memories of family outings.....



Think Hoysala Art and Architecture, the immediate recall is of the gloriously ornamented soapstone sundaris  and  the star shaped plinth of the temples of Belur and Halebid.
Mysoreans would throw in a Somanathapur  and a Talakkad , perhaps.

 But it comes as a surprise to learn that at the height of Hoysala temple building frenzy, between 11th and 14th. century, close to 1500 temples with the signature style (of lathe turned pillars, star shaped plinth, multi tiered friezes, profusely ornamented human forms and stellate vimanas) were built in the Deccan Plateau.  Of which a 100 are reported to survive in various states of repair.
A hundred ? ! Thats news ! There I was , totally ignorant of the existence of any beyond five. The above mentioned four were done a dozen times. The only other name,  Nuggehalli , has always been in the bucket list, but the distance from home makes it a destination to plan for in advance and being of no urgent value, it keeps getting postponed.
 I had never imagined that there are other , lesser known treasures lying hidden just within reach ,  escaping  notice all these years.
An impromptu journey of exploration happened ,out of the blue ,mlast week ....and what real gems we discovered !

First on the list , HOSA HOLALU. Barely 45 kms. from Mysore , in Mandya district. In our very backyard !

The Lakshminarayana Temple, built in 1250 by Vira Someshwara, stands bang in a residential locality, surrounded by modern smalltown houses, like a black and grey dream that lost its way .

Think of all the adulatory adjectives you know ...and then look up for more in a dictionary. Thats it.

The soapstone(chloritic schist) marvels studded around the walls just leap to life to the play of sunlight. One knows them all,( the "belur-halebid" brand !) the gods, demigods, the bejewelled ladies, the elephants, swans and chimeras ( Makara Shalabhams),the epic scenes of war and peace, everything. But the wonder and awe are renewed, refreshed and doubled each time a new detail is discovered.......
An ASI employee (seen in action in a pic. ) takes great interest  in showing us around, pointing to things that would otherwise escape our widened and dumbstruck eyes. He speaks  with a special pride  - personal pride ! -that comes from being custodian of  a thing of beauty.
ASI seems to be maintaining the edifice well. We were told that weekends attract some tourist flow, otherwise it lies fairly forgotten.....

Crowded with Gods!

And a foreigner too........

1 comment:

Lakshmi Grandhim said...

wah! awesome temple :) Mysorege istu hatra iddu nanu yavattu hogilla.. ok next visit I will put this on the list.