Karnataka Hoysaleswara Temple
Presiding deity of Hoysaleshwara temple is lord Shiva and is located in Hasan district of Karnataka. Though, exact historical evidences regarding construction of this temple is not available but according to various historians, this temple is constructed between 11th & 12th century. According to some facts available, this temple was constructed in 1121 century. In this duration some Muslim invaders from northern India attacked in Halebidu and destroyed this temple. In their action they looted it also. This area was earlier by the name of Dwarsamudra. Presently the distance between Belur and Halebidu is 16 kilometers. Hasan is located at 31 kilometers and Mysore is located at 149 kilometers. A Garuda pillar is also standing outside the temple having some inscriptions on it of 12th century in Kannada language.
Once king Vishnuvardhana dreamt regarding construction of this temple. Next day, the king again dreamt same dream. He deeply thought over the dream and once again he dreamt the same dream. Without wasting the time, King initiated the construction of this temple. In construction, more than 4600 labors and 1216 architects were involved. Finally the construction completed in 1123 CE. As per Historian S. Settar, the present name of the temple was derived from the name of King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara. It is also believed that financial assistance in completion of this temple was provided by a merchant of that city namely Shaiva.
This temple is built in very dynamic architecture. Interiors of the temple are just like a rock cut style constructional design. Huge pillars are erected with a finest decorative presentation. Carving on pillars has no match from any other carving style in contemporary temples. Stone rings have been carved at every 6” height. Upper portion of the pillars has wider and square shaped stone rings. Between every four pillars, the roof of the temple has more than 1.2’ deep top rest and heavy stone beams are there in support of roof. Planning of the temple was done in the famous and simplest architectural pattern of that era called as “Dwikuta Vimana”. In the inner portion of this temple two different shrines are made one for the king Vishnuvardhana and another for his wife Shantala. Exterior portion of the temple is looks like Gopuram of Meenakshi Temple Madurai, Tamil Nadu. This decoration is a unique recognition in all the Hoysala temples constructed in Karnataka. Dimensions of the temple were maintained as the pillars and walls were too heavy and to take the load of such big and heavy building, the dimensions were major part of architecture. Inside the temple there are sufficient spaces provided by the architects to hold various sculptures. Long corridor inside the temple is an amazing example of interior architecture with a mesmerizing stone carving on pillars. This art is just similar to Meenakshi Temple and Sun Temple of Konark, Odisha. Lath pillars of this temple are the most important factor of royal architecture. Four entrances have been provided as one from North, one from south and two entry points from east side. Idol of Sun God is 7ft high and in standing posture. Interior portion of the temple does not have any carving except the pillars. Base of the temple is made by various folds of stone layers with carving of elephants, horse riders, gods and goddesses etc. High platform gives a distinctive rise to the temple. Older style of friezes molding in base of the temple was changed and new pattern adopted in construction of this temple.
Shivaratri is the main festival of this temple. More than lakh devotees arrive here across the country.
Best Time to Visit
Mahashivaratri is the best time to visit this temple to enjoy the grand celebration.
How to Reach
Mysore and Bangalore is the nearest airport located at 180 and 195 kilometers from this temple respectively. Road transportation is easily available.
Nearest railway station is Hasan and from railway station to this temple easy bus service is available.
Hasan is 30 kilometers and Belur is 17 kilometers far located from this temple. State transport buses and private taxies are frequently available at 15 min. interval.