Topic: Prelims, GS1-art and culture
- The sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, which includes three temples in Karnataka, has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- The Hoysala Temples, as they are also known, will be India’s 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About Hoysala Temples:
- The Hoysala Temples, built in the 12th and13 centuries by the Hoysala kings, are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
- The three temples include:
- The Chennakeshava temple, the main temple in the complex at Belur (Hassan district), located at the centre of the traditional settlement which is surrounded by the remnants of a mud fort and a moat;
- The Hoysaleswara Temple on the banks of Dwarasamudra tank in Halebidu (Hassan district), a town which has many protected and unprotected temples, archaeological ruins and mounds;
- The Keshava Temple at the centre of Somanathapura village (Mysore district).
Main features of Hoysala architecture:
- Mandapa, is a common feature of Hoysala architecture. It is the prayer hall that is entered through an intricately designed lintel known as the ‘makaratorana.’
- This open space is supported by several pillars.
- The stone latticework is also a recurrent feature of Hoysala sculptures.
- The pillars of the Hoysala temples have four brackets at the top and are further decorated with ornamented carvings.
- The vimanams are the place where the principal deity resides. The shapes of these vimanams are either stellate (star shaped) or staggered square.
- The Salabhanjika is a common feature of Hoysala sculpture.
- The pillar images known as ‘sthamba buttalikas’ show the influence of the Chola art and architecture.
- The temple walls of the Hoysala Empire are speckled with events from Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata.
- The Hoysala sculpture is erotica. The nooks and niches of the temple walls have been filled with erotic themes.