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Hoysala Architecture UPSC NOTE

 

Hoysala Architecture

  • Hoysala architecture is the building style in Hindu temple architecture developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries, in the region known today as Karnataka.

  • Hoysala influence was at its peak in the 13th century, when it dominated the Southern Deccan Plateau region. 

  • Large and small temples built during this era remain as examples of the Hoysala architectural style, including the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura.

  • Other examples of Hoysala craftsmanship are the temples at Belavadi, Amruthapura, Hosaholalu, Mosale, Arasikere, Basaralu, Kikkeri and Nuggehalli.

  • Study of the Hoysala architectural style has revealed a negligible Indo-Aryan influence while the impact of Southern Indian style is more distinct.

  • Temples built prior to Hoysala independence in the mid-12th century reflect significant Western Chalukya influences.

  • While later temples retain some features salient to Western Chalukya architecture but have additional inventive decoration and ornamentation, features unique to Hoysala artisans. 

  • The Hoysalas usually dedicated their temples to Shiva or to Vishnu (two of the popular Hindu gods), but they occasionally built some temples dedicated to the Jain faith as well.

  • While King Vishnuvardhana and his descendants were Vaishnava by faith,records show that the Hoysalas maintained religious harmony by building as many temples dedicated to Shiva as they did to Vishnu.

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

  • Chennakeshava Temple, also referred to as Keshava, Kesava or Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur.

  • It is a 12th-century Hindu temple in, Hassan district of Karnataka.

  • It was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur also called Velapura, an early Hoysala Empire capital. 

  • The temple was built over three generations and took 103 years to finish.

  • It was repeatedly damaged and plundered during wars, repeatedly rebuilt and repaired over its history. 

  • Chennakesava (lit, "handsome Kesava") is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. 

  • The temple is remarkable for its architecture, sculptures, reliefs, friezes as well its iconography, inscriptions and history. 

  • The temple artwork depicts scenes of secular life in the 12th century, dancers and musicians, as well as a pictorial narration of Hindu texts such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas through numerous friezes.

  • It is a Vaishnava temple that reverentially includes many themes from Shaivism and Shaktism, as well as images of a Jina from Jainism and the Buddha from Buddhism. 

  • The Chennakeshava temple is a testimony to the artistic, cultural and theological perspectives in 12th-century South India and the Hoysala Empire rule.

  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 18th September 2023.

Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid

  • Hoysaleswara temple, also referred simply as the Halebidu temple, is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

  • It is the largest monument in Halebidu, a town in the state of Karnataka, India and the former capital of the Hoysala Empire. 

  • The temple was built on the banks of a large man-made lake, and sponsored by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire.

  • Its construction started around 1121 CE and was complete in 1160 CE.

  • During the early 14th century, Halebidu was twice sacked and plundered by the Muslim armies of the Delhi Sultanate from northern India,and the temple and the capital fell into a state of ruin and neglect.

  • The Hoysaleswara temple is a Shaivism tradition monument, yet reverentially includes many themes from Vaishnavism and Shaktism tradition of Hinduism, as well as images from Jainism.

  • The Hoysaleswara temple is a twin-temple dedicated to Hoysaleswara and Santaleswara Shiva lingas, named after the masculine and feminine aspects, both equal and joined at their transept.

  • The temple was carved from soapstone. 

  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 18th September 2023.

Chennakeshava Temple, Somanathapura

  • The Chennakesava Temple, also referred to as Chennakeshava Temple and Keshava Temple, is a Vaishnava Hindu temple on the banks of River Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka, India. 

  • The temple was consecrated in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. 

  • The ornate temple is a model illustration of the Hoysala architecture. 

  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 18th September 2023.

Why it is in news?

  • The Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebid, and Somanathapur in Karnataka were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a move that will bring global recognition with prospects of increase in international tourism to these places.

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