Temples at somnathpur

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A study about the temples of Somnathpura, India

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Temples at somnathpur

  1. 1.      The Hoysala Empire was a prominent South Indian empire that ruled most of the modern day state of Karnataka between the 10th and the 14th centuries The Hoysala era was an important period in the development of art, architecture, and religion in South India. The empire is remembered today primarily for its temple architecture. The Hoysala rulers also patronised the fine arts, encouraging literature to flourish in Kannada and Sanskrit. Hoysalas’ conquired Cholas’ (1026) and established their strong base over the south India and Vijayanagaras’ stopped the rule in 1342. Vishnuvardhana (1108–1152) is considered as the greatest ruler of this empire. He introdused the Hoysala Δrchitecture to the world.
  2. 2. Δrchitectural Style     an offshoot of the Western Chalukya style, shows distinct Dravidian influences is described as Karnata Dravida as distinguished from the traditional Dravida, and is considered an independent architectural tradition with many unique features. In both Māru-Gurjara Architecture and Hoysala Temple Architecture, architecture, sculptures have more influence. The very great attraction of this style is to exquisite detail and skilled craftsmanship
  3. 3. Chinnakeshava Temple, Somnathpura Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebid Chinnakeshava Temple, Belur
  4. 4. Veeranarayana Temple in Belavadi Amrutesvara Temple in Chikkamagaluru Ishvara Temple, Arasikere
  5. 5.    The Chennakesava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. This temple was built by Soma, a Dandanayaka (commander) in 1268 under Hoysala king Narasimha III, when the Hoysala Empire was the major power in South India The outer walls of all these temples contain an intricate array of stone sculptures and horizontal friezes (decorative mouldings) that depict the Hindu epics.
  6. 6.     The temple is housed inside an impressive high wall and the entrance to the complex is through a porch with tall lathe-turned pillars. The material used for the temple is chloritic schist or soapstone. The main reasons that make the Keshava temple standout amidst the large number of Hoysala monuments are its symmetrical architecture, fine sculptures on equally prominent shrines, and a temple that is surrounded by panels forming a cloister. It was built by the famous architect/sculptor Ruvari Malithamma (12 Cent.) who was well-known for his expertise in ornamentation.
  7. 7.     The temple which is built on a jagati (raised platform) is a trikuta (triple shrined) and fully satisfies the terminology as all vimanas (shrines) have a superstructure (tower) Inside the temple, each vimana has a vestibule (large entrance) that connects it to the main rectangular mantapa (hall). The wide jagati invites devotees to follow the ritualistic clockwise circumambulation before entering the temple hall. All the three shrines have a 16 pointed stellate (star-shaped) design and their towers follow the same pattern. Hence the whole structure looks like a rhythmic progression of well decorated projections and recesses. The number of points make the towers look circular
  8. 8.    The upper eaves is where the tower meets the wall of the shrine. The lower eaves is about a metre below the upper eaves. Between the two eaves are decorative miniature towers (aedicule/small shrine). Below the lower eaves are a panel of Hindu deities and their attendants. There are nearly 200 such panels The upper section has depictions from the Hindu epics and puranic scenes executed with detail, yalis (or makara, an imaginary beast) and hamsas (swans). The Ramayana is depicted on the friezes on the south side wall, stories of Hindu God Krishna on the rear and the Mahabharata on the north side. The overall effect of the decorated towers, wall images, friezes is well balanced.
  9. 9.    Of the three shrines, one is of Keshava, but the image is missing from the sanctum. The other two shrines house images of Janardhana and Venugopala (the three images are forms of Vishnu) This is strictly a Vaishnava temple and there is no depiction of any forms of Hindu God Shiva.
  10. 10. Janardhana Statue Venugopala Statue

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