Art Attack at Belur and Halebeedu

It was Sunday morning and our trip was fixed: to cover Belur, Halebeedu and Shravanabelagola. I prefer to write less in this post because I choose the pictures to speak for themselves.. One among the very few well maintained monuments in Karnataka- The Hoysala Style of architecture is a treat for the art-buffs.

Hoysala structures within the Chennakeshava temple premises at Belur

Wikipedia Extract for Hoysala architecture describes: ‘Hoysala architecture (Kannada: ಹೊಯ್ಸಳ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ) is the building style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries, in the region known today as Karnataka, a state of India. 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.’

Friezes and murals at Chennakeshava temple, Belur

Itinerary: We started from Bangalore at around 6.00.a.m to Belur in a KSRTC bus. Then to Halebeedu in a local bus. Then to Channarayapatna from where we took KSRTC to Shravanabelagola. And back to Bangalore in KSRTC.

Art at Chennakeshava temple

Shantala- the wife of King Vishnuvardhana (One of the most prominent Hoysala ruler) was so mesmerised by the Sculptures of the dancing ladies carved here in different postures, that she used to dance with these Madalikes or ShilaBalikas in her dreams.

Halebeedu:

Hoysalas founded their dynasty with Belur as the capital initially. Later, the capital was shifted to Halebeedu. The Hoysaleshwara temple is the most prominent among all. The monolithic statue of Nandi here, is the sixth largest in the world.

Hoysala sculptural Art at Halebidu

Shravanabelagola:

This is one of the most important pilgrimage places for the Jains. Also, this is considered to be the largest monolithic stone statue in the World. ShravanaBelagola has 2 hills- Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Chandragiri hill gets its name from Chandragupta, one of the greatest emperors of India who converted to Jainism, gave up all his worldly pleasures and passed away on this hill. The statue of Bahubali/ Gomateshwara is situated on the Vindhyagiri hill.

The Gomateshwara Statue
The Gomateshwara Monolith statue

The hill offers a panoramic view of the surrounding plains. With this, I wind up with Part 1: Of the Hoysala art.

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