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Art Of Hoysalas

Sala fighting the tiger, and other subjects. Close up of the Hoysalesvara temple.Halebid (Mysore).Typical of Hoysala art, 12th century AD.(click on pic. to see larger image)


In the middle of the 13th century, the Cholas were again superseded by the Pandyas of Madurai in the south and by the hill chieftains called Hoysalas towards the west. From the 12th century to the 14th century AD, a series of temples in the cities of Halebid, Belur and Somnathpur noted for their intricate carvings comparable to filigree, are attributed to these Hoysalas. The Keshava temple at Somnathpur is the most well preserved amongst these and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is a triple star shaped sanctuary raised on a platform made of narrow horizontal panels adorned profusely with relief work. It houses three manifestations of Lord Vishnu and is basically squat and intimate in aspect. The degree of elaboration in the detail of the carvings can be attributed to the material used, viz, soapstone, which is soft when first quarried but hardens gradually upon exposure to air.

Delicately carved figure of a feminine dancer, Belur (Mysore). Hoysala, 12th Century AD.(click on pic. to see larger image)


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