaeological museum present in the temple
complex. Lots of antique things are well preserved such as sculptures,
inscriptions, coins, and wood carving idols. One of the noticeable sculptures
is a sitting Nandi and Lord Ganesh. The timing of museum is from 10:00 AM to
5:00 PM except Friday. You need to pay a small entry fee but photography is not
allowed inside the museum.
is a small book stall near the museum
but most of them are in Kannada, however, you can also find some book written
can also visit the Jain Basti situated to the south of the temple at a distance
of about 1 km.
you walk down a bit more, then you will reach the Kedareshwar Temple built in
the 13th century. It is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Tips For Visiting
It would be good to hire
a guide who can tell you the history, architecture, and culture of the
place in a quite elaborate manner. He can also help you find some good
places to dine and visit. You can see that there would be many guides to
hoard you upon as soon as you reached the temple, so choose someone who
can guide you and tell you the best way possible.
2. Photography is not allowed in the temple, so
carefully keep your camera.
3. You can wander around in the garden inside the
temple complex. You can spend some time to relax and have your food under the
tree after you are done your sightseeing.
4. If you are visiting in summer, then make sure you
carry an umbrella, hats and water.
5 Don’t forget to visit the Kedareswara temple which
is not far away from it. .
temple architecture speaks out loud about the Hoysala style of architecture and
is often considered as the “Supreme climax of Indian architecture”.
If you have visited the Belur temple, you can notice the similarity between
these two that this temple was also built on a star shaped platform. There are
small shrines situated and go towards the temple door and each of the small
shrines are decorated with the stone friezes portraying lions, horses and
elephants. The lake situated near the temple along with the garden enhances the
beauty of the temple even more.
you notice then you can know that the Hoysaleswara temple is well constructed
with the usage of Soapstone. The raised platform it was built on provides
tourists enough space to get a glimpse at all the carvings and sculptures.
You can notice the stone engraving on the outer walls
of the temples depicting the theme of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The importance
of marvelous sculpting on the outer wall is to make it look beautiful without
sparing any free space. But the most interesting thing you can notice here is
that no two sculptures are similar. Some of the sculptures are Lord Krishna lifting
the Govardhan hill, Lord Ram killing the golden deer, Bhisma Pitamaha lying on
the bed of arrows, Krishna playing raslila with Gopis, and Ram and Sita with
monkey to name a few.
The astounding sculptures out of many are two beams
located at the eastern and southern entrance. Another remarkable sculpture is
of Nandi, the attendant of Lord Shiva. This is one of the largest monolithic
statues present in a Shiva temple. The presence of the lake and the garden make
the air filled with a pleasant vibe.
The temple is divided into a two-shrine structure, one
is dedicated to Hoysaleswara and another
to Santaleshwara. Both the shrines are situated juxtapose to each other and are
shaped as Shiva Linga. If you compare, then you can find the interior is rather
simple than the exterior. There are four entry ways, but only the north side
entry way is opened to the visitors. One of the important pillars present here
is the Garuda Stambha.
Best Time To Visit
best time to visit this temple is in the winter(November to March). The summer
time is quite hotter and is not a good time to visit this place.
1. You can’t find any similarity between any two
2. There used to be 84 female figures, but now, there
are only 15 figures remained. Rest were stolen or destroyed.
3. The temple was not completed even after 80 years of
History of Hoysaleswara
former name this place was Dwarasamudra which means “the gateway to the ocean”.
This city was attacked and plundered two times during 14th century by the
Muslim ruler of Delhi Sultanate. After the attack, the name of the city was
renamed to Halebidu, which means the city of ruins. However, they couldn’t
snatch the beauty and serenity of this majestic temple.
credit for initiating the construction of this temple goes to the reputed ruler
of Hoysala dynasty, King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara but one of the significant
contributors was his minister, Ketamala. This temple was built to compete with
the Chennakesava temple which was supposed to dedicate Lord Vishnu. The
construction of the shrine was finished in 1121 CE.
How to Reach
can reach this place from all the cities of Karnataka as it is well connected
by the road network. You can take any public transport like buses and private
transport like taxi to reach the temple. You can find regular bus service from
Hassan and reach the temple.