Hoysala Architecture – Magic in Stone

First view

We begin our journey much before the sun fixes himself up above Bengaluru.

We will have breakfast enroute and then begin leg 1 of day 1 to reach our first Hoysala shrine, Sri Lakshmi Devi Temple at Doddagadduvalli. Built in 1113 and this temple is architecturally unique presenting 9 shrines inside a single compound.

Post lunch we will head into leg 2 of day 1 to Belur, an early Hoysala capital. A handsome Keshava (Chenna-keshava) seated on the banks of river Yagachi awaits to amaze us by his temple inscriptions and history. The temple is constructed on a 3 feet high pedestal with a pradkshina patha where one can go around watching all the carvings of Vishnu avataras, Shiva, Parvathi, Ganesha along with Mandakinis or commonly known as Shilabalikes.

At the end to day 1 we will check-in into our hotel in Hassan.

Experience the Glory

After an early breakfast, we leave for yet another former capital of the Hoysala Empire, Halebeedu. Hoysaleshwara temple is the epicenter to amazement in leg 1 of day 2. Built on the banks of a man-made lake, it took 39 years beginning in 1121 to construct this amazing temple. We all know time machines are nonexistent, but this temple’s artwork provides a pictorial window into the life and culture in the 12th century South India. Also hosting 340 large relief depict of the Hindu theology and associated legends.

After lunch we travel to Veera Narayana temple in Belawadi for leg 2 of day 2. While the temple is yet another Hoysala classic, the town is believed to be the place mentioned in Mahabharatha where Pandava prince Bheema killed the demon Bakasura and protected the village and its people.

Leg 3 of day 2, we head to the Ishwara tempe in Arsikere. Constructed in 1220, though quite notably having ordinary sculpture you will be taken beyond expectations by its floor plan. The most complex and unique among all Hoysala temples.

We will end our day with the entire group of travelers and you sharing on inferences and perspectives through out the trip thus far.

Rounding off

Again, we will have an early breakfast. We will check-out of the hotel and head for Amruthapura. The last leg to our understanding of the Hoysala temples will be by visiting the Amrutheshwara temple.

The Ramayana is sculpted on the south side wall on seventy panels, with the story proceeding quite unusually, in anti-clockwise direction. On the north side wall, all depictions are clockwise, a norm in Hoysala architectural articulation. Twenty five panels depict the life of Lord Krishna and the remaining forty-five panels depict scenes from the epic Mahabarata.

We will have lunch and leave for Bengaluru such that we reach late in the evening