Dwarasamudra: Halebidu


So here it is, Halebidu captured in a few frozen frames. So rich in history that words don’t do justice to it.

Halebidu – Hoysaleshwara Temple

Halebidu was previously called Dwarasamudra – thanks to the entrance to the temple from this river side – the Yagchi river.

Pretty well-maintained garden/lawn.

Star shaped structure over which the temple is built (typical of Hoysala Architecture)

Lord Krishna as Govardhandhari: The episode of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan Hill to protect his kinsfolk from the wrath of rain God Indra – narrated in the architects expressive language.

Don’t miss out the details -of a hunter, snake, elephants, trees, birds on top of the hill.

Lord Vishnu represented in his Varaha (Boar) Avatar.

One of the best sculptors of Narasimha – best known for the details captured in it. Check out the finger nails & the stomach being ripped.

Vamana – A representation of the fifth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Notice the size of the characters – the one who gives/donates is looked upon very highly (tallest), the one who asks (seeker) is low, and the one who doubts (or who is unsure to give or not) is represented very lowly (Shuklacharya – short man next to King Mahabali).

An episode from Mahabharatha – Abhimanyu entering Chakravyuha

An 8 Feet tall statue of Nandi. This statue is known for its finish (highly reflective esp. at its mouth – check out next pic).

Check out the reflection of the palm placed below Nandi’s statue.

Inside the temple

Plenty of beautiful sculptures of this temple were taken away by the British (while they ruled this land), the ones remaining are like the ones below – broken & unwanted.

A less than careful look around the temple reveals lots of sculptors damaged & broken – these scars/imprints of reminds of the history where Malik Kafur (a general in the army of Alauddin  Khilji, ruler of Delhi Sultanate) attacked & ransacked the Hoysala Kingdom (Halebidu was then the capital – post the destruction Belur was chosen as the new capital of Hoysala Kingdom).

The below structure reminds of this event – where the work is left incomplete; only half the work was completed on this structure.

A temple built in the 12/13th century, about 400 years before the first aggressive campaigns were done by the west. And here is a man dressed pretty much in an overcoat – what is now associated with the west. Looks like these aren’t entirely foreign after all.

And now to the graveyard of sculptures – all the broken sculptures have been dumped here.


2 responses »

  1. Graveyard of the ‘sculptors”?? Sculptors are the people who sculpt. Their creations are called “Sculptures”…

    The giver is shown taller than the receiver – one reason is because vamana means dwarf (you know, short person) in sanskrit. Obviously, they won’t show a dwarf to be as tall as a regular human being or a rakshasa.

    BTW, it “Shuk’r’acharya”…. Not “Shuk’l’acharya”

    Oh yeah, and the guy with the overcoat: Indians had contact with Europeans during the time of HoysaLas and the Vijayanagara kings. They were just not as ubiquitous as during the raj. So nothing unusual about that and yes, an overcoat is a foreign garment..

    No doubt, these are some of the most beautiful pics of one of my most treasured archeological site in India…

    • Thanks Harsh for pointing out those errors.

      The Sculptors/Sculptures is an error I totally missed out on. And the “Shukracharya”/”Shuklacharya” was because I learnt it the wrong way in the first place (though I’ve been corrected in the past for the same :D).
      yeah, true that India has had contacts with the other ancient civilizations onto her West since – @least from the times of Alexander (and may be before too).

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