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Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid

Hoysaleswara Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Hoysaleswara Temple is an architectural marvel popularly known as the 'supreme climax of Indian architecture'. The temple is located in Halebid and was built during the rein of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century by King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara. The temple was named after the king. During that era, the Muslim rulers tried to destroy this temple and as a result it fell into a state of ruin.

The preceding deity of Hoysaleswara Temple is God Shiva. The main shrine houses a Shiv Linga. There are two main shrines inside the complex of the temple, one is named Hoysaleswara and the other is called Shantaleswara ( named after Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara). In addition there is a shrine dedicated to Sun God, which houses a 7ft tall image.

Meticulously constructed in soapstone, the temple is elevated on a platform. The beautiful images of Nandi Bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva, inside the hall of the temple are impressive. The outer walls of the temple are gracefully decorated with stone sculptures.

The temple boasts of arresting pillars adorned with breathtaking carvings. Extensively decorated, the four pillars in front of each shrine are the most striking features of the temple. Their brackets showcases beautiful madanika (celestial damsels) sculptures.

One of the interesting features of the temple is the 'Garuda Pillar'. The bodyguards of the kings and the queens were known as Garuda. Their work was to accompany the kings and the queens to safeguard them. And after the death of their master, they would commit suicide. TheĀ  Garuda Pillar inside the temple depicts a Garuda committing suicide.

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