Karnataka’s sacred ensembles of Hoysalas inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list

Source: The post is based on the article “Karnataka’s sacred ensembles of Hoysalas inscribed on UNESCO world heritage list”  published in Indian Express on 19th September 2023

What is the News?

The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.This will be India’s 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What are Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas?

Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas comprises three temples in Karnataka namely the Channakeshava temple in Belur, the Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebidu and the Keshava temple in Somanathapura.

These temples were constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries by the Hoysala kings and are dedicated to deities Shiva and Vishnu.

Channakeshava temple – Belur:

Chennakeshava Temple is also referred to as Vijayanarayana Temple of Belur.It is a 12th-century Hindu temple in Karnataka.

It is located on the banks of Yagachi River (also called Badari River in historic texts), a tributary of Hemavati River.

The temple was commissioned by King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 CE, on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur also called Velapura, an early Hoysala Empire capital.

The temple is devoted to Vishnu.

The richly sculptured exterior of the temple narrates scenes from the life of Vishnu and his reincarnations and the epics, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.However, some of the representations of Shiva are also included.

Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebidu:

Hoysaleswara temple also referred simply as the Halebidu temple is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva.It is located on the banks of Dwarasamudra tank.

The temple was built in 1121CE during the reign of the Hoysala King, Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara.

The temple is most well-known for the more than 240 wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall. 

Keshava Temple- Somanathapura:

Keshava Temple is a Vaishnava temple on the banks of River Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka.

The temple was consecrated in 1258 CE by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King Narasimha III.

The temple is enclosed in a courtyard with a pillared corridor of small shrines (damaged).The main temple in the center is on a high star-shaped platform with three symmetrical sanctums (garbha-griha).

The western sanctum was for a statue of Kesava (missing), the northern sanctum of Janardhana and the southern sanctum of Venugopala, all forms of Vishnu.

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