Hoysaleswara Temple in Karnataka
Hoysaleswara Temple in Karnataka located at Halebid near Belur enshrines Lord Shiva as main deity, is one of the largest temples in South India. The Hoysaleswara Temple belongs to 12th century that was built during Hoysala Empire by the king Vishnuvardhana and so the temple named as Hoysaleswara which is derived from king Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara. The temple architecture is an outstanding epitome of Hindu architecture.
The Hoysaleswara Temple enshrines two main temples that enshrines lord Hoysaleswara and another Shantaleswara that are named after Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana located next to each other, facing the east direction. The temple is based on Soapstone. Lord Surya, the sun god of 7 ft tall image also enshrines in this temple. There are huge images of Nandi in the temple hall.
The temple of Hoysaleswara has four porches for its entrance. Among them one entrance at north is used by visitors as main entry. The south side entrance and other two east side face two large detached open pavilions whose ceiling is supported by lathe turned pillars.
There is Hoysaleswara Temple has pillar named Garuda Stambha is the center attraction of this temple. The southern side entrance pillar demonstrates heroes flanking knives and cutting their own heads as Garudas are the selected bodyguards of the kings and queens who are lived with the royalty to defend. And after the death of their master, the garudas committed suicide and so they are portrayed on the pillar. The Hoysaleswara temple has a large tank that receives water through channels from an ancient dam built over the river Yagachi.
History of the Hoysaleswara Temple:
It is believed that the temple was laid stone by the affluent Shaiva citizens of Halebid and was constructed by king Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. During the construction of the temple there held a tough competition between Hoysaleswara Temple and Chennakesava Temple at Belur. During the 14th century the Hoysaleswara Temple witnessed ransack of loot and raid by the Muslim invaders. Thereafter temple under went horrifying incidents of ruins and thus got neglected.