Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kesava Temple: Hoysala Architecture (1268-1550 AD)

Today we went to one of the finest temples in India, the Keshava temple from the Hoysala architecture build in 1268 – 1550AD. This temple is located in a small town called Somanathpur near Mysore. The peculiarities of the architecture are very significant. The temple is made out of sandstone, with very intricate detailed carvings. The temple entrance begins with huge lathe carved pillars. The symmetry of the base of the temple is star shape. The temple has peculiar 7 layers of decorative elephants, warriors on horses, decorative flowers, depiction of common people and animals, different deities, decorations and depiction of various mythological stories.
The top of the shrine again has very detailed, decorative & most importantly symmetrical carvings. The walls are angled such that it may look like a paper folded multiple times & then opened to form a toothed symmetry. The walls of the temples have carvings of all the deities like Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Laxmi, Saraswati, Hanuman etc…all carved well enough to recognize them easily.
Inside the temple, there are three separate sanctums for three gods. And 4 more rows of lathe turned pillars. The ceilings are intricately carved. And it is so so cool to sit inside the temple, with the burning sun outside. The whole experience was just amazing to see such delicate art work from such old times, that we did not realise how we spent over 2 hours. It’s a must see temple in India. And now, enjoy the pictures :)
The Temple with star shaped base:

The 7 decorative layers:

The intricate carvings:

Intricate carvings on the top:

Beautiful sculptures:


Lathe turned pillars inside:

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